Waterfall in a lens ball

My wife bought me a “lens ball” for my birthday – basically an optically clear ball of glass which acts like a 180 degree round fish-eye lens. Before work today I went for a quick walk into Secret Falls – and had a ball! A few days after some heavy rain, the water level was perfect for splashing around in the creek bed and having a play.

Lens ball Selfie! (Two images combined)

I’ve never used a lens ball before so this quick outing was a bit of an experiment. I discovered you need to keep the lens clean and manually focus inside it, or you can end up catching your reflection – wearing dark clothing I think is essential. I tried a few different positions, lens’, lengths and distances.

Camera still positioned a bit too high. (Two images)

I balanced the ball on rocks, put the camera on a small tripod very close to the water to get the right angle and took a few shots at different focus points and exposures. The main “problem” I found was depth of field, with the lens close and in focus, the background was blurred, but it produced some great results.

A single image.

The following photo combines 3 manually focused RAW images in photoshop, including the one of the ball above using 12-40mm Pro lens @40mm, set up further back from the falls.

Having a ball at Secret falls (three images).

Very happy with these initial results, I look forward to trying a few more things out like in-camera focus stacking and coming up with new and interesting ways to see the world through a glass ball.

Secret falls, Laowa 7.5mm lens.

While there are some pretty cheap lens balls to be found on ebay etc., I don’t know how good the optics are. This one is from Refractique – look them up on Insta @refractique or Facebook if you’re interested.

7 thoughts on “Waterfall in a lens ball

    1. Thanks John 🙂 It is a magic little waterfall that got “discovered” by the masses a few years ago and is no longer a secret. A muddy path of footprints leads down the bank to it now wider than the gravel path nearby to another fall.


    1. Thanks, one of the first shots I captured was by the river on a windy day using my phone – it took a series of shots. I didn’t use a tripod unfortunately, but it looks like an ocean swirling in the ball.

      Liked by 1 person

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