I recently came across a Vimeo video entitled Corto Last Day Dream. It is a beautiful concept and well executed. What really caught my eye was the selective focus style of the shots. It created a very dreamlike effect. After doing some research I found they used a Lensbaby lens to film the video.
I found the lenses to be very affordable and purchased the Lensbaby Muse, which retails at $150. The Muse has an EF mount which works directly with my Canon 60d and is ready to go right out of the box. The body of the Muse lens is very flimsy allowing the user to push, pull and tilt to find focus of subjects. Even with all this flexibility the lens is very durable and works well in the field.
There are no focus rings or aperture settings. Matter of fact, the Muse comes with interchangeable optics, ranging from 2.8 to 8 that have to be manually changed. The process is easy but is not great for run-and-gun shooting.
I put my Muse to the test over the July 4th weekend. I shot with my Canon 60d at 60fps with various shutter speeds. I used a 2.8 optic and found that being outside subjects were getting blown out and finding focus was difficult. If I were to do it over again I would of shot with the 4 or 5.6 optic. Check out the video below.
The Muse creates a very stylistic look and allows for a wide-range of creative opportunities but it’s not for every project. I think it should be used when a certain style or look is called for like a dream sequence. I think the viewer could get tired of the effect if overused.
Overall the Muse is a great lens at a great price and I look forward to using it on upcoming projects.