Lomography launches lens set designed to fit any camera


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/05/05/lomography-launches-lens-set-d.html


The quality of the lens glass is what concerns me, that’s what would affect the final product.


The diversity of images on the kickstarter page suggests that it’s better than say, that Fujian or similar CCTV lenses. So presumably better also than the refinements of those designs you can get from companies like SLR Magic?

I think this is aimed at the sort of shooter who cobbles together the “russian m42 set” (Helios 44-2, Jupiter-9, Mir-1B iirc) to get that dreamy but sharp-enough vintage film look on video.


Good point!


At those prices it seems unlikely to match the quality of a vintage Nikon or Pentax lens, but Lomography isn’t selling to people who are that fussy about such things. They’re selling to hipsters who want something cool and flashy. (I should note, I’m okay with that, even if I am not the target market). On the other hand, the kinds of convertible lenses typical for large format (where you can switch elements to change focal length) where never considered to be quite as good as their single-lens equivalent; it was a compromise.


I’m a little unsure of how this is supposed to be better than the basic prime lenses for most DSLRs along with a little selective unsharp filtration in Photoshop or Gimp. Traditional wide aperture portrait lenses achieve maximum resolution in the centre at or near full aperture and are soft at the edges, thus reinforcing the defocusing of the background. But phone cameras now do this in software, and just about every SLR lineup has a lens like this.


Perhaps an “Art Lens” is not something you want to get too close to.

I respect the right of photographers to not be photorealists; but when ‘Art’ is right on the spec sheet; you know that the technical characteristics are reserving the right to be…interesting.


The weirdness of certain vintage lenses, the desirable shortcomings and flaws, is hard to replicate—especially as video. Though Lomo seems to be claiming not to be going for this sort of thing.

The lensbaby velvet 56 comes to mind:



Ah, the joys of astigmatism and double refraction!


The tl;dr version of their pitch would be:

A lens base for the three major mounts featuring a manual helicoid focusing mechanism and a stopless adjustable manual aperture with a front mount that supports these new lenses, allowing you to easily use shaped aperture plates for special bokeh effects (think Lensbaby) and and quickly change lenses which are smaller and lighter than lenses that incorporate a focusing mechanism and aperture. The system supports full frame systems, and the simple construction of the lens provides image quality comparable to similar uncomplicated art lenses, and as all three lenses use the same front diameter, folks who use filters wouldn’t need to carry multiples.

The tl;dr version of that would be:

Three full frame prime lenses with a custom mount, and a separate manual aperture/focusing assembly available in the three major mounts. Plus lensbaby-like aperture plates with shapes.

Seems like a fun thing, and for many would beat scouring ebay for old Russian lenses.


I guess I can see a market for it, albeit a small one. As far as video goes, I think you’d be surprised what a person with some programing knowledge and too much time on their hands can do with avisynth… While the user/creator base tends to focus on making perfection, the basis exists in the software to make just about any type of filtering system you can imagine.


SLR camera lenses were the original ecosystem.


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