Kenko Anamorflare filters review: Get light rays on a budget

Kenko's Anamorflare filters add striking effects to stills and video, but they subtly alter the quality too

Six Kenko Anamorflare filter boxes in the sun
(Image: © Lauren Scott)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Kenko's Anamorflare filters do exactly what they're designed to do – introduce bold light rays into your images for natural and artificial light. I found them easy to use, and the flare you get is more organic than anything you could achieve in the editing suite. Using the filters does affect the overall quality, introducing line patterns in bokeh areas that might frustrate purists. But if you like bold, cinematic flare, they're a total dream.


  • +

    Ability to change beam angle

  • +

    Lens cap can be mounted on

  • +

    Pronounced creative effect


  • -

    Expensive to buy separately

  • -

    Limited thread sizes

  • -

    Some optical defects

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I’ve tried every filter-adding app out there, from Instagram to VSCO. And I’ve been playing around with presets and filter tools in Lightroom for just as long. I even have a folder called "lens flares and light leaks" which I'll occasionally open in Photoshop when I need to jazz up a landscape image in a hurt. So what?

Despite all that, I still firmly believe in using the best filters over adding digital ones in the editing suite. The visuals are just better when you filter the light during capture, especially for creative effects. The results are more accurate. More realistic and more believable. But only if you have good quality glass. That’s why I was interested to try the relatively new Kenko Anamorflare filters, designed to replicate the characteristic flare you get from anamorphic lenses... without the cost and faff of actually using anamorphic lenses.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Filter TypeCreative flare effects
Available sizes82mm
Coatings Water-repellent
Glass Not stated
Frame MaterialAluminum
VariationsBlue, green, yellow, red, clear, rainbow
Swipe to scroll horizontally
FeaturesIt achieves one creative effect★★★☆☆
DesignBuilt well and easy to use★★★★☆
PerformanceThe flare is intense, but in bright light★★★★☆
ValueA little overpriced for what you get★★★☆☆
Lensbaby OMNI Color Expansion Pack

Lensbaby OMNI Color Expansion Pack
Designed to work with the OMNI creative filter system, this color expansion pack contains accessories like wands and gels to add rainbows and flares to your images. Overall it's more expensive than buying one Anamorflare filter, but it's better value and more versatile than getting a couple.

Fractals Filters Classic

Fractals Filters Classic
If you're looking for ways to create general special effects in-camera, this three-pack of prism filters opens up many creative possibilities. Our reviewer praised their build quality but found holding them in front of the lens more awkward than using a screw-on filter.

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Lauren Scott
Freelance contributor/former Managing Editor

Lauren is a writer, reviewer, and photographer with ten years of experience in the camera industry. She's the former Managing Editor of Digital Camera World, and previously served as Editor of Digital Photographer magazine, Technique editor for PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, and Deputy Editor of our sister publication, Digital Camera Magazine. An experienced journalist and freelance photographer, Lauren also has bylines at Tech Radar,, Canon Europe, PCGamesN, T3, Stuff, and British Airways' in-flight magazine (among others). When she's not testing gear for DCW, she's probably in the kitchen testing yet another new curry recipe or walking in the Cotswolds with her Flat-coated Retriever.