About this project
THIS PROJECT HAS BEEN FUNDED!
Thank you, Kickstarter backers! You've made the Lensbaby Sweet Spot Lens for Mobile a reality. We can’t wait to ship you the lenses and see what magic you create with them.
Backers, stay tuned for more updates soon! And in the meantime, stay in touch via:
We at Lensbaby have been helping DSLR-owning photographers see and document their worlds in unique and creative ways for the past 10 years. Professional photographer Craig Strong, our Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer, featured in our video above, has been leading the charge. These days, we know more and more people (including us!) are using their mobile phones to capture their everyday life. For years, our customers have been asking "When are you going to make a Lensbaby for mobile phones?" The answer is now, with a little help from you.
Our Sweet Spot Lens (patent pending) for Android and iPhone lets you focus on one point of your image (which we call the Sweet Spot of focus) with the outer edges falling off into gradually increasing blur. It's the look we founded our company on and remains our most popular effect.
Kickstarter backers can purchase this lens for $50 - that's $20 less than it will retail for once we bring it to market after Kickstarter rewards are fulfilled. We're sure you'll love this lens, but if you don't, as with all of our products, we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
We want you to experiment with your mobile phone photography and push your creative boundaries to make fun and unique photos in the moment. And as we've always believed, optically altering your photo while you're photographing, is one of the best and most engaging ways to do this.
Lensbaby photographers thrive on the journey of photography. This lens will surprise and delight you, as you see the way it plays with light and depth of field in a way no other lens does. Expect the unexpected!
You'll be able to see the special effect as you're shooting. Move the sweet spot around the frame to find your best composition—and snap! You've composed a shot that expresses your creative vision.
Why take an image with a single spot of focus surrounded by blur? It lets you direct the viewer's eye exactly where you want it to land. Tell a story about the most important thing in your photo. Create a surreal, dreamy mood. Add a feeling of motion to your image. Push the lens to its extreme and create abstract imagery.
Transform a scene into what you see in your imagination by placing street lights, or holiday lights, into the blur of the image. This is a magical lens—pop it on your phone and go out and explore the world around you!
How To Attach
Simply adhere one of our adhesive-backed stainless steel rings around your phone's lens. Our lens has two magnets, one on each end. Use either of these magnets to mount and remove your Lensbaby from your phone with ease.
Due to their large surface area and super-strong adhesive, our high quality stainless steel rings will adhere securely to your phone. The magnets on the front and back of our lens are twice as thick and strong as the magnets on other magnetic accessory lenses.
The magnet on both ends of the lens means that you can use your other magnetic mobile lenses (like wide angle, fisheye, macro, telephoto) on top of our lens to adjust focal length and effect. Our extra strong magnets will hold the weight of even the largest accessory lenses that you may want to attach. The possibilities are limitless! When using other magnetic accessories with our lens, one end will repel and the other will attract the magnet of your accessory.
We're including a free app that's been created to ensure the best possible shooting experience with your Lensbaby. Due to the optical design of this lens, if you use most other camera apps the image will be upside down. Our app flips the image right-side up.
The app provides useful compositional tools that let you move the sweet spot of focus around the image as you're composing your shot. You can also lock your focus point, apply a contrast/color enhancement filter, and more. We'll email you a link to the app when your product ships.
Our Development Process
The Lensbaby for Android and iPhone, like many of our products, has gone through an adventurous, non-traditional design process. It began with some old- fashioned doodles, experiments with loose optics to prove said doodles, followed by lots of time spent in CAD coming up with functional prototypes.
Our 3D printers allowed us to move quickly by giving us iteration after iteration that we tested and improved, and printed again. Finally, we got prototypes into the hands of beta testers for feedback, and, with their excellent input, honed our design to where it is today. When this project is funded, we'll be able to kick off tooling and production with our vendors.
