Pictures with the Double Glass are often fairly soft, though, which is why LensBaby offers replaceable lenses, like the Edge 80 Optic.

With the Edge 80, your aperture control becomes just like that of a lens, rotating a ring and changing the f-stop accordingly. Combined with this optic, the Composer Pro works a treat, generally offering an experience similar to that of a perspective control lens, albeit in a smaller form and less expensive form.

We say “similar” because unlike in the modern PC lenses, there is no electronic connection, meaning that everything you do is performed in a manual mode.

That means you need to switch the camera into manual and handle shutter speed and ISO on your camera body, while alternating the aperture on the lens. Very little help is offered, and unless you have a fantastic understanding of how light is interpreted by your camera, you will spend most of your time guessing and playing with the settings.

That’s not to say the experience is bad, it’s just not the easiest experience you’ll ever have.

A 100% crop from one of our images: even with the Edge 80, it's not the sharpest lens you're likely to use.

In fact, as more cameras begin to offer the “tilt shift” or “miniature” effects as part of in-camera processing, you may well find it easier to shoot the image without a special lens and process it this way.

You could even take the image from the camera and add the effect in post-processing applications such as Adobe Photoshop CS6.

The LensBaby Composer Pro with the Edge 80 optic.

Conclusion

LensBaby’s budget tilt shift offering is certainly an interesting one, resulting in a customisable lens that’s certainly priced well against a true perspective control lens.

Still, the quality and ease of use aren’t the only things stopping us from recommending it: it’s not that the image is blurry or that the lens is more complicated to use than we had hoped, but that it’s so much easier to make this effect happen in post.

Tilt shift on the cheap: LensBaby's way out reviewed
Price (RRP): $375 for the LensBaby Composer Pro and Double Glass Optic; $339 for the LensBaby Edge 80 Optic Manufacturer: LensBaby
Decent build quality; Compared to a real tilt-shift lens, it's cheap;
Not for the amateur; Completely manual; Double Glass Optic is pretty soft;
Overall
2.5Overall Score
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