Announced earlier this year, the new OMNI system from Lensbaby allows filmmakers to mount a variety of elements in front of the lens to capture more creative and powerful images. Filmmakers have long mounted elements in front of their lens to create custom looks, but the OMNI is designed to make this both easier and more repeatable with magnetic mounting points that allow creatives to more mount image modifiers to the front of the lens more precisely and with more stability.
In addition to the OMNI, Lensbaby offers multiple options for what you might want to attach to the lens. Initially, it launched with a crystal pack, perfect for elegant lens distortions and light flares, and they are now expanding with a new color pack that combines color crystals and both flat and curved color gels for creating rich, dynamic imagery.
- Crystal Multicolor Teardrop and Crescent wand, each with a unique spectral coating resulting in constantly changing prismatic colors on top of the crystals’ multi-faceted fractal effects
- Set of five smooth-surface Lumi Films in a range of colors and hues which add color, light leaks, expired film effects & more
- Set of five textured Lumi Films which create flare effects from the texture, also in a range of colors and hues which add color, light leaks and expired film effects
- Set of five Color Gels, each of which adds a single swath of color overlay
- Crisscross Rainbow film that creates a patterned rainbow effect
- Two Effect Wand handles to hold the gels & films
Doing anything "in-camera" always raises the question: "Why do it now when I could do it in post?"
The simplest reason, of course, is that you might not have control in post-production. Many projects get finished without the DP or even the director in the room, and the more you bake in your look in-camera, the surer you can be that what you see is what you're going to get.
Beyond that, there are benefits of evaluating your image on set with your whole team together, and getting a group buy-in on a look that can take far longer in post-production which you might not have in your schedule.
There are also things that just have to be done on set. A crystal bending light and shifting wavelengths will always look different from a post-production filter that isn't manipulating light, but a digital signal. When pursuing your vision for your project, it's worth testing all avenues to really see what creates the look you are after. We look forward to seeing the creative use of the tools in experimental and music video work.
Credit: Chris Korsak
Credit: Rachel Shomsky
The new Color Pack and Crystal Expansion Pack are available now. The OMNI Creative Filter System, both the small and large flavors, retail for $99.95, the Color Pack retails for $59.95, and the Crystal Expansion Pack retails for $49.95.