Once our funded Kickstarter projects ends on May 2nd, we'll kick off tooling for the lens caps, and production for the aluminum body, glass optics, magnets and stainless steel rings. Then we go through a part approval process, and in June we're on to full production for all parts. After parts arrive at Lensbaby in mid July, we will assemble them and ship both earliest bird and early bird orders. In August, we expect to build and ship the remainder of the iPhone orders. Android orders will ship by October when the app is ready. If the app is ready earlier, however, we'll ship those lenses before October.
We've been in the business of making special effects DSLR lenses for a decade now and moving into the mobile phone market is a departure for us. We want to make sure mobile phone shooters really do want—and will buy—this Lensbaby Sweet Spot Lens for their mobile phone.
We've got lots of other fun, wacky and creative mobile phone lenses and accessories in the works. If you fund this, it tells us we're on the right track and we should make this one a reality.
Ten years ago, Craig and his business partner Sam Pardue started a company based on photographer excitement for a little DSLR lens called the Original Lensbaby. We named it the Original, hoping and dreaming there would be more to come. Over the next decade our team would envision and produce a slew of creative effects lenses for DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and even motion picture cameras. We couldn't be more excited about our journey into mobile photography.
This project couldn't have come as far as it's already come if it weren't for our hard-working staff of photographers, problem-solvers, and all-out smart, creative people in Portland, Oregon. Many thanks to our dedicated employees, their families, and all the other Lensbaby lovers out there who helped make this project possible—with special appreciation to beta testers Caroline Jensen, Susan Bein and Michael Mitarnowski!
This was Craig's baby, but several people played a key role in getting this product where it is today. We'd specifically like to thank the following employees from our engineering department: Jeff Caniparoli, R&D Manager, for leading the engineering efforts; Yasser Alizadeh, R&D Engineer, for early concept development and Drew Stevens, R&D Engineer, for finalizing the mechanical design.
We'd also like to thank our in-house photographers/videographers who tested the product and created images/videos: Keri Friedman, Abbie Kirkpatrick, Caitlyn Crislip, Ben Hutchinson, Lauren Wilcox, Chris Link, Keith Novosel and Michael Higgins.
Thanks to YOU for your interest in our Sweet Spot Lens! We hope you support our dream to bring magic to the world of mobile photographers everywhere. Our goal at Lensbaby is to help you See In a New Way™.
Risks and challenges
The final product will be made of glass elements and anodized aluminum. We're pretty good at sourcing such things, but as this lens is much tinier and optically different from our other lenses, we're working with a few new manufacturing partners.
We've done this long enough that we know, in the manufacturing world, little unexpected hiccups and delays can arise. We expect to ship the Early and Earliest Bird lenses beginning in late July and continuing into August for iPhone. Android will ship in October, or as soon as the app is ready. We'll update you along the way as we begin the production process.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes. Lensbaby, Inc will replace or repair any Lensbaby product found to be defective in materials or workmanship for up to one year after the date of purchase.
Yes. Lensbaby, Inc typically offers a full refund within 30 days of your purchase date. Because products on Kickstarter don't ship out for a 2-3 months after your card is charged, we will offer our 30-day refund from the date you receive your lens.
For the best iPhone user experience, we recommend using this lens only if you have an iPhone 4s, 5, 5s and 5c with iOS7, because those are the phones that our App will work with.
Due to the overwhelming response from Android shooters during the first couple of weeks of our Kickstarter campaign, we have added an Android-specific pledge level and will kick off development on an Android app shortly. Those who pledge at the Android level will get their lens and app in October 2014 - sooner if we're able to complete the app earlier. We'll keep you updated.
The reason using our app is important to the Lensbaby shooting experience is that, due to the complexity of the optics, in almost any other photo app, the image will appear upside down. Using the Lensbaby app will turn the image right-side up and also allow you to move your sweet spot of focus as you're composing the image. You'll also be able to add a contrast/color adjustment filter, lock your focus point, and more.
