I'm so glad you found me! I'm a San Francisco photographer, and this blog charts my journey in the ever-evolving world of photography. One of the things I love about photography is that it's a journey, not a destination. I'm constantly learning and meeting wonderful people. Please peruse the blog to your heart's content, then check out my website and feel free to contact me! (I love hearing from you.)

“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow." – Imogen Cunningham

“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.” – Edward Steichen

Lensbaby Sweet 35 Optic

Ok, so remember that kool-aid I talked about drinking a couple of days ago?

On a (dangerous to my wallet) whim I shelled out for the new Lensbaby Sweet 35 Optic. It fits into my Lensbaby Composer, and has the same selective focus as my regular Lensbaby optic, but it's wider - 35mm instead of 50mm - and it has adjustable aperture built in. For any Lensbaby aficionado this is BIG NEWS because the other optics: double glass, single glass, plastic, fisheye, etc., all had aperture rings you had to insert manually with a little magnetic thingy.

Kind of cool, yes. Certainly made you think about changing your aperture. A bit of a pain? Also yes. You had to really want to change your aperture. Also, I mislaid mine last week, so I can only shoot at f/2.8 now. Forever.

With the Sweet 35 I can change it on a whim. The camera still doesn't electronically register my aperture because I change it on a click wheel on the lens, but metering works just fine. However, that means I don't remember what aperture any of these images are. Oops! Sorry.

One of the first places I took it was the California Academy of Sciences. I liked this shot of the dinosaur in the entryway.

You'll notice that the glass is sharp where it needs to be, but it's also really contrasty. This makes images have a certain pop, but it also creates more blown highlights and blocked shadows than I would expect with another lens.

The oval bokeh is fun to play with. And like any Lensbaby optic, you can move the spot of focus to fine tune your composition.

I also happen to think it's a great lens for pets. The wide angle gives a bit of distortion close in, and the selective focus is really fun.

A shot from a Passover Seder I went to this past weekend.  I really enjoy the simplification that the spot of focus gives a crowded composition.

And a shot from an Easter celebration! Also a fun lens for flowers. Can't wait till Lensbaby makes a macro lens for this one.

And, because it's that time of year, and I can't resist, a couple blossom shots. As I mentioned before, it's fun to move the focus point around and really get your composition exactly the way you want it. With the 50mm double glass optic, it seems much sharper in the center than at the edges, but I didn't feel that way with the Sweet 35. It seems equally sharp just about anywhere.

So, a fun new toy to play with. And the secret behind yesterday's post! Definitely a specialty item, and not one I'd recommend to everyone. But I'm enjoying it.

*As I've said before, Lensbaby has no idea who I am, and I buy all their stuff with my own hard earned money. But if they wanted to sponsor me, I'd be all over it! Lensbaby? Call me.*


  1. These are great and almost make me want to shell out for one, but I don't think they make one for my camera . . thank heaven, cause that takes away the temptation. I originally thought it was the lensbaby on yesterday's post but since you had talked about the "pinhole week" I thought maybe you had done it that way. Pinholes are cheaper, maybe I'll try that.

  2. I am so jealous...I WANT that lens! I love your cat and flower images...beautiful!

    I might have to break down and buy one from lensbaby...I like to support our local camera store, but they have not gotten them in yet.

  3. I cannot decide if I prefer the cat or the second tree with lights. It is really a fun lens to play!

  4. I really like the images on your blog! Amazing selective focus and all with a lens baby! Wow!

  5. Oh wow! I'm more than three years late in posting! Sorry, but I just found your site and have a Lensbaby Composer Pro (worth the upgrade). I LOVE Sweet 35! It may be the best of the best of Lensbabies. I'm still sorting out Edge 80 and I don't have the brand new Fisheye but I have all the rest and this is the ONE to fall in love with. Double glass would be second and platic for the adventurous! You have great stuff and I have to admire anyone that loves Lensbaby because it's so "seat of the pants". It's what you imagine but can't see! Ain't no auto focus! The instructions are slim but they don't get the picture.

    I graduated to a higher level Nikon and now have a light meter now for manual lenses! The lower Nikons don't allow light meter readings on the beginner cameras and you have to go old school light meter (works!). It will make you an advanced shooter if get good pictures. I'm glad I found this blog!

    Sorry you don't have 10,000 admirers.

  6. Thanks so much Paul! I don't use my Lensbaby very much any more, but maybe I'll try pulling it out again soon . . .


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