If you want your $3000+ DSLR to take photos that look like a 2007 cell phone took it... then...
Clay Shooter "Breakin' clay makes my day", Amazon
9 February 2014
Summary: I'm not sure what the infatuation with these "lenses" are... but it works well and as advertised. I think there are some very rare instances where you want to blur the sides or foreground so much that you can't recognize it... maybe this is a good use of it.. I have seen a few examples of a portrait photo taken on a busy street scene that the focus of the person's face was crystal clear, and the rest was pretty distorted/blurred... it worked well...
Summary: I bought this product because there is absolutely no way I can afford a real tilt/shift lens, especially for the little amount I would actually use it. Let's face it, it's not something I plan to do a lot. So, I looked at the Lensbaby Spark as a way to let me shoot the occasional tilt/shift shot without breaking the bank. To start off, I will say that it works for the most part, though the results in no way compare to using a real tilt/shift lens.
Summary: Not much control over the lens at all. I'm a photographer and even though I can control all the camera settings, it never really focuses right. I wonder if the more expensive versions are better? Photos with this are so hit or miss. Really only for playing around. Could never use for a client. I've debated selling it because of it's limited use.
Excerpt: Its so cheap, I just got it for fun. I have been free lensing and finally got the hang of that when I decided to try this. I have a very hard time nailing the focus in camera. But this could just be me. I really do like this lens and I have only used it a select number of times.
Cons: Blurry Focus, Poor in Low Light, Tough To Attach, Weak Casing
Summary: It's tough to focus if you wear glasses, but fun to play with. Honestly though, while I didn't have high expectations, I'm not super pleased with the quality. My lens appears to focus to the left of center instead of center focus. Not sure it was worth the investment, as I would definitely qualify it as a "toy" lens. Produced poor to mediocre quality photos on my Canon MkII.
Summary: So I picked this up because it seemed like a fun lens to have and while away spare time snapping photos with. And it is fun to use! The multi-fingered manipulation you need to adopt to simultaneously focus and distort photos sounds tricky, but is in fact (I found) surprisingly easy. You're probably not going to get off any quick reaction shots with it (except maybe by luck), but you soon get the hang of pulling on the lens to tilt and focus it.
Summary: Undoubtedly, and like all worthwhile photographic methods and techniques, practice will improve one's results but I have to say that so far this Lensbaby has not proved a hit with me. Especially given the almost complete lack of written guidance on use provided, and a not particularly helpful series of short videos on YouTube, the user really does have to try this lens out to try to get the any sort of effects.
Summary: Like others, I practiced on stationery objects and you get quite nice flat effects but I've been unable to get a stylised picture like those shown on the product page. I'm using it with a Canon 400D DSLR. It's the most fiddly lens I've got and I think I could get identical effects with post-processing using PSE or Lightroom.