Learn what a lens ball is, how it works, and how you can use it to create a variety of breathtaking photos
The lens ball has become a fever among photography enthusiasts and digital influencers: the small ball that acts as a lens lets you capture landscapes in a completely different way and what’s better, you don’t need anything but a cell phone to use it. Understand what it is and how to use the famous lens ball with the camera.
The lens ball is nothing more than a small sphere made of K9 crystal, the same one used in photographic lenses, that allows the viewer to capture a landscape through it, using refractive light effects: because of its shape and how light crosses the sphere, the image forms on it upside down, giving a beautiful effect to the click.
It’s the same principle as an ordinary camera or a darkroom, an experiment you can do with a cardboard box.
The company that started selling lens balls first has two models of different diameters, 8 and 10 cm respectively, but you can find very small options in the market, up to 6 cm. There are also models made of ordinary glass or resin (which vendors claim to be sturdy, which is true), which do not have the same quality as a lens ball made of crystal used in lenses.
You don’t have to use any kind of state-of-the-art photographic equipment, or appeal to the most powerful iPhone or Android of the moment. Your phone, no matter how simple or dedicated your camera is, whether it’s a DSLR or not will all have similar results when shooting the small crystal sphere. Just point the camera at the sphere and shoot the image formed inside it (upside down).
The only caveat though is the fact that the image will be flipped in the photo (something you can fix in photo editors like Photoshop); Other factors such as the quality of the photo itself obviously depend on the type of equipment you are using to take the photo, from an input phone to a high end camera.
Therefore, the most important tool for using a lens ball is your imagination. Don’t be shy when shooting any kind of situation using the spherical lens, just be careful when carrying and storing it. After all, crystal is a very fragile material.