Today Lensbaby announced the launch of a new product - the Double Glass 2 Optic. The Double Glass 2 Optic is a remake of the older Double Glass Optic that had drop-in aperture discs. The newer version features an internal aperture system with a range of f/2.5-f/22 and an all-metal design. The optic is a 50mm focal length with a minimum focusing distance of 15 inches. The Double Glass 2 Optic joins the ever-growing line-up of optics offered by Lensbaby that are part of the Optic Swap System designed to be used with the Composer Pro II.
If you are not familiar with the Composer Pro II (along with the older Composer and Composer Pro models), it is the bendable housing on a ball and socket mechanism that mounts directly to your camera. The Optic Swap System is a series of interchangeable optics, each with a different focal length and effect, that can easily be interchanged in your Composer Pro II. With many of the optics, the Composer Pro II can be tilted to change the sweet spot of focus. The exceptions are the Soft Focus 2 and the Twist optics that are used straight ahead. The optics that I love for flower photography include the Sweet 35, Sweet 50, Sweet 80, the Twist, the Soft Focus 2, and now the Double Glass 2. Additionally, this optic can be used in the Lensbaby Spark 2.0, with its accordion-like base that allows you to bend or squeeze to get your focus where you want it.
The original Double Glass Optic, along with the original Composer Pro, was my very first introduction to Lensbaby. The original optic had drop-in aperture discs that you placed in the optic with a magnetic tool, a bit cumbersome and time-consuming for someone who likes to change the aperture a lot. The new Double Glass 2 Optic has the aperture built-in, making it fast and easy to change.
The Double Glass 2 Optic features a sweet spot of focus with dramatically increasing blur as you move away from the sweet spot. Lower, wider open apertures produce a smaller sweet spot and more blur, while higher, closed apertures give you more area of focus. The optic can be used with 9 different drop-in discs that each produce a unique-shaped bokeh effect. The discs can be stacked up to three deep to get an infinite number of shapes and textures. If you prefer the soft, creamy blur of the Double Glass 2 Optic, you can certainly use it without the drop-in discs. Much of my work is without the discs.
Like the Soft Focus 2 Optic, which has quickly risen to one of my most-loved Lensbabies, the Double Glass 2 Optic has become a favorite, as well. Although I still used my older Double Glass Optic occasionally, the changing of the aperture discs kept it from being one of my most-loved optics. I have been beta-testing the new optic since September and have enjoyed using it with flowers, garden scenes, and all kinds of plant life including desert plants. I have experimented with using the drop-in discs to create all kinds of interesting bokeh effects. Those bokeh effects don’t show up as much when you use the optic for close-up photography but are more apparent when you pull back and use them for small scenes, landscapes, or portraits. As with all the optics, this optic can be paired with the 46mm macro filters or the macro converters to photograph up close.
What makes this optic different than the Sweet 50mm? The drop-in discs to create bokeh effects are one big difference. I have also found the quality of the blur surrounding the sweet spot to be slightly different. The blur of the Sweet 50, especially when used wide open, has a pulled or directional quality. The blur of the Double Glass 2 feels creamier and smoother when used without the bokeh effects discs.
I’ve included a number of images taken with the Double Glass 2 Optic. They are taken with a variety of apertures, but often wide open to achieve maximum blur. This is an optic that will be in my bag most of the time.
If you have questions about The Double Glass 2 Optic or any Lensbaby product always feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]. Although my Lensbaby discount code cannot be used on a new product release, it will work for any other Lensbaby product, including the Composer Pro II and the 46mm macro filters. My referral link to lensbaby.com is here. Use the code WBELMONT at checkout to receive 10% off.