While it may seem odd to want to combine a selective focus lens with macro photography (which needs great depth of field to produce sharp images) the pair can result in interesting images when used properly. The Lensbaby Composer, when teamed up with the accessory Macro Lens Kit, provides one such option.
Getting a closer look (4 out of 5)
The Macro Kit provides a pair of diopters that screw into the filter mount of the Lensbaby Composer and other Lensbaby optics. One is a +4 and the other is a +10. The pair enable the Composer to focus from 2 inches to 13 inches away from your subject, and yes, you can stack the two together (I’d strongly suggest a tripod if you’re trying this). It’s also possible to combine a Macro lens with an accessory lens such as the telephoto for close focusing with that optic too. Using the Macro Kit Doing macro photography with the Lensbaby and macro kit is challenging because there is such shallow depth of field to work with from the Composer.
Handholding with the +10 macro filter is practically impossible if you want to create a sharp image. The +4 on the other hand is definitely manageable handheld. One thing to keep in mind is that the Composer uses interchangeable aperture rings that must be individually replaced in order to open up or close down the lens. This means that changing f-stops is a bit of a hassle when using a macro lens or accessory lens (which also screw in to the filter mount on the Lensbaby lenses) since you’ll need to unscrew the macro lens, remove the aperture disk, insert a new one and then remount the macro lens. Once things are set up to your liking, you can move the lens’s sweet spot around by tilting and shifting the Lensbaby lens.
Price to value (4 out of 5)
At $37.95 the Macro Kit is a worthwhile addition to a Lensbaby kit if you’re interested in macro photography. The filters and the included carrying pouch don’t add much weight or take up much space in a camera bag and provide interesting possibilities.