Lensbaby rolls out Composer with Tilt Transformer kit for Micro Four Thirds, Sony NEX cameras (hands-on)

We've already gotten our hands on Lensbaby's basic Composer lens, but the company has now gone and expanded its bag of tricks even further with its new Composer with Tilt Transformer kit. The key bit there is the Tilt Transformer (also available separately), which can also accommodate any Nikon mount lens and tilt it up to twice the amount of standard tilt-shift lenses. Have a Panasonic Lumix G Micro System or Olympus PEN Micro Four Thirds camera? Then you can get the kit now for $350 or just the Tilt Transformer for $250 -- Sony NEX camera users will have to wait until October 28th to get in on the act. Full press release is after the break, and our hands-on from the Photokina show floor is just below. Enjoy. %Gallery-103089%

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Lensbaby Unveils Composer with Tilt TransformerTM: Two New Products in One for Micro Four Thirds and Sony α NEX cameras:

New creative effects lens for Micro Four Thirds and Sony α NEX cameras features the Tilt Transformer, letting photographers shoot tilt photography with Nikon mount lenses with an unprecedented amount of tilt

Portland, OR September 21, 2010 – Lensbaby announces today the newest addition to the Lensbaby Creative Effects camera products line-up, the Composer® with Tilt TransformerTM available immediately for Panasonic LumixTM G Micro System and Olympus PEN® digital cameras and in Q4 2010 for Sony® α NEX cameras.

The Tilt Transformer allows photographers to mount any Nikon® mount lens onto their Micro Four Thirds or Sony α NEX camera and tilt up to twice the amount of standard tilt-shift lenses, delivering photos that have a slice of focus through the image, bordered by a soft blur.

"The more creative tools available, the better a photographer can express her or his unique vision." said Craig Strong, Lensbaby Co-Founder and President. "We got excited when we realized that the Lensbaby Optic Swap system could be extended to include Nikon mount camera lenses, including primes, fisheyes, zooms and macro lenses. This unique design for Micro Four Thirds and Sony α NEX cameras gives photographers more freedom to capture images they see in their mind's eye by opening up unprecedented new creative opportunities. I'm looking forward to seeing the unique and compelling photographs that photographic artists make with these new creative tools."

The Tilt Transformer also serves as the foundation for the Composer Focus Front. When used together, they become the Composer with Tilt Transformer, for use on Micro Four Thirds or Sony α NEX cameras. This provides photographers with access to the limitless creativity offered by the Lensbaby Optic SwapTM system.


The Tilt Transformer allows photographers to fluidly tilt their Nikon mount lens up to twice as much as a standard tilt shift lens, giving photographers extraordinary control over the size and placement of a slice of focus through their photograph. The Tilt Transformer's swivel ball is based on the patent pending design Lensbaby developed for the award winning Lensbaby Composer® creative effects camera lens. The front of the swivel ball has a Nikon mount, allowing photographers to mount Nikon mount lenses.

Tilting a Nikon mount lens on the Tilt Transformer will place the slice of focus in different orientations within the image. Vertical, horizontal, and diagonal slices are possible depending on the direction the lens is tilted. Objects in both the foreground and background can be in focus within that slice. For example, a photographer can focus on one person close up in the left portion of the frame while also focusing on someone standing much further away from the camera on the right side of the frame. The ability to focus on several items at once (while blurring out the rest of the image) when each item is placed at a different distance from the camera, is typically possible only with traditional tilt-shift lenses or view cameras.

The size of the slice of focus is dependent upon the aperture used. For example, f/1.4 will produce a very thin slice of focus with abundant blur. F/22 will produce a very wide slice of focus with just at tiny bit of blur. Also, when tilting extremely and shooting at a very wide open aperture like f/1.4 the slice of focus will appear even thinner than when shooting at f/1.4 with minimal tilt.

