Lensbaby, purveyor of the finest image-degrading lenses known to man, has come up with a new blur-tastic optic. Named the Edge 80, it cuts a sharp, straight slice of focus through the photographic haze.
Like the other Lensbabys, the Edge 80 works by tilting the lens relative to the film plane (sensor). Normally, a lens’s plane of focus is parallel to the sensor. Moving it means you can have different parts of the picture in focus, even when they’re different distances away. The tilt-shift effect is a good example.
The Edge 80 goes one better. It can be used as a regular lens but as soon as you start twisting it the optic creates a straight slice of sharp focus, bordered by blur. This contrasts with the circular sweet-spot of other Lensbabys. The slice can be at the center, with blur at the edges, and can run up, down or diagonally. The effect gets more pronounced with larger (wider open) apertures.
Specs include an aperture range of ƒ2.8-22, an 80mm (35mm equivalent) focal length, and an extending close-focus function which will get you to just 17 inches from your subject.
You can see it in action in a neat simulator on the product page.
The optic slots into one of Lensbaby’s lens “bodies.” It works with the Composer Pro, Composer, Scout, Muse and Control Freak, meaning you’ll need a big DSLR: It won’t work with the Micro Four Thirds adapters. the Edge 80 is $300.