Lensbaby has a long and brilliant reputation as the go to shop for selective focus lenses, and this year, they’ve added a way for you to get that same selective focus awesomeness from the convenience of your mobile phone.
The product I am referring to is the Lensbaby LM-10, a selective focus lens that you can attach to virtually any mobile phone with a camera. The lens is compatible with your standard camera apps, or if you want more control, you can download the Lensbaby app.
I had the opportunity to take a look at this fun new product at PhotoPlus in NYC, and Lensbaby was kind enough to send me this unit to use for an extended test. So far, I am loving it, and here is my review.
Lensbaby LM-10 Review
As I mentioned above, the Lensbaby LM-10 is a selective focus optic that you connect to your camera phone via a magnetic lip that you place around your camera lens. It is small, and comes with this great little carrying case which you can put on your keychain so you always have it with you.
I have honestly never really considered many ‘add-on optics’ for my phone before, thinking that most were gimmicky, and cheap. That was exactly opposite of my reaction to trying out the Lensbaby LM-10. It delivers on all fronts, giving you a quality selective focus look from your phone that can be easily shared via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
It’s not something that I would use all the time, but it is great fun for playing around and trying to be a little more artsy with your mobile phone photography. The only issue I had was that with the mobile app (which is not required to use the LM-10), I had some issues moving the focus point. It also took some getting used to as I had to play with it a while before I could get any relatively sharp images I could use. For that reason, I gave it a 4 out of 5 for performance.
Well, what is there to say about the features? The app works well (except for the one issue I mentioned above, not sure if it was just my phone, or what), and the lens connects to my phone with ease. Beyond that, it’s simple and is honestly the most fun I have had with my phone camera in a while.
The design of the Lensbaby LM-10 is genius. The optic connects to your phone via a magnetic connector that you attach to your camera with an adhesive. You can connect the lens at either end, and it still works flawlessly. This, combined with the nice carrying keychain makes for a great experience. Easily a 5 out of 5 stars for design.
One of my biggest concerns with this initially, was how well the product would be built. I can say now, without a doubt, this is a quality product. It’s solid from front to back, and I am confident it would survive life on my keychain and all the dings and bangs that go with it. It is all metal, and feels very well built. Easily a 5 out of 5 stars for quality.
The Lensbaby LM-10 comes in at just under $70, so it’s not exactly a cheap phone add-on, but as I have talked about above, it is very well built. Taking this into consideration, and the fact that this is able to be used on such a wide variety of phones (and on multiple phones, since they give you several of the phone connectors) feel like it is easily worth the price – even if it seems weird spending so much on a phone accessory.
Final Thoughts on the Lensbaby LM-10
Overall, this is obviously not a tool for everyone, but if you are into that sort of tilt-shift or that dreamy selective focus look, then this is a phone accessory that you will want to look at. Use it to take your Instagram images to another level of artsy, or just to play with for some fun. It is almost the gift giving season as well, and this would be an amazing gift for the ‘iPhoneographers’ in your life. I enjoyed it very much, and I am sure that you will as well, so our final rating is a very solid 4.5 out of 5 stars.
If you are interested in grabbing an LM-10 for yourself, or maybe as a gift for one of your friends/family, you can order them now from B&H for $69.95. Special thanks to B&H for their sponsorship of our coverage of PPE, without which reviews like this one would not have been possible.