Crystall ball refraction photography. The Lensball brings this mouthful of a photo effect to anyone interested in exploring the powers of a different kind of crystal. Hold this hardened clear crystal sphere in front of your subject and the Lensball will reflect a 180-degree view of the scene, enhancing, bending, and warping it in unique, and often beautiful ways.
Lensball didn’t invent the concept of using a glass ball as a photography accessory, but the company has tried to create a more pristine and reliable product designed specifically for photographers and anyone looking to up their game on Instagram. (Pre-existing options include glass contact-juggling- and medical healing balls.)
Lensballs are made of a lens-grade, optically clear crystal the company says will give you “the sharpest possible image.” Spheres come in 60mm and 80mm sizes, weighing 0.5 and 1.45 pounds respectively. Click through the image gallery above to see some of the neat ideas people have had, and striking effects they’ve achieved with Lensballs and their cameras.
As for cameras, the one on your smartphone will work fine with a Lensball, with no disruption to its autofocus or other features.
Fun Fact: Lensballs can start a fire! In addition to their stunning visual effect, the glass spheres also have a strong magnifying effect. When left exposed to direct sunlight they can ignite anything ignitable in their vicinity within seconds. Lensballs come with a protective microfiber pouch – be sure to store yours in there so as not to burn down the cool things you set out to photograph.