Tilt. Focus. Shoot!
Review by Gilmar Smith
The Lensbaby Sol 45 is a manual focus, f/3.5, fixed, 45mm tilt lens that’s designed to work with Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony, and Fuji cameras. The Lensbaby Sol 45 has a tack-sharp, circular area of focus. You control the area you want to keep in focus by tilting the lens and then getting your subject in focus.
The rest of the image will have a beautiful, soft-focus effect and bold bokeh. If you want to get a more creative result with the Lensbaby Sol 45, you can adjust the two bokeh blades in front of the lens to give your image a textured bokeh look. You just move the orientation of the blades individually to control the effect.
I genuinely love the dreamy effect I can achieve with the Lensbaby Sol 45. Coming out of the box, though, it takes a little time to adjust your eyes to it. Just make sure to tilt your lens toward the area of the picture you want to keep in focus. Another useful trick when using it is to turn on the live view on your camera, which will make it a lot easier to get your focus right. Also, if possible, place your camera on a tripod.
The Lensbaby Sol 45 is lightweight and compact and, with a price tag of only $199.95, I’m sure the Lensbaby would be an excellent addition to any photographer’s camera bag. It’s a fantastic, creative tool with which to experiment. Play with it and you’ll find that you’ll get different results than what you’d get from any other lens. ■