Lensbaby is stepping in to make the letdown a bit easier to stomach. The Edge 80 Optic is the latest in the outfit's growing Optic Swap system, which is compatible with the Composer Pro, Composer, Muse, Scout and Control Freak, and it's capable of transforming those bodies into "a tilt lens that delivers a slice of sharp focus through an image that falls off to a soft blur." There's a 12-blade adjustable aperture (f/2.8 through f/22), and when not shifted, it's fully capable of taking flat (read: standard) photographs. As the name implies, there's an 80mm focal length, but macro lovers should be aware that you'll need at least 17-inches to focus on your subject(s).
We've been toying with one on our D3S over the past few days, and it certainly does what it says; moreover, it's far easier to justify at just $300. (For those unaware, dedicated T-S lenses can easily top $1,500.) And if you're already invested in the Optic Swap system, it makes even more sense. Granted, it takes some work to compose a shot. You'll need to rely on manual mode, and you'll need to tweak your ISO to match your desired aperture and available light. Leaving the ISO too high while using f/2.8 in broad daylight will result in white captures, while not boosting the ISO enough after dark will leave your shot murdered out. Once you've got your settings right, though, the lens couldn't be easier to operate, and the shift + lock mechanism is as smooth as butter. We threw together a gallery of our favorites taken recently in Hawaii and French Polynesia, so dive in below to see if this piece of kit is deserving of your attention.