For iPhones, our App will work with iPhone 4s, 5, 5s and 5c with iOS7. While the lens itself will most likely work on an iPad or iPod Touch (though we have not tested for accuracy of focus), the App will not work on these devices.
Once we have the Android app complete, the lens and app will work on most Android phones. We are still in the testing/exploratory phase for Android. We'll keep you updated.
Using this lens on your phone will produce an upsidedown image, due to the optical configuration of the lens. Using our free app automatically flips the image, and has a lot of other functionality that will give you a great user experience with this lens. And it's free!
Beyond flipping the image so that you're able to shoot rightside up, the Lensbaby app:
1. Lets you move your sweet spot around the frame
2. Lets you lock focus on the sweet spot
3. Lets you lock exposure
4. Lets you choose from multiple filter options
5. Lets you choose image sharpness
6. Lets you shoot in a rule of thirds grid mode or without the grid
Yes, each lens will ship with a front and rear cap.
The optics are glass, the body is anodized aluminum and front/rear caps are plastic.
It is approximately 17mm on most phones.
The lens, 2 adhesive rings, a plastic front & rear cap, user guide, micro fiber bag, a wet wipe and a Lensbaby sticker.
1. Your lens will come with 2 small metal rings with adhesive backing. Simply peel off the cover and center the ring over the camera's lens and press to adhere.
2. You will most likely need to remove your phone's case, unless your case has a large enough opening around the lens to allow for the ring to stick and the lens to fit on top.
3. The ring will not be stuck there forever - you can remove it without damaging your phone if you choose. It is, however, not designed to be used over and over so if you do remove it and then put it back on, the stickiness will most likely wear off signficantly.
No, you can remove the ring. However, it's not meant to be taken off and put back on repeatedly so if you do remove it you will lose some of the adhesive quality and we cannot guarantee that it will stick properly a 2nd (3rd, 4th, etc) time.
Most cases do not have a large enough opening around the lens to accomodate the metal ring and the lens. If you're able to fit your ring and lens on the phone without removing your case, please let us know what kind of case you have as this will help us develop future products.
We estimate that Early Bird orders will begin shipping in July 2014. All of the other iPhone lens orders will likely be shipping in August 2014.
Those who pledge at the Android level will get their lens and app in October 2014 - sooner if we're able to complete the app earlier.
As we start the production process, we'll send out emails to update you on our progress & ship date.
The lenses will ship from our headquarters in Portland, Oregon.
Shipping to other countries from the US vary wildly in cost. As there's no way to predict an individual's shipping cost ahead of time, this affordable flat rate lets us easily ship to anyone, anywhere in the world.
Customs fees vary depending on the country you are in so you might want to check with your customs office before you become a backer. The full amount of your pledge will be reflected on the invoice in your package, however it will be marked as a "gift" since the lens is a reward for your generosity in backing our project.
Regarding missing pledges, you have to add this amount manually when initially pledging on kickstarter.
If you have pledged already, you can go to the Lensbaby's Kickstarter page and click on 'manage your pledge' and add in the additional amount of money or any missing information.
You won't be charged sales tax for backing this project, as we are based in Oregon and do not have a state sales tax.
Lensbaby has always been about the shooting process, and creating your image in the moment. Many world renowned Photoshop® authorities, such as Katrin Eismann, Jack Davis, and Jim DiVitale, attest that it is impossible to replicate with software the natural, organic optical effects a Lensbaby creates.
Many devoted Lensbaby users will not even argue that point because even if software could emulate the Lensbaby's look, there are many reasons why using a Lensbaby is more satisfying. Using a Lensbaby allows you to compose with selective focus in the moment rather than adding it later. This lets you experiment with different angles and approaches to quickly and seamlessly integrate selective focus into your composition leading to more organic and original imagery.
We've got lots of other fun, wacky and creative mobile phone lenses and accessories in the works. If you fund this, it tells us we're on the right track and we'll continue to bring out additional products for mobile phones.
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