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Lynny Lens Review

Gary Wolstenholme reviews the Lynny Lens, it is designed for creative selective focusing.

| Lynny Lens in Interchangeable Lenses
Lynny Lens Review: Lens
The Lynny Lens is billed as 'a creative, unique and artistic, selective focusing lens' which consists of a lens element housed in a flexible rubber tube. As the tube is flexible, the lens is focused by either compressing or stretching the tube, or by tilting it away from the optical axis.

The Lynny lens started out as a Kickstarter funded project by creator, Cameron Texter, who made a DIY selective focus lens from an extension tube, a close up filter and some electrical tape. Those who are thinking that they may have seen a similar product before may be forgiven, as the concept is very similar to that of the Lensbaby, which has been around for about a decade or more now.
Lynny Lens Review: Lynny Lens 85mm (5)

Lynny Lens Features

This lens is only available to buy from the US, so charges for importing the lens will be incurred by UK buyers. The one we purchased is the basic model which took six weeks to arrive and cost just over £100 including VAT and customs charges.

The Lynny provides a field of view equivalent to an 85mm lens on a full frame camera, and can be used on full frame or cameras with smaller sensor sizes. This telephoto field of view can be quite limiting for general photography, so kits are available that include a wide angle conversion lens, a teleconverter and close up lenses for macro photography. These accessories screw into the filter thread on the front of the lens which is roughly 37mm in diameter.
Lynny Lens Review: Lynny Lens 85mm (2)

Lynny Lens Handling

Much of the charm of the 'build yourself a Lynny' trend is absent from the production version. A flexible rubber tube connects the lens element to a screw mount, which is then adapted to a camera via an adapter. The flexible tube can be quite tricky to operate, requiring quite a lot of pressure to focus anywhere near infinity.

This can lead to shaky fingers as the pressure required is applied, which makes getting anything remotely in focus really quite difficult. Stretching the tube to focus closer requires even more force and there is very little to hold onto, making it almost impossible to control with any consistency. Focusing is further hampered by extremely shallow depth of field, and a virtually indistinguishable sweet spot of focus. Even though soft, dreamy looking images may be the intended outcome of using this product, it would be nice to have more control over the effect. There is no coupling with the camera's meter so exposure needs to be controlled manually.
Lynny Lens Review: Lynny Lens 85mm (8)

Lynny Lens Performance

The Lynny lens certainly does a good job of blurring corners and creating a soft, dreamlike effect. Unfortunately the effect is so pronounced that it's difficult to control and to get consistent results. Contrast is low, which also makes using the lens that bit more difficult.

Scenes that contain plenty of colour and contrast benefit the most from the Lynny Lens treatment. However, strong fringing can be seen along high contrast edges, which can sometimes detract from the effect, rather than add to it. As there is no aperture control, and the lens gathers quite a bit of light, having a maximum aperture of around f/1.4, using the Lynny in bright conditions can also be troublesome, as high shutter speeds can often be encountered, even at the lowest ISO sensitivity on bright, sunny days. As no information is given on what the maximum aperture is, shooting in a studio may be tricky also.

Lynny Lens Sample Photos

Value For Money

The Lynny Lens costs $75, which is around £50 at current exchange rates. US customers benefit from free shipping of the lens, but UK customers will find themselves shelling out just over £100 including shipping and taxes. Our sample took around six weeks to arrive packaged in nothing but a padded envelope also.

The closest competitor is the Lensbaby Spark, which is their most basic lens. This lens is available for around £70 ($80 in the US) with next day shipping included.

Lynny Lens Verdict

A lens like this certainly isn't intended for those who care about sharpness in pictures, which is a good job really. The effect the Lynny lens produced has such a fine sweet spot of focus, that it is difficult to get almost anything clear in the picture frame. This, coupled with the stiff rubber tubing requiring quite a lot of force to operate, makes using the Lynny lens in a controlled manner very difficult indeed. It may be argued that this is the charm of the Lynny lens system, but when it becomes difficult for an effect to be repeatable to any degree, then there has to be a fault somewhere.

New versions of the Lynny lens system are in the pipeline, so it may be worth seeing if the usability of the lens improves in time with new versions. Being born from a DIY project, it seems the charm of the Lynny lies in that. This product's flaws would be much easier to forgive on a home-made version.

Lynny Lens Pros

Bright maximum aperture great for low light shooting
Metal T mount

Lynny Lens Cons

Poor packaging
Difficult to control
Sweet spot of focus not very well defined
Rubber tubing not easy to grip


Lynny Lens Specifications

Lens Mounts
    Focal Length85mm
    Angle of ViewNo Data
    Max Aperturef/1.4
    Min Aperturef/1.4
    Filter Size37mm
    35mm equivalentNo Data
    Internal focusingNo
    Maximum magnificationNo Data
    Min FocusNo Data
    GroupsNo Data
    Box Contents
    Box ContentsLens, Adapter

    View Full Product Details

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