Review: Lensbaby 0.42x Super Wide

super wide lensbaby images for blog-3During my initial review of the Lensbaby Composer – I was curious how a wide angle attachment would perform.  Well, at PMA, the Lensbaby folks announced a 0.42x super wide lens attachment – making the 50mm lens equivalent  to about 21mm.  It arrived mid week – and I had a chance to take it out for a quick spin over the weekend.

First impressions.

  • Wide is fun.
  • Nicely coated optics and solid workmanship.
  • Two words: “Chromatic Aberration”. Dang – I haven’t seen this much blue fringing since I paid $5 for a second hand wide angle attachment on a whim.
  • super wide lensbaby images for blog-5Limited movement. The selective focus system is about repositioning the lens so as to choose an emphasized element.  Well – with this attachment – you have a smaller plane to move within.  When you exceed a certain range – you’ll see what I think is likely the lens barrel in your FOV (field of view) – and it can muck up your pic.  See example.
  • Sharpness is decreased. The “glass doublet” system is relatively sharp at the selected location – but by adding more glass – as might be expected – sharpness decreases.

super wide lensbaby images for blog-4

  • To change your aperture – you’ll need to take the super wide angle attachment off to replace the aperture ring.
  • A lens hood would be nice – as the glass is fairly exposed.  This would help protect from glare, dust, and light rain.

Bottom line – it’s fun. I don’t see myself pulling it out all that often – but I think there will be times when it will be the right tool for the job.

And, yes, the bottom two images have a bit of faux HDR post processing – just in case you’re curious.

super wide lensbaby images for blog-1super wide lensbaby images for blog-2

7 thoughts on “Review: Lensbaby 0.42x Super Wide”

  1. Hi there, can you please tell me if the wide angle behaves just like any other wide angle? I’m interested only in the lens, not in composer.

    I don’t want blur in the corners, I don’t want soft images with a sharp spot only. I want sharpness everywhere.

    Does it works as a fisheye or just a wide angle. (I know that I might get barelling effect, but I don’t want a noticeable fish eye).

    Thanks,
    Andrei

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    1. Andrei – to answer your question – the 0.42x wide angle adapter adds onto the Lensbaby Composer system and optic (e.g. double optic). In turn – this will give you “selective focus”. In other words – an area that’s sharp – with much of the image out of focus. This will not perform like a typical wide angle lens. Hope that helps. -Jones

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  2. Hi,
    thanks for the answer, but what if you use only the wide angle lens, and you don’t use the composer?
    What does happen if you mount the wide angle on the 37mm thread of a camera? Does it work?
    Or this lens works only combined with the Composer?

    I’m not interested in the composer, I’m just looking for a Wide Angle Lens with a 37mm tread. The Lensbaby wide angle lens seems to be very lightweight, and that makes it suitable for my needs.

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    1. Andrei – good question. To the best of my knowledge – this adapter probably works best when paired with the Composer. Hope that helps. -Jones

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