Due to the extraordinary tilt available with the Tilt Transformer, photographers can produce a more extreme angled slice of focus than possible with standard tilt-shift lenses. For instance, with the Tilt Transformer a photographer can focus on an object very close to the camera in the extreme lower left hand corner of the frame while simultaneously focusing on an object in the extreme upper right hand corner at infinity.

Tilt Transformer product specs and features:
• Available immediately for Panasonic Lumix G Micro Series and Olympus PEN digital cameras, and in Q4 2010, for Sony α NEX cameras
• When used with a Nikon mount lens, produces a slice of focus through the image
• Width of focus slice is dependent upon aperture – f/1.4 will produce a very thin slice of focus with abundant blur, while f/22 will produce a very wide slice of focus with just a tiny bit of blur. Extreme tilt at a very bright aperture will make that slice appear even thinner
• Tilts up to twice as far as standard tilt-shift lenses making it possible to achieve more extreme blur falling off of a very thin slice of selective focus, as compared to the usual slice of focus width and focus fall-off of a typical tilt-shift lens
• Built-in mechanism allows Nikon G lenses to function properly at all apertures. Nikon G lenses do not have an aperture ring on the lens itself. This mechanism allows the aperture to open and close by
manually rotating the lens.
• High quality metal swivel ball for smooth, fluid tilt • Easy grip, metal locking ring controls ease of adjusting tilt
• All metal, precision construction

Composer with Tilt Transformer:

The Lensbaby Composer is a manual focus lens based on a ball and socket configuration that delivers smooth selective focus and other creative photography looks with unparalleled ease. Photographers can simply tilt the lens to a desired angle and then focus with a manual focusing ring. The Composer stays in the desired bent position without requiring a locking mechanism.
The Composer with Tilt Transformer is compatible with the Lensbaby Optic Swap System* and ships with a Double Glass Optic installed. Additional optics can be swapped in and out, providing photographers with a wide range of creative effects including: Single Glass, Plastic, Pinhole/Zone Plate, and Soft Focus.

Composer with Tilt Transformer specs and features:
• All of the Tilt Transformer Specs and Features, plus the following:
• Ships with the Double Glass Optic and optical adapter installed
• The photographer can change the aperture using the included aperture disks from f/1.6 with no disk
installed to f/1.8, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/13, f/22
• Supports the Lensbaby Optic Swap System*, allowing photographers to swap out the Double Glass
Optic and swap in Single Glass, Plastic, Soft Focus, and Pinhole/Zone Plate
• Optical adapter reduces actual focal length of above lenses to ~40mm (~80mm effective focal length) • Focus Type: Manual • Aperture Type: Interchangeable levitating aperture disks • Minimum Focus: approximately 12" (30 cm) / Maximum Focus: Infinity (and beyond)

*Includes the Composer Focus Front Optic Adapter that allows Lensbaby Double Glass, Single Glass, Plastic, Soft Focus and Pinhole/Zone Plate optics to focus to infinity when used with the Composer with Tilt Transformer. As Micro Four Thirds and Sony α NEX cameras do not have an internal mirror, the lens is closer to the sensor than with SLR cameras, requiring this adapter. The Fisheye optic is not compatible with the Composer with Tilt Transformer.

The Tilt Transformer and Composer with Tilt Transformer are available from select specialty photo stores worldwide and from,, and The Tilt Transformer retails for $250 MSRP. The Composer with Tilt Transformer retails for $350 MSRP. For more information contact PR Representative Jessica Darrican at
About Lensbaby
Lensbaby is a Portland, Oregon based manufacturer of award-winning Creative Effects SLR camera lenses. Lensbaby was launched in February 2004 by Craig Strong, a professional photographer and the inventor of the patented Lensbaby Creative Effects SLR lens system. Lensbaby sells to photographers all over the world through its website,, by calling 877-536-7222 / 971-223-5662, at tradeshows, in leading photo retailers and through a growing global network of international distributors.
Media Contacts:
Jessica Darrican Max Borges Agency o: 305-576-1171 x.16 m: 305-299-3449
Keri Friedman Marketing Manager, Lensbaby 503-278-3288