A Unique Perspective. The Lens Ball Review. Samples and thoughts.

A Unique Perspective. The Lens Ball Review. Samples and thoughts.

By Steve Huff

So one day while answering messages on Facebook I saw an ad in my news feed for a “lens ball”. It looked to be a glass ball and nothing more. You know, almost like a “crystal ball”. But when I saw some samples of some who have used it, I thought “wow, that’s sort of cool”! Even though I figured it would be a gimmick and I would use it for a few days and never again, I bought one from the Facebook ad. $30 or so and 2 weeks later I received my lens ball. Just as it was marketed, it was a glass ball that one can use like a lens, a very ultra wide lens to fill the ball with your subject while being different, unique and fun.

My Video Overview of the Lensball

Now this is just a glass ball but when I started using it not only was I wowed by this, so were my son, my mom, Debby and others I was snapping away at. It’s a cool concept and not one to use all the time but when you want to have some fun, maybe at a family gathering, holiday party or get together… a cool way to add something different to the normal photos. It’s also pretty cheap to get into. Here is some info on the lens ball, from lensball.com (where I bought mine):

“Lensball is an ultra-clear sphere made out of K9 crystal. K9 crystal is incredibly hard, scratch resistant and most commonly used in lenses and optics. Generally, the 80MM Lensball gives you the best possible result. However, the 60MM Lensball weighs only 250 grams, and is therefore perfect for travelling, or when you just don’t feel like carrying around its 650 gram big brother! Think of Lensball as a gorgeous accessory that sparks the interest of everyone around you with the added benefit that it allows you to capture breathtaking images.”

With that said, I bought the largest 80mm version, and it is what I would recommend. At $34.95 with free shipping, it’s a very cool photo accessory to have in your arsenal. I can see some cool wedding shots coming out of this. Maybe 1-2 shots in a wedding portfolio? Yep.

The ball itself is high quality, scratch free and clear as can be. I have seen some on Amazon but they may or may not be of lesser quality. See the amazon version HERE. 

So below you will see a few fun samples from my 1st couple of days with a lens ball. CLICK THEM for larger versions. Some were shot with an Olympus PEN-F and the Venus Optics 7.5mm f/2 lens from LAOWA lens. Other were shot with a Leica SL and 24-90. Doesn’t matter though as the lens used here for the subjects was the lens ball! Cheap, fun, solid, and great quality. I recommend this for anyone looking for something different to shake up their creative minds a bit ; )

CLICK IMAGES FOR LARGER VERSIONS!

Getting Spooky with the Crystal Ball

Add some water underneath, a light source and some agitation and you never know what you will capture in this thing… I placed a jar underneath with 2″ of water, some red food color, shook the glass and snapped these photos (yes really). Many of you may not know I also run Huff Paranormal and have been doing paranormal work for seven years. Visual and audible communication with those who say they are the dead (yes, really). Below are images caught using the lens ball in this scenario and is part of water scrying, mixed with crystal ball scrying. So the lens ball can be used for many things, and for under $35, or even $15 it is a great buy if you want to boost you creative mind or are in a slump. This can help bring you out of a slump. It’s fun, cool and I would bet that many of you have never tried this! I haven’t, so for me it was a nice surprise.

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7 thoughts on “A Unique Perspective. The Lens Ball Review. Samples and thoughts.

  1. Hi!
    I have a 150mm (6 inch) and 200mm (8 inch) glass sphere and on a CNC lathe i turned a 120mm (about 5 inches) plexiglass sphere with a spherical hollow out of it; I never used them for photography. The 200mm sphere weighs 17 pounds.

    A few years ago, in San Francisco, I saw a 300mm (1 foot) ball for sale ($1,000). I was tempted but it weighed 70 pounds, so no go.
    Right now, you can buy 60cm (2 foot) crystal spheres for like $600.
    These spheres are cast under a vacuum to not get any bubbles; I think they’re ground between two diamond discs; there is a grinding process where the object ground gets more and more spherical until even the most accurate machines can’t measure faults any more. In such machines balls for ball bearings are ground. You can find steel balls up to 200mm (8 inches)

    Try to just capture the image with a macro lens.

    Years ago I did work with a large (150mm, 6 inch) light bulb with silver coating over half of it and a full frame fish eye. It was sort of good work.

    Bye,

    Dirk.

  2. I wonder if a mount could be made to keep it stable? Maybe glue a small patch on top so it could be suspended with a string.

    That reminds me of the human eye with its simple two element lens system (cornia and lens). The retina is radically curved in the back of the eye. I’ve read (somewhere) that the image transmitted through the optic nerve to the brain is fisheye like in its distortion. The brain ( in it’s amazing adaptive abilities) is able straighten out curved lines to straight. Sort of a super advanced photo processor. It would be of scientific interest if a camera could be made exactly like the eye and then see if a computer program could be made to make it look like human vision.
    Sorry for getting a bit off topic

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