Which lensbaby is the right one for me?

Juts a couple minutes ago, a forum contact sent me a PM and asked me about the Lensbaby versus Tilt/Shift lenses. Here is some of my reply:

Well, tilt/shift can be faked in post pretty well with the "minature effect", as you probably know. But the Lensbaby effect is pretty hard to really,truly fake,especially the horrific chromatic aberration the original Lensbaby delivered. Sure, blur effects can be faked, but the genuine, single-element original LB had bad chromatic aberration, plus at wider apertures it had a lot of overall, low-level of what's called "veiling glare". Bottom line: crappy optics are hard to simulate in post because the effects are applied from the highlights into the shadows, where a LB, or a diffusion filter, actually SPREADS part of the light from the highlights into the shadowed areas and mid-tones, which affects the dynamic range,and the original exposure. Re-arranging the pixels later in PS, does not do the same. Close, but not the same-same.

snip> I happen to be a Lensbaby believer. I have the Original in Canon and Nikon mounts, and the Lensbaby 2.0 in Nikon mount, and I also have the 3.0, which has been re-named the Control Freak.

I prefer the original model, with its poorer optics and significantly higher chromatic aberration. The 2.0 has better optics (2 elements, coated) and is hard to focus. My hit rate with 2.0 SUCKS. I don't like 2.0 much. The Control Freak is very slow in operation, but works repeatably,which is its claim to fame. I prefer to use the things with a 1.4x or 2.0x telephoto converter, to exaggerate the loss of optical quality.

I actually vastly prefer the poorer optics and fuzzier,more ethereal images from the original Lensbaby. The 2.0 model is hard to focus for me. COntrol Freak is slow, but the effect is totally repeatable,and will work for slow speed shots, whereas the Original and 2.0 will not. The newest one, with the simple ring system, might be the handiest model--I've not tried that one.
I want the composer also, the main reason I haven't bought it yet is because Scott Bourne (www.photofocus.com) is giving one away this month. Whether I win or not, there will be one under my christmas tree. (Actually, more likely taking pictures of my christmas tree :) )
i got a Muse for a xmas present this year and i could NEVER get it focused right (def could be user error...) but i found it pretty tough... i'm exchanging it for a composer and hopefully have better results with it
I have the lensbaby muse, It is a lot of fun to use and experiment with. and can also be used great in low light situations. If I had to do it over again I would buy the composer for the focus ring, I have shaky hands even at a moderate shutter speed I still have a hard time nailing focus with the muse. even still a have taken some cool shots with it.

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