English Downland and a Lensbaby Plastic Lens

Been out today in some brilliant weather – up on the chalk downland which is in full summer mode with grasses, butterflies and birds everywhere.

In an attempt to stop taking IR shots on the Sony RX100, an old favourite was attached to a Canon 60D – the Lensbaby composer with the plastic lens and (very) manually changed apertures. As I’m not really a landscape photographer, the best subjects to concentrate on were the flowers and grasses, rendered very softly with this odd lens.

In order to boost the contrast the ‘Clear’ colour profile was used in camera. Other important settings were centre weighted metering, magnified LCD focussing and RAW file output as exposures can be all over the place – display a histogram on the LCD and keep an eye on it! Unless you really like lying down and getting up a lot, the pivoting LCD screen on the 60D is very useful for this sort of subject, though it’s difficult to see in bright sunlight. It’s all a bit hit and miss to be honest.

First some buttercups, post processed to give the yellow of the flowers a reddish hue. No aperture disk so very soft – just the essentials of the subject really. A neutral density filter (x3) was needed to prevent overexposure at f2.


This was shot with the f4 aperture disk and converted to black and white in DXO filmpack to give it a harder contrast to cut into the softness and let the chalk path burn out.


Finally another at f4 (once an aperture disk is in I rarely change it). Some odd flare top right, but given the lens it doesn’t seem to matter.


Not a bad day at all – I may have picked up a slight suntan too!

Thanks for looking, hope you like them!


13 thoughts on “English Downland and a Lensbaby Plastic Lens

  1. The plastic can be particularly persnickety, especially wide open. I almost always shoot at least at f4, especially in bright sun. These are Lovely. The plastic does lend itself to mono treatments, I think.

    • It’s certainly as unpredictable as IR film so couldn’t agree more! It’s ‘good’ results though are very nice – hence the use of the ‘Clear’ profile which turns soupy low contrast mush on the LCD into something you can focus on….. The mono conversion is always tempting as the colours are always a bot weird.
      Thanks for the comment.

    • Hello Anette – thanks for the comment.

      It’s always fun using this lens as you’re never really sure what the shots will look like until they’re in the RAW processor.

    • Thanks Lesley – the CLEAR colour profile helped a lot to boost the contrast on the LCD when composing. Rather annoyed I didn’t think of it earlier!

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