This App Adds Lens Distortions, and It Does It Really Well


With a plethora of image editing and manipulation apps, you would think that once you saw one, you would have seen them all. We ourselves took a look at a number of apps over the years. We saw Mix by Camera360, Prisma, Snapseed and even apps such as B612 took the stage for image editing and filters.

Another app to make the headlines amongst those who are photography enthusiasts is Lens Distortions. Available for Android and iOS, Lens Distortions is relatively new to smartphone mobile photography. In fact, the Google Play store lists the app as “Unreleased”.

What does Lens Distortions do?

Well, the answer to that question is quite simple. As per the listing on the product page on their respective apps stores, Lens Distortions will add lens or light effects to your images. Now while it may seem a tad on the pointless side to create an app to just add lens flares or light effects, we decided to take the app for a spin anyway.

Lens Distortions
The Introductory steps of Lens Distortions

As you launch the app, you’re greeted with a welcome screen that also has a video link. The video opens up in a separate browser and is essentially a rundown of how Lens Distortion works. We decided to skip the video and dive right into that makes Lens Distortions tick.

Learning the ropes with Lens Distortions

The main screen for Lens Distortions is pretty straightforward. There are no options to tweak or advanced settings to configure. You simple pick an image from your device’s gallery, and start adding filters.

Speaking of filters, Lens Distortions offers a number of high quality effects to create the look that you’re looking for. According to the developer page, each overlay in Lens Distortions is created by capturing real-world elements in-camera. This gives the user a filter that is not only highly detailed, but also extremely realistic.

Lens Distortions
Trying my hand out at Lens Distortions

The filters and effects range from glass, to natural sunlight, rain, snow, and even fog. As you can see from the screenshot above, each Filter category has a number of filters to its name. They are individually viewable so that you know exactly what each effect will look like.

The free version of Lens Distortions gives you a total of 5 filters free from each pack. Additional filters or packs can be unlocked for a monthly rental of 0.99USD per month. That’s roughly equivalent to LKR 175/- per month.

Taking Lens Distortion for a spin

Having gone through all the formalities, we decided to take Lens Distortion for a walk around Colombo. Our test device was a OnePlus 2 running Android 8.1 Oreo. It was a fairly old device but still had a good camera. According to the developers, a high end modern device was required for best performance. So we decided to see what we could achieve with a flagship killer of 2016.

We first tried out the Luminary filter. This essentially adds a blurry effect to images making it seem like the photo was taken with a slightly blurred lens While it seemed pretty cool as a filter, it didn’t really appeal to our tastes. So we decided to try out a different filter. As stated earlier, each filter pack consist of 5 filters with others being unlocked via payment.

Lens Distortions
The Luminary Effects did not leave mushroom for me to play around with

More Filters

Moving on, our attention then fell on to the Principle Light Hits and Light Hits filters respectively.. These provide a sort of solar flare or lens flare which is also manipulable. As such, the size of the filter can be enlarged or made small by simply using two fingers to pinch in or expand. It can also be dragged around the image till you find the perfect spot.

Lens Distortions
Contrary to the weather report, there was a chance of sunshine in Dehiwala

The Fog, Rain and Snow Filters are pretty self explanatory. They give your images a rainy, snowy or foggy look.It actually does a really good job of making your images look like they were captured in the rain or fog or snow.

Lens Distortions
Looks like its going to rain on my parade

The Shimmer pack gives your images a star struck look, especially if taken in a dark environment. It also looks like your image was captured through a stained window. They are essentially light fragments and particles that can be used to artistically improve your images. Lastly, the Legacy pack gives you glass textures with a hint of blurred lines (pun intended).

Who can make use of Lens Distortions?

Well, if you’re a budding mobile photographer who wants to try out these filters, then you can give Lens Distortions a go. In the event you feel that the filter packs included are not enough, you can even unlock them all by paying for the subscription.

Lens Distortions
Creating Lens flare using professional equipment (Image Credits: marcuslowphotos

If you’re a professional photographer, you can take Lens Distortions for a spin and see how it holds up against actual lens distortions that can be achieved through hardware or by software such as applications such as Photoshop and Lightroom,

If you want to learn more about Lens Distortions, you can visit their website here.

Have you used Lens Distortions? Love it? Hate it? Leave a comment below.


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