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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Typical effect

Up close with an iPhone 5S photo

Sharpness slider

Sometimes it slips

Creative

No color effect applied

Off-center focus

Vertical shots

Tiny town

Filters

This is the type of shot you get with the focus in the center of the scene.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

The Lensbaby's biggest problem, serious image noise, isn't really its fault. The combination of a decrease in available light, the camera's tiny sensor, a wide-angle lens (which means less detail is available), and lots of intentional blur (which which can get severely degraded during image processing and compression) means that the images look very overfiltered when viewed at 100 percent. This was shot in bright sunlight.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

You can adjust the amount of sharpness applied to the focus area, but as always, sharpening adds artifacts.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

The magnetic grip between the lens and the stick-on mount sometimes loosens and the lens hangs off at an angle.  The result is kind of interesting.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

You can get some very funky effects. Here, I'm shooting into a convex mirrored surface which provides an interesting look.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

The app seems to boost the saturation of bright colors.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

Double-tapping the screen lets you switch between center-focus mode and a movable focus. You can't move the focus area too far toward the edges, though; this is about the farthest it will go.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

I found that there seemed to be a lot more latitude in the area of sharpness when shooting vertically compared to horizontally.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

The wide-angle lens means your focus area is pretty tiny.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

In addition to the lens-based effects, you can also apply filters for black-and-white and sepia.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
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