Lensbaby is a line of camera lenses for SLR cameras that combine a simple lens with a bellows or ball and socket mechanism for use in special-effect photography. A lensbaby can give effects normally associated with view cameras. The lenses are popular with photographers for the creative possibilities of the selective focus and bokeh effects.
Lensbabys can be used on cameras that accept interchangeable lenses, mainly of the 35 mm film SLR or digital SLR formats. The focal length of the Lensbaby is approximately 50 mm, making it a normal lens in 35 mm format.
The front standard can be manipulated off axis to move the sharpest area of focus (called the "sweet spot") to almost anywhere in the frame. This allows the important part of the subject to be rendered fairly sharp with everything else out of focus, even if it is the same distance from the camera. The Lensbaby naturally focuses at approximately 2 feet; closer focus is achieved by pushing the front of the lens out, and infinity focus is achieved by pulling the front of the lens toward the base of the lens. There is extreme spherical and some chromatic aberration outside the central sweet spot.
Lensbabys have no electronic components, disabling auto-focus when mounted on modern cameras. The use of auto-focus is further undermined by the spherical aberration in the lens. In most cases Lensbabys require aperture priority or fully manual mode. The Lensbaby can also be used for infrared photography, but don't include an index mark for infrared photography.
Aperture is controlled by a series of interchangeable discs (basically a Waterhouse stop). The lens with the default circular aperture disks produces oval bokeh that point to the sweet spot, as seen in the sample photo on this page, and patterned aperture disks can be used to shape the out-of-focus areas to non-circular shapes.
The Lensbaby is available in several different lens mounts: Canon EF (EOS), Nikon F, Minolta Maxxum/Sony Alpha, Pentax K, Olympus Four Thirds System. All lenses have 37 mm filter threads. Some lens models are available in PL mount versions. 
The Muse has a design similar to the Original Lensbaby and the 2.0. Its simple design consists of an interchangeable optic attached to a flexible tube bellows. The user both focuses and moves the area in focus by squeezing and bending the lens. It does not hold position and requires the photographer to maintain the focus manually. The Muse is available with a plastic or multi-coated glass optical doublet installed, and comes with f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, and f/8 aperture disks. It is compatible with 35mm cameras and PL mount.
The Composer features a ball-and-socket style body coupled with a manual barrel focus. Unlike the original design, the lens stays in position without any locking mechanism. The Composer's stability also allows for the long exposures usually needed for pinhole photography. The Composer comes with f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22 aperture disks and an f/2 multi-coated glass doublet optic installed.
The Scout does not have selective focus control and is intended for use as a traditional fisheye lens with a very close minimum focus distance. It is compatible with all of the other Lensbaby accessories.
Lensbaby sells wide angle, telephoto and macro adapters that screw onto the 37mm threads. In March 2011, Lensbaby introduced seven optics that a user can swap into and out of any of the in-production Lensbaby lenses Among the new products was a plastic optic capable of producing the distortion and chromatic aberration familiar to Holga and LOMO users, a full circle fisheye lens, a pinhole for infinite depth of field, zoneplate optic for very soft-focus effects, and an uncoated glass singlet.
See also 
- Alain Briot (2007-08). "Reflections on Photography & Art - 8: Exercising your Creativity". Luminous Landscape. Retrieved 2011-11-28.
- Andy Westlake (2011-06). "Lensbaby Composer Pro / Sweet 35 Review". dpreview. Retrieved 2011-11-28.
- "Lensbaby FAQ". Retrieved 2011-11-28.
- "Lensbaby Composer". Retrieved 2011-11-28.
- Jackson Lynch (2009-08-24). "Faux Photoshop: Articulating Lens Lets You Art Up Pics on the Fly". Wired. Retrieved 2011-11-28.
- David Kilpatrick (2011-01-06). "Six of the best portrait lenses". British Journal Of Photography. Retrieved 2011-11-28.
- Dan Bracaglia (2010-10-04). "Lensbaby offers user design creative aperture disks". Popular Photo.
- "Lensbaby - Muse PL". 2009-07. Retrieved 2011-11-28.
- Josh Root. "Lensbaby Composer, Muse, Optic Swap System Review". Retrieved 2011-11-28.
- "Lensbaby Muse".
- Martin Bailey (2009-06-17). "The Lensbaby Composer - Initial impressions". Retrieved 2011-11-28.
- "Lensbaby - Scout". Retrieved 2011-11-28.
- "Lensbaby - Optic Swap System". Retrieved 2011-11-28.