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New Lensbaby OMNI filter system waves a wand over your images… literally

Lensbaby Omni

Forget your boring regular filters. Pack away those polarisers. Imaging innovator Lensbaby has a whole new concept in filter effects that makes all those Cokin special effects filters of the 1980’s (remember those?) look tame. 

The new Omni system comes with three effect ‘wands’ that clip magnetically to the filter adaptor, and can be moved around freely. You use them individually or in combination and shoot through them to produce all manner of prismatic light flare effects.

Obviously it’s not magic (we know that much), but Lensbaby is clearly aiming for a New Age vibe here. The standard pack ($99.95) includes three effects wands called ‘Crystal Seahorse’, ‘Stretch Glass’ and ‘Rainbow Film’, and there will be a $49.95 Expansion pack with three more wands: ‘Scalloped Window’, ‘Crystal Spear’ and ‘Triangular Prism’.

Wand attachment and filter sizes

The ‘wands’ attach to a screw-in filter adaptor available in Small (Native 58mm – also fits 49mm, 52mm, 55mm) and Large (Native 77mm – also fits 62mm, 67mm, 72mm & 82mm) sizes. The adaptor has four magnetic ‘ball’ sockets for adding and manoeuvring the wands to get the lighting effect you’re looking for.

Lensbaby is offering its Omni system as a more controllable alternative to shooting through handheld objects, and while some might look at this as just another ‘arty’ hipster novelty, Lensbaby’s image gallery does show some very nice effects. In particular, the Omni system could prove very valuable to portrait photographers trying to create atmospheric lighting effects in otherwise uninteresting lighting.

The Omni system is available for pre-order right now at $99.95, and we’ll bring you a review just as soon as we can get our hands on a sample!

Read more:

How to use polarizing filters for colorful cross-polarization effects
Seascape photography tips: using an ND filter and slow shutter speeds
• The 50 best photography and camera accessories to get right now