Bottom line: I think this is my favorite optic to date from the Lensbaby crew. It’s a versatile focal length on crop sensor DSLR’s – and, to be honest, I dig the new integrated aperture ring.
Now – I can’t say that Lensbaby was listening to Camera 47 – but here’s my comment on the aperture system from my first Lensbaby review back in January 2009 on the Composer coupled with the Double Glass Optic:
The aperture system sure seems like it could be better – something mechanical. Instead, they use this awkward disc / magnet system. Isn’t there some 1973 technology that could be leveraged here for a low cost?
But at the end of the day – it’s not all about the aperture ring – this is also a wider optic. For all of us ~1.6x crop-sensor camera folks – this sits just about at that “normal” 50mm focal length (practically speaking).
And between the improved aperture ring and shorter focal length – I just haven’t used the 50mm optic since the Sweet 35 arrived on my door step.
As for image quality – real world use would suggest that it’s on par with the 50mm Double Glass Optic. Of course, somebody with much more skill in splitting pixels may disagree. The lens has an aperture range of f/2.5-22. As I typically aim for a narrow depth of field – I tend to stay right around f/4. The images I’ve included here aren’t necessarily ready for a spot above the fireplace – but hopefully they’re able to show you a bit about the lens (OK – the second one may not show you much – but I just thought it was a fun image….) .