Lensbabies Goes to the Movies

Lensbabies Introduces the PL Mount Lensbaby 3G 3rd Generation Selective Focus SLR Lens Now Available for Movie Cameras and Video Cameras
Press Release

Lensbabies, LLC showcases today the Lensbaby 3GPL, a PL mount version of its acclaimed selective focus (SLR) lens, Lensbaby 3G(TM).  The Lensbaby 3GPL is a unique prime lens specially designed for use with motion image capture.  The retail price is US$490. Lensbaby 3GPL lenses and sample clips are available now at www.lensbabies.com/movies.  

With fixed or flexible “tilt and swing” positioning, the Lensbaby 3GPL allows for highly creative focusing effects on any 16mm or 35mm PL mount movie camera, as well as several PL to video camera adapters such as the P+S Technik (http://www.pstechnik.de/en/index.php), Redrockmicro M2 (http://www.redrockmicro.com/),  Brevis35 (http://www.cinevate.com/) and SGpro (http://www.sgpro.co.uk/).

“The PL Mount Lensbaby 3G brings to cinematographers the unique ability to produce selective focus footage in-camera that is different from what is possible with existing tilt-shift lenses,” says Craig Strong, the inventor of the Lensbaby and Co-Founder of Lensbabies, LLC. “With the Lensbaby 3GPL the photographer is able to choose between a spontaneous focus-and-tilt-on-the-fly technique or a fixed tilt with a manual far-to-near focus technique similar to traditional PL mount lenses. We created the Lensbaby 3GPL to provide cinematographers with a new tool that extends their creative range by allowing them to create unique imagery.”

Like its still camera predecessors, Lensbaby 3GPL allows filmmakers to bring one part of their frame into sharp focus; a ‘sweet spot’ surrounded by gradually increasing blur. Photographers can move the sweet spot of sharp focus anywhere in the photo by bending the flexible body of the Lensbaby.  When not bent, the sweet spot remains in the center of the image with the blur equally distributed around the edge of the image.

“Lensbabies is thrilled to be introducing a new selective focus lens for movie making.  Our lenses have become quite popular in the still photography market, but we think that some of the most exciting applications will happen in the movies, where the dreamy, ethereal look of selective focus is going to knock people’s socks off,” said Strong.

“When I first learned about the Lensbaby concept, I was intrigued with the possibilities for moving images,” said Christopher Hart, Cinematographer with Eastman Kodak Co. “I tested the Lensbaby 3G with the PL mount on my Arri 35-3 with great success. Its inherent distortion created evocative images that were both moody and playful. Outside of the ‘sweet spot’, the de-focused images had a wonderful organic feel to them. I’ve always been frustrated with using swing and shift lenses, but the 3G was actually enjoyable to use. Having a small specialty lens in my kit that can help create beautiful, atmospheric images will be perfect for certain applications.”

Focusing the 3GPL is simple:  by compressing and bending the lens manually the area of focus can be determined and simply locked into a fixed position by pressing a button. Then, using a traditional manual focus mechanism, camera operators are able to follow focus or fine tune the focus at a fixed position. Likewise, similar to the Lensbaby 2.0 and Original Lensbaby for still SLR cameras, the photographer has the option of focusing freely without locking their Lensbaby 3GPL for a spontaneous selective focus effect.

The Lensbaby 3GPL features a multi-coated, low dispersion, glass optic, a flexible lens body, and three threaded metal rods that emerge from the camera mount and pass through the focusing collar.  A trigger button on the focusing collar releases three pins that engage the threaded metal rods and lock the Lensbaby 3GPL in a bent position to permit precise focus and complete control.

Photographers can also mount onto the front of their Lensbaby 3GPL a variety of 37mm or 52 mm threaded accessories, such as wide angle and telephoto conversion lenses, filters, and hoods. Please note that the Lensbaby Macro Kit will not work on the Lensbaby 3GPL.

Lensbabies can be bought from B&H Photo.

Lensbaby 3GPL Specifications:

Optic:    Coated optical glass doublet (same optic as Lensbaby 2.0)
Focal Length:    54 mm
Focus Type:    Hybrid Manual Compression / Manual barrel
Aperture Type:    Interchangeable levitating aperture disks
Apertures:    f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22
Minimum Focus:    Approximately 12″ (30.48cm)
Maximum Focus:    Infinity
Size:    3″ (7.62cm) high x  3.25″ (8.89cm) wide
Weight:    5.7oz  (161.59g)
Available Mounts:    PL Mount
Available Accessories:    *    The Lensbaby 06.X/1.6X Wide Angle Telephoto Kit that includes one 0.6X wide angle and one 1.6X telephoto conversion lens that can be mounted directly to the Lensbaby 3GPL
*    The Lensbaby Creative Aperture Kit which contains different shaped apertures and blanks which can be cut to a custom shape.  Out of focus specular highlights (bright points of light) in the footage take on the shape of the hole in the aperture disk.

About Lensbabies

Lensbabies, LLC is a Portland, Oregon based manufacturer and marketer of award-winning selective focus SLR camera lenses.  Lensbabies was launched in February 2004 by Craig Strong, a professional photographer and the inventor of the patent pending Lensbaby selective focus SLR lens.  Lensbabies sells to photographers all over the world through its website, www.lensbabies.com, by calling 877-536-7222 / 971-223-5662, and at tradeshows.

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