In my prior review of the Lensbaby 3G I said, "Every once and a while a product comes along and you really misjudge it. It may be that you are too hasty, or that you just don't understand the potential that it really brings. Or it just may be that it, over time, has matured into a really great product." Well, the Lensbaby line continues to mature and grow. They have released a number of new lenses and accessories that I am planning on looking at. This first one is called Composer.
The 3G was a bellows style of lens. That is, it is focused by moving the lens to the sweet spot and manipulating the bellows device to gain focus. The Composer is a completely new style of lens that is based on a ball and socket configuration. This provides a much smoother selective focus and affords much more ease in movement. With the 3G you had to use two hands, one to manipulate the bellows, and one to focus the sweet spot, in the Composer, you simply tilt the lens to a desired angle and focus with a traditional barrel ring.
The Composer stays in the proper angle without having to use the screw locks to hold it in place. It also is capable of using the new Lensbaby Optic Swap System which is a series of add-on lenses that can give you additional looks for your Composer. I will cover some of these in a separate review.
While I loved the 3G, the Composer is so much easier to use because of the ball joint architecture. You just push the front element of the lens one way or the other to focus your frame. There is a black ring on the mount that will allow you to adjust how tight the ball joint is and therefore how much wiggle room it has. This one you basically set it and forget it.