Using the Lensbaby Control Freak

The Control Freak lens from Lensbaby is a lens that can be used for selective focus. Selective focus creates photos that have a single object in focus, with the rest of the image out of focus and blurry. This lens can be bent and compressed until the shooting sweet spot is found. The 3 pins can lock the lens position into place. This uses a manual focus and is one of the several lenses available built specifically for selective focus.


The name of this lens is control freak, and the name says everything about the person that would want this lens. This is perfect for those fussy photographers that want every little thing perfect. The front end twists and allows for a single sharp spot of focus, and then everything else blurry. The lens was designed for studio and close up work. It can be used with the Lensbaby optic swap system.

Sweet Spot

The Lensbaby lenses all have what is called a sweet spot or the spot where the focus is sharp. This sharp focus occurs at the center of the lens. However, by bending the bellows on the lens, it is possible to change the location of the sweet spot in the image. The size of the sweet spot can also be altered by using different aperture settings. A wider aperture will create a smaller sweet spot with more of the image being blurred. For a wider sweet spot, set the aperture as smaller.


The aperture diameter is not controlled by the camera, but is controlled by the aperture discs that come with the lens. To have the camera work properly with the manual aperture discs, set the camera to aperture priority. This way, it is easy to meter the light needed for the fixed aperture. It can take a little time to get used to suing these manual aperture settings, but after some practice shots, it becomes very easy.


This Lensbaby control freak can be considered an upgrade to the Lensbaby 2.0.The new features include a button that can lock the lens into place, knobs for release, the ability to do a fine adjust once the lens is locked into place, the ability to adjust the bend settings and ultimately change the sweet spot orientation. This fine adjustment is what makes the control freak label fit. Once the lens is locked, it is possible to do the small adjustments even with the lock in place. This is particularly good when having the camera on a tripod. Each shot will come out perfect. You no longer have to take many shots in order to find one good one.


The control freak comes with a double glass optic and has a focal length of 50 mm. The aperture can be changed by using the aperture disks. The minimum focus is about 30 cm, and the maximum focus is infinity. It is a light lens, as it only weighs 5.7 oz. This is a manual focus and also contains a fingertip fine focus on the barrel. It will fit many of the latest digital SLR cameras. Be sure to check the model, as it does not fit every camera model.