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What’s the best way to stand out from the crowd and exhibit some eye-catching colors? By applying some colored gels to a Lensbaby Omni effects system, of course!
Home to some of the most unique lenses in the world (fondly called “art” lenses), Lensbaby pride themselves on developing equipment that gives you a slew of unusual in-camera effects. Their newest mind-boggling contraption, the Lensbaby OMNI Filter System, now has an expansion pack for the color enthusiast in us all.
If you’re an out-of-the-box photographer who hasn’t heard of the OMNI yet, you’re missing out.
In simple terms, the Omni Creative Filter System is a metal ring that holds various effect wands in front of the glass to produce an effect. And it works by using the power of magnets. These effect wands come in the form of crystals, panels, and other doohickeys that opens a world of possibilities when used.
The awesome thing about this product is that you can sort-of ‘make a Lensbaby’ out of any existing lens that you own.
As you can imagine, there is a lot of room for growth with this system. This is where the brand new Color Expansion Kit comes into play.
The main original OMNI kit only includes three Effect Wands, a long arm to hold the Effect Wand, a short arm to hold the Effect Wand, two magnetic mounts (each mount holds up to two Effect Wands), and a small carrying case to tie it all together. While this is absolutely awesome, and the effect wands are great, they have the downside of, well… not having color. They are all clear wands.
So how does one fill the gap if they have a bit of an inclination towards color and rainbows?
Boom – the Color Expansion Kit.
Color quickly seeps into your work via two multicolored crystals, a rainbow diffraction film, and a variety of luminescent and textured films and gels (that are held up conveniently by the Effect Wands).
The gels and films come in a variety of colors, and depending upon your positioning of them can be very vibrant and intense or just provide a subtle light leak.
Much like the main OMNI system, this expansion pack is self-explanatory and quite easy to use.
There is a large-ringed, donut-shaped disc that holds the magnetic arms that, in turn, hold the effects wands. This disc, depending on your lens filter thread, can either be screwed on directly or use a step-down/step-up ring to attach to your lenses’ glass element.
The filters and microgels are just thin strips that slide into the same effects holder as the diffraction film. This holder is solid and sturdy and ensures that your films don’t slide around. The wind picking up could not cause these to budge!
Shallow depths of field tend to work very nicely with this particular expansion pack, and the filters turn into a part of the bokeh and spread across the frame rather than showcase their rectangular shape.
The wider the focal length you use, the more room you have to play with each of the new components. For example, the crystals work better with 35mm frames than, say, 85mm, as the effect becomes more prominent.
This filter set works best in bright, good lighting as opposed to low light as the filters do darken the frame quite a bit.
The Lensbaby OMNI gets your creative juices flowing, pushes you to try new things, and adds a brand new spark of life to your images. Offer your subjects something different! The addition of color only expands your horizons further.
Can you achieve the same with a do-it-yourself method? Probably. But there is so much room for error or frustration there, versus a system that is already tried and true! I love playing with this system, and I have no doubt whoever nabs it next will too.
Have you used any of the Lensbaby OMNI filter systems? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.