with Courtney Slazinik
Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35mm Optic – 6 Lessons Learned

*I received a Lensbaby in exchange for this post.

Lensbaby Lessons Learned

The Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35mm Optic is such a fun lens. I have had a blast learning how to use it and figuring out different ways to photograph our lives with it. Below are a few lessons I’ve learned from using my Lensbaby.

1. Set your aperture to f/4 or f/5.6.
Unlike most lenses we are used to these days, you set your aperture on the lens. In fact, your camera will say the aperture is f/0. Don’t let that confuse you. Keep your aperture around f/4 or f/5.6 when starting out because you want to have more of your image in focus to help you nail the focus.

Lensbaby Lessons learned

2. Manual focus can be fun.
This lens requires you to use manual focus. Please don’t let this scare you from buying a lens that requires manual focus. It has actually proved to be a fun and challenging exercise. I like being challenged when it comes to photography and this lens does that.

Lensbaby Lessons learned

3. Start with it centered.
You can turn this lens to create different effects. Until you become super comfortable with the lens I recommend keeping it centered so you get used to the manual focus.

Lensbaby Lessons learned

4. Challenges your creativity.
If you are stuck in a rut, I have always suggested shooting with a different lens. This one will definitely spark your creativity and give your images a new look and feel. By challenging yourself with a lens that isn’t like your everyday lens you may see things quite differently.

5. Make the ordinary, extraordinary.
You can turn an everyday snap shot into a fun and unique image with a Lensbaby. For example, the image below I took with my everyday lens and then put on my Lensbaby. The Lensbaby give it a fun and completely different feel than the other lens. What a fun way to capture a baseball field!

Lensbaby Lessons learned

lensbaby lesson learned

6. Slow down and really think.
This is a lens that really helps you to slow down. Focus and imagine on what you are trying to create. We get so busy snapping away and capturing our everyday that we often forget to slow down and examine our frame. It is refreshing to think through your shots by slowing down.


*I received my Lensbaby in exchange for this post.

  • May 16, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Love these! That shot with Claire at the window, is that at a 5.6 aperture?

    • Courtney Slazinik
      May 20, 2013 at 1:25 PM

      Yes, I believe they all are :)

  • shelly
    May 16, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    I should be receiving my lensaby this week. I am super excited. Can you give suggestions as to what to tackle 1st, with using the new lens… outside, or inside. Natural light vs. b/w?

    Thanks for sharing

    • Courtney Slazinik
      May 20, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      That is completely up to you :) I would say start with what you are comfortable with whether that is indoor or outdoor light. Good luck and enjoy!

  • May 16, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    Thanks for the post! I got the exact lens a couple of weeks ago and have used it twice now. I, too, love using manual to challenge myself so, this is perfect! Love your shots so far!

    • Courtney Slazinik
      May 20, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      Thanks! So glad you are loving yours as well! It’s such a fun challenge!

  • May 16, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    Too funny! I have the same type of post set to go up on my website for tomorrow. The funny thing is, there must be tons of tips out there for using those Lensbabies because between your 6 tips and my 5, only one of ours are the same– and that’s starting off with a medium-sized aperture. Definitely helps you learn how to focus the lens!
    Number 4 is so true though– whenever I’m stuck in a rut, I always pull out my Lensbaby!

  • Karen White
    December 29, 2015 at 7:31 AM

    The shot of the baby by the window is gorgeous and the bottom image looking down is sublime. So much to learn and so much fun to have too.!

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