I just did a post on the Lensbaby Sol 45 and decided to do a comparison post for you showing the differences it offers vs the Lensbaby Sweet 50… which is the lens most people will compare this to when asking how is it different and why would they want one or the other or perhaps both.

The biggest differences in the 2 lenses as I see it:

Sol45 has a larger circle of focus area

Sol45 has less blur and it is a creamier blur not distorted blur like the Sweet 50

Sol45 has a fixed f3.5 aperture where the Sweet 50 has a variable aperture from f2.5-f22

Sol45 is a stand-alone tilt lens with a very small tilt ratio compared to the Composer system.

Sol45 is significantly easier to find your focus than the Sweet lenses in my opinion.

Sol45 has the bokeh blades you can use which is unique to this lens.

Overall I’d say there is good reason to have both lenses in your bag. There is no real comparison to the photos each lens produces. They are significantly different in the effects they offer and the photos you end up with. You can check out my lens test shots of each scene below. You’ll notice on the Sweet 50 photos there is a tighter spot of focus and a more blur. I was trying to set up the scenes so they were as similar to each other as possible to really show the difference each lens offers.

*These photos were processed with the Euphoria preset collection.

Sol 45

Sweet 50

28 Comments

  1. Hanny

    Thanks Denise, love the comparison and love that the sweet spot is bigger then the edge 50.
    I’m going to buy one now.

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      Hope you love it. I like that the spot is larger in this lens too. Was so much easier to focus! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Wendy

    The Sol is on my birthday wish list. Have a few months wait but it should be available in the UK by then. In the meantime, I’m going to drool over pictures like these. So inspiring and beautiful. Your work is outstanding in every way Denise. Just love visiting your site.

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      I hope you love it when you get it! Thank you 🙂

      Reply
  3. Janis Herd

    Thanks so much, Denise! This is very helpful, and exciting!

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      So glad it was helpful! Thank you 🙂

      Reply
  4. Sharon

    Thanks for this comparison, Denise! I’ve already ordered the Sol 45 and can’t wait for it to arrive! Love the effect and the larger area of focus!
    I love your work, textures and actions and find you so inspiring!

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      Thank you!! So glad you found the comparison helpful! Hope you love it when you get it 🙂

      Reply
  5. Heather

    Thank you for this! I sorta did my own little experiment with the DGO and a bokeh disk I cut similar to the Sol’s blades, to see if it was something I thought I could justify getting. I’m not a huge fan of the distortion in the bokeh of the sweet lenses and how it makes a zoomed in effect, it’s just not for me. Plus I’m an extension tube addict! I asked Craig S about using extension tubes and he says that they are compatible and that by using them I would be able to tilt more 🙂 That said, I’m now eagerly awaiting my new Sol 45, and can’t wait to try it out this weekend! I’d love to see what you do with the ext. tubes!

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      Oooo! Hope you love it when you get it! If you are not loving the sweet lenses exaggerated blur – then I think you’ll really like what this lens does better and it is so much easier to find your focus! I’m with you on the extension tubes… totally addicted to using them myself!! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Kimberly Gould

    I have a sweet 35 but extremely frustrated attempting to find that sweet spot of focus. Was considering the Sweet 50 as I read that it was easier than the 35 to focus and then along came Sol45! Got mine on Saturday and I’m loving it. So much easier to use than the 35 but still enough blur to make me feel creative! May still purchase a 50 in the future but happily snapping right now using the Sol45!!!! Thanks for posting the comparison!!!!!

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      I think the Sol 45 is soooo much easier than the sweet50. The sweet lenses are my least favorite because of the focus so the Sol is really nice with that larger focus area!

      Reply
  7. judy momenzadeh

    This was so helpful seeing the same scene shot with each lens. Thanks Denise!

    Reply
  8. Bonnie Mitchell

    So helpful, Denise. I am so grateful for your devotion to your work, teaching skills and effort.

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      So glad it was helpful!! Thank you 🙂

      Reply
  9. Hanny

    Received my Sol45 yesterday and have been experimenting too (of course). I tried to ‘copy’ the bokeh disk and my result was so so.
    I then went into the garage and found some plastic washers in black and ‘white’. They work perfect!
    I will keep on experimenting, lots of fun.

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      Oh good! Glad the plastic washers worked! Have fun experimenting!!

      Reply
  10. Susan

    Thanks, I haven’t done any comparison of the Sol and any other LB I have. I do love the Sol, it’s been on my camera since I got it. I did play with using the built in bokeh blades to hold the creative aperture disks (it works) and have opened up a new bokeh for my Sol. I love the effect of the Sol, but I still like the Sweets.

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      I love them all and love having all the choices. I think it is fun to have a few in my bag as I go out and then seeing the differences you can get with each taking the same scene. Was a fun day!

      Reply
  11. Carla D. Wood

    Thank you SO much for this comparison! This is just perfect, and you have been so helpful in assisting my decision. Eventually, I hope to get both, but I think the Sol is the better option for me right now.

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      Oh good! So glad it was helpful. I think you will really enjoy the Sol! 🙂

      Reply
  12. Fred Eiland

    Thanks, Denise. My Sol 45 just arrived this afternoon and I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet I have the Sweet 50 and I love it, but I think I’m going to love the Sol45 even more as it allows me a wider point of focus and, of course, the option of using the bokeh blades for some interesting results. Your comparison really helps me to understand the difference between the two. I really like that the Sol45 is so compact and easier to focus!

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      So glad you found the comparison helpful! They really both give such different looks – I think you’ll love the sol! 🙂

      Reply
  13. Alex

    Hello Denise,

    Thank you for this and lovely pictures by the way. I was wondering, the whole comparison relies on the focus area being wider with the sol than the sweet. I was under the impression that I could extend the focus area of the sweet by stopping it down. How does it work in real life? What are the apeture values of the sweet 50 shots you are providing here?
    Thanks again

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      Hi! On most of my photography, I shoot with a wider aperture as I love the blur. I am shooting on a comparable aperture on these photos so the comparison was as close to accurate as I could get it. The Sol 45 is a fixed 3.5 aperture – so I had the Sweet 50 about the same.

      Reply
  14. Denise Leitner

    Thanks so much for this post. Just to be clear.. Can I use my macro extender with the sole 45?

    Reply
    • Denise Love

      I use my extension tubes with no problem!

      Reply

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