April 2nd, 2012 – Lensbaby has announced it’s second MILC dedicated product which now gives the MILC (Mirror-less Interchangeable Lens Compact) systems, micro 4/3, NEX, and NX users access to every optic and add on in the Lensbaby system. Where the Tilt Transformer for Micro 4/3 and NEX cameras allowed for the Composer Front to be used, it was limited to the Lensbaby optics that were compatible. Now, the Sweet 35, Fisheye, Edge 80, Macro Converters and all standard optic swap inserts are entirely compatible! It’s like immediately gaining access to a bunch of new lenses for these young systems clamoring for more affordable and diverse options. More after the jump…
The Lensbaby system has grown leaps and bounds over the last few years to include more serious optics and add on tools. Where at first it was merely a cheap way to get into tilt photography, it now has some more really cool, quality options.
With a second dedicated mount in the way of the new Composer Pro, it offers Micro 4/3, NEX or Samsung NX users complete access to the entire Lensbaby product lineup. (Stay tuned for a more in depth NX + Lensbaby review coming soon!) The older Micro 4/3 and NEX compatible Tilt Transformer (read original review here) with Composer front disabled use with the 12mm Fisheye optic, Sweet 35 optic and new Edge 80 optic (read more optic reviews below). The new Composer Pro for Micro 4/3, NEX and NX mirror-less systems are fully compatible with the new optics, as well as all of the standard optic swap lenses that are also compatible with the Composer Front for the Tilt Transformer (Soft Focus, Single and Double Glass, Plastic, Pinhole/Zone Plate along with the creative aperture disks, Macro Converters, etc). The one advantage for mirrorless system shooters that the Tilt Transformer provides that the new Composer Pro doesn’t is that the removable Composer Front on the Tilt Transformer makes way for a Nikon F mount adapter enabling any Nikon F mount lens to be used for tilt photography. A trade off which offers two different tools with overlapping skill sets.
The Lensbaby Composer Pro, or the Lensbaby Tilt Transformer… Which is more useful to any individual is a choice every perspective Mirror-less system user shopping for a Lensbaby will get to ask themselves. If I owned a bunch of Nikon lenses, I’d look very closely at the Tilt Transformer. If not, and I was potentially interested in the Fisheye, Sweet 35mm and/or Edge 80mm, I’d go Composer pro all the way. If you are interested in a Tilt Transformer, I’d hurry as the new Composer Pro is effectively replacing it in the Lensbaby lineup.
The last year or so has seen a lot of great lenses released for the Micro 4/3 system and even a couple for the NEX and NX systems as well. This is merely another fun option for these ever growing systems. The Composer Pro offers a nicer build and more precise feel over the standard Composer, or Tilt Transformer + Composer front. With access to a 16mm (NEX/NX) / 24mm (m4/3) equivalent Fisheye, a 52.5mm (NEX/NX) / 70mm (m4/3) e-fov Sweet 35 and 120mm (NEX/NX) / 160mm (m4/3) e-fov Edge 80 optic, the new Composer Pro offers a much more serious tool from Lensbaby for these systems. Where Lensbaby was synonymous with kitchy, out of focus images at the early stages, these newer optics show a new level of performance balancing sharpness with some of the more traditional LB blur. The Edge 80 is a flat field optic, meaning it is fully capable of sharp results from edge to edge when centered at any aperture, and when tilted, more than a sweet spot, it has a “sweet plane” that can occupy a full slice of the image circle, particularly handy for applications where needing a controlled plane of focus even when working with larger apertures (macro/close up shooting is a biggie for me here). Both the Sweet 35 and Edge 80 have an internally controlled aperture mechanism allowing quick adjustment as well which makes for a more efficient experience for both still and motion photography.
Not only does the Composer Pro offer access to the entire Lensbaby system, it also promises to be much more “future proof” in the event that Lensbaby looks to further diversify its system as the new Composer Pro has worked around the design issues with these mirror-less system mounts that the newer optics had compatibility-wise with the Tilt Transformer.
The Composer Pro for Micro 4/3 /NEX/NX comes with the 50mm f/2 Double Glass Optic and is available directly through Lensbaby HERE for $300
For more Lensbaby Optic review articles, click on the links below:
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