A great way to capture one-of-a-kind shots.
I’ve been collecting unique photography accessories for the past year or so as I’ve dived farther into taking stylized photographs. Not too long ago, I heard about the Lensball, which is quite possibly the most unusual and amazing photography accessory I’ve had the pleasure of using. It really takes my pictures to the ‘next’ level.
Lensball is literally a ball that you line up inside your photo frame so that you have a unique-looking shot. The Lensball will magnify, flip images, and pulls images into focus to create one-of-a-kind photos. Lensball comes in two sizes — Pocket (60mm; 250g) and Pro (80mm; 650g). Because Lensball was designed to be available for all photographers, it’s affordable (starting at $24.95 for the Pocket version).
Lensball was designed to work for every type of photographer. It will work with professional-grade cameras as well as mobile phones. Autofocus should not ‘freak’ out when met with the Lensball. The product designers of Lensball got the idea for Lensball after seeing photos on Instagram that featured glass contact-juggling and medical healing balls. It was a creative use of props that drew in the designers of Lensball. After seeking out a product they thought might work, they discovered that they would have to create the ball out of crystal to make it both durable and smoothed to perfection.
I was intrigued by the process of how Lensball is made so I thought I would outline it here. The ball is made from a crystal that has been cut into perfect cubes and then heated up to a temperature of 3000º F so that it can be molded into a sphere. The crystal balls are gradually cooled to avoid there being any imperfections in them. After they cool, the balls are polished so that they are transparent. Each Lensball is inspected and only one in four balls pass. The others are recycled and the process starts over for them.
I was very excited to try out the Lensball and not long after it arrived, I unwrapped it and grabbed a quick photo of a hand-drawn picture that was gifted to me for Christmas (you can see the shot in the first photo of this article). It was such a unique shot that I couldn’t wait to test it out more. Living in the midwest, our weather can be really hit and miss this time of year. During one of the nice spring days we had recently, I took off to a small local park where there are a nice lake and a wooded area. This led me to take some really nice photos, but it also led to an interesting discovery.
As I was setting up a shot, my fiancé was holding the Lensball in her hand. It was early afternoon — around 2 PM — and after a few seconds, she noticed her hand felt like it was burning. We discovered that since the Lensball is a perfect sphere and made of crystal, that it will focus sunlight in the same way that a magnifying glass will. Therefore, you can actually use it to start a fire (see the photo with the leaf below. The holes. This didn’t impede our ability to capture photos, but it’s something that we were definitely aware of as finished our outdoor photo shoot.
About a week after the visit to the park, I decided to grab some shots from a walking bridge that is actually an overpass across one of the busiest highways in our city. I happened to make it there right as the sun was setting. I caught a couple of really nice shots through the Lensball. I was impressed with how well it handled capturing the sunset since it was so far in the distance. I also loved how the horizon looked through the crystal.
Lensball is a great tool for photographers. It’s an amazing piece of equipment and it comes with a great story. With it, you can create your own photo stories in unique and beautiful ways.
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