Lensbaby Control Freak
The Control Freak is an ideal Lensbaby lens for tabletop and macro photography. With the Control Freak, photographers can compress and bend the lens to find their desired focus, and then lock it in place with the push of a button. Once locked, users can fine tune their focus using the fine focus ring and fine tune the tilt by rotating the knobs on the end of the Control Freak's three metal rods. This gives photographers an exceptional degree of focus control, which is very useful for macro photography. Photographers can also push out on the focusing collar to focus as close as 9 inches away from their subject. Using the Control Freak in conjunction with the Lensbaby Macro Kit allows for even closer focus (6-9 inches with the +4 macro filter, 3-5 inches with the +10 macro filter, 2-3 inches when the +4 and +10 are stacked together, and about 1.75-2 inches when pushing out on the focusing collar with the +4 and +10 stacked).
“The Lensbaby Control Freak is the ideal lens for the macro or tabletop photographer who has a methodical, step-by-step approach to their creative photography,” said Craig Strong, Lensbaby president and co-founder. “Every photographer has their own shooting style and Lensbaby now offers a complete system of lenses and optics to please all kinds of photographers.”
The Lensbaby Control Freak, featuring the Lensbaby Optic Swap System, ships with a Double Glass Optic installed. Additional optics can be swapped in and out of the Control Freak, providing photographers with a wide range of creative effects. When a photographer wants to change the optic in their Lensbaby Control Freak, they simply pop the optic out and drop in a different optic. Each optic has different features and image qualities, allowing photographers to choose the look that fits their creative style.
The Fisheye Optic (which requires a special adapter to use with the Control Freak), when used with the Control Freak, allows photographers to focus from zero inches to infinity, meaning that photographers can literally lay an item on the surface of the Fisheye Optic and focus on it. However, from about 3 inches to infinity, the metal rod knobs will often be visible due to the Fisheye Optic’s 160 degree angle of view.
Another unique feature of the Control Freak is the option to shoot in either free form or locked mode. Photographers can easily switch from shooting in locked mode with fine focus and tilt control for a tabletop shoot, to shooting street photography quickly and seamlessly by choosing not to lock the Control Freak in place. The ability to choose modes can also be particularly helpful when shooting video due to the very dreamy and surreal look the Control Freak produces when shooting in free form mode, as compared to the more controlled blur when shooting with the Control Freak locked down.
The Lensbaby Optic Swap System includes six interchangeable optic options:
1) Double Glass: A 50mm f/2 multi-coated optical glass doublet, providing a tack-sharp Sweet Spot of focus with minimal diffusion at all aperture settings. Retail price: U.S. $84.95
2) Single Glass: A 50mm f/2 uncoated optical glass singlet, similar to the primitive optic found in antique cameras. Retail price: U.S. $34.95
3) Plastic: A 50mm f/2 plastic singlet that maximizes blur and diffusion in a dreamy way that Holga™ and Diana™ camera lovers will especially appreciate. Retail price: U.S. $34.95
4) The Pinhole/Zone plate: an optic cup with an f/177 aperture hole to allow for classic pinhole photography and an f/19 Zone plate opening. Retail price: U.S. $34.95
5) Fisheye: An ultra-wide 12mm focal length and 160 degree field of view captures eye-popping fisheye views from infinity all the way down to zero inches from the front of your lens when used with the Control Freak. Retail price: U.S. $149.95. Please note: the Fisheye (which requires an adapter to use with the Control Freak) does have limited functionality with the Control Freak and is best suited for macro work.
6) Soft Focus: This 50mm Soft Focus Optic creates a velvety soft image perfect for portraits, flowers, landscapes or any subject that needs a soft touch. Soft Focus has a look that is evenly soft throughout the image without the Sweet Spot of sharp focus created by our selective focus optics. Retail price: U.S. $89.95.
The Single Glass, Plastic, and Pinhole/Zone plate optics are sold individually as well as in an Optic Boxed Kit that retails for $94.95. The Fisheye ($149.95) and Soft Focus ($89.95) optics are each sold separately.
The Control Freak Specifications
* Priced at U.S. $350
* Provides film makers with the unique ability to shoot both free-hand and locked down
* Allows for extremely close focus (zero inches in front of the lens) when used with the Fisheye Optic (a special adapter is required to use the Fisheye Optic with the Control Freak)
* The Fisheye Optic when used with the Control Freak has limited functionality (when focusing from about 3 inches to infinity, the metal rod knobs will often be visible due to the Fisheye Optic’s 160 degree angle of view) and is therefore best suited for macro work. An adapter is required to use the Fisheye Optic with the Control Freak
* Compatible with the Lensbaby Optic Swap System
* Focus Type: Manual
* Ships with the Double Glass Optic installed which includes the following apertures: f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22
* Aperture Type: Interchangeable levitating aperture disks
* Minimum Focus: approximately 9” (23 cm) / Maximum Focus: Infinity
* Size/Weight: 3.41” (8.66cm) high x 3.49” (8.86) wide / 6.9 oz. (195.6 grams)