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Lensbaby's analog approach to filter effects (sample photos)

Lensbaby Kickstarts its new lens line, bringing its signature blur effects to mobile devices.

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Lori Grunin
Lensbaby Creative Focus lens for mobile phones photo sample
1 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Typical effect

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

Lensbaby Creative Focus lens for mobile phones photo sample
2 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Up close with an iPhone 5S photo

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.

Lensbaby Creative Focus lens for mobile phones photo sample
3 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Sharpness slider

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

Lensbaby Creative Focus lens for mobile phones photo sample
4 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Sometimes it slips

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.

Lensbaby Creative Focus lens for mobile phones photo sample
5 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Creative

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

Lensbaby Creative Focus lens for mobile phones photo sample
6 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

No color effect applied

The app seems to boost the saturation of bright colors.

Lensbaby Creative Focus lens for mobile phones photo sample
7 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Off-center focus

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.

Lensbaby Creative Focus lens for mobile phones photo sample
8 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Vertical shots

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

Lensbaby Creative Focus lens for mobile phones photo sample
9 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Tiny town

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

Lensbaby Creative Focus lens for mobile phones photo sample
10 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Filters

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

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