Updated: Mar 8, 2021
Looking for something new to add a bit of spice to your photo adventures? We have our favorite accessory for your camera bag.
Lens balls are clear 'crystal' balls that typically fit in the palm of your hand with ease. Photographers enjoy using them as props, or a second frame to situate a landscape or subject within. Lens balls won't help with producing sharp images as the ball itself is not made of optical glass, however if you manually focus, you can get some sharp-looking images out of your new toy.
A couple tips for someone shooting with a lens ball for the first time:
We highly recommend finding a lens ball no larger than 80mm in diameter as the weight alone can be daunting for someone who wants to photograph with one hand and hold the lens ball with another. We've learned that larger lens balls can be exhausting to hold out in front of you for longer than a minute.
Never, ever, leave a lens ball unattended. Lens balls, like a magnifying glass, will focus light very quickly and can lead to some serious burns or even start a fire. (Really, we have burned our own hands with one.)
Remember to store your lens ball away in a box, black cloth, or a lens bag. You don't want to scratch the crystal surface or else it may take away from the shots you capture with it.
Use a macro lens to shoot with your lens ball, and manually focus as much as you can. If your camera has a focus peaking mode, turn focus peaking on to ensure you get the sharpest image possible. Macro lenses will allow you to focus on the landscape within the lens ball without you needing to be a distance away.
Try to pack a microfiber with you when you decide to bring your lens ball on your next adventure. Cleaning off your lens ball will help you produce images with less haze.
Find that there's too much light shining on the ball itself? Try to find a spot that is shady, or try out your CPL (Circular Polarizing) filter to see if it reduces the glare. CPL filters cut through a good amount of glare on glassy surfaces.
Lens balls reflect your image upside-down. Keep in mind that you may want to shoot in a way where if the image were to be flipped, the composition isn't thrown off.
Have a bit of fun with your lens ball and practice, practice, practice. We have had customers pick up a lens ball and find that they aren't getting the right type of shots. Remember to focus on:
Using a Macro Lens
Want to purchase a lens ball from us? We have lens balls seasonally, and are happy to order more if there is a demand. Click any of the lens ball photos or here to be redirected to order a lens ball via our website. If you see we are out, and want to order through us, just give us a ring and we can 100% order more!