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Lensbaby LM-10 Sweet Spot Lens for Mobile review: Lensbaby mobile lens more fun than a barrel of filters

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The Good You can have a lot of fun with the Lensbaby LM-10 Sweet Spot lens for mobile, and its mount is thin enough that it shouldn't interfere with most cases or other lens attachments.

The Bad The company has a one-size-fits-all approach to mounts, which in some cases means applying it to glass.

The Bottom Line The Lensbaby LM-10 Sweet Spot lens is a fun and fairly inexpensive phone camera accessory that works on both iPhones and Android phones.

8.0 Overall

Lensbaby took its signature special-effects lenses for interchangeable-lens cameras (like the Spark and the Edge 80) and shrank them down to phone size. The Lensbaby LM-10 Sweet Spot Lens for Mobile, which began as a Kickstarter, is now available for all at $70. That will run £45 and AU$80 for shoppers in the UK and Australia, respectively, via Lensbaby's site.

The LM-10 produces Lensbaby's signature effect of a "sweet spot" of focus surrounded by a highly exaggerated blur. While you can get similar effects digitally, as far as I can tell no one has quite replicated the blur that's produced by real optics, even with the defocus algorithms built into many recent cameras and phones. With the lens, you get an effect that's very similar to the one you get when zooming a lens while shooting, a combination of motion blur and depth-of-field blur.

The hardware for Apple and Android phones is the same -- an adhesive metal disk that you attach around your phone's lens and a roughly 17mm-equivalent lens magnetized on both ends. It's attractive, made of anodized aluminum and glass, and feels well-constructed.

The lens is kind of long, but the adhesive and magnet hold pretty well; it's a lot grippier than the preproduction version I used. However, I stand by my initial complaint that the spare disc will get lost really easily.

Plus, I really didn't want to stick it to my HTC One; while the actual camera lens is small enough, it's covered by a bigger disc of either plastic or glass. I can't stomach the thought of adhering something to that. I'm more OK with glue on metal.

The LM-10 comes with a clever dual-sided lens cover that's held on by tension. Sarah Tew/CNET

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