Today, I am going to review a 90mm version of Rollei Lensball. This huge crystal glass ball is popular among photographers to create very interesting images with a flipped images inside it. Nevertheless, the ball can create many different interesting effects which you may see in the review. So, let’s begin.
Rollei Lensball is available in several different version. You can get a small 60mm version for 15 EUR, there is the middle 90mm version for 20 EUR which was tested in this review and a huge 110mm type for almost 30 EUR. There are also 80mm colour versions for 20 EUR (blue, red, green, purple, and yellow).
The 90mm version is quite big and heavy. It weighs 923 grams according to my measurements which is quite a lot. It is also relatively difficult to hold it if your hand is small (I would definitely recommend 60mm version for people with smaller hands). Nevertheless, if you plan to take images not holding the lensball in your hand, it does not matter.
The lensball is made of crystal clear glass without any bubbles and it is quite scratch resistant. Of course, you still have to be a little bit careful. There is a cleaning cloth in the box which cab be quite useful as it is very easy to leave fingerprints and other impurities on the ball.
If you are far enough, the image in the lensball is flipped and it creates interesting images. The question is if you want to focus on the image in the ball or at the edges of it (outer parts of the ball) which may change the appearance of the image and bokeh distribution. Usually, it is not very wise to use the widest aperture available as it can increase optical flaws (it can be not very sharp, it can increase chromatic aberration,…)
As you can see, you can easily change the point of view and the same lensball in the same position can give you totally different image. When you are close enough, it starts to work as a magnifying glass. I liked to play with the sunlight. But you have to be careful as it can burn you very, very easily.
You can see that in the image above. My thumb was exactly at the place, where all the light rays met and it can be quite painful. I have tested how quickly it can cause smoke and it is able to cause it within one second with a small piece of wood. So, be careful. You can see it in the video below.
Rollei Lensball can be quite funny piece of photography equipment and even though it is not easy to take it with you all the times (it is quite heavy), I would definitely take it here and there. The advantage is that it is supplied with a nice small protection case, so it is easy to transport it without risk.
You can see some additional images taken with the lensball during the review.