Crystal Ball.... A Must Have Accessory for Photography

The Lens Ball

With Instagram becoming so popular for photography and thousands of images reaching your feed daily, you must have definitely seen some pictures with a crystal ball in the frame which entirely changes the perspective of the subject and makes it more beautiful. After a lot of research I recently bought a 80mm Lens Ball.


The Crystal ball, also known as Lens ball, basically refracts or bends the light through it and effectively shows an inverted image to the naked eye, very similar to how a Camera Lens works. And the spherical nature of the crystal ball gives a fish eye effect to the image. This principle is usually explored by the photographers to capture images through the crystal ball. Here’s a sample image I captured.

Central Park, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai

This was taken with a Nikon D3100 camera and 50mm Prime Lens. The image was inverted in the editing to give a better look.  has a wonderful collection of Crystal ball Photography pictures, you should totally check them out for some inspirations about how to use. Now that we have a basic understanding about the use of Crystal ball in photography, lets discuss about which size to choose.

Size of the Ball:

The Crystal balls are available in different sizes, starting from 20mm and ranging upto 100mm. Choosing the right size for photography is very important.  A small ball has the advantage of being very light weight and easy to fit in the bag, it has the downside of increased distortion in the subject. The formula for good image with crystal ball would be with the ball covering most of the image space and a large ball would give exactly that. Large size balls also can fit a lot of subject into it, but has the disadvantage of being heavy, difficult single handed usage and chances of rolling away. So normally photographers chose a ball of generally sizing 60-80mm. As I intended to capture the images with 50mm primes lens, I chose a 80mm ball as I need not go very close to the ball.

Choosing the Subject:

Once you buy a Crystal Ball, choosing the right subject is important too. Capturing a picture of tree would not make any sense. So, the common subjects that work well with crystal ball photography are,
1. Landscapes.
2. Monuments/Landmarks.
3. Portraits.
4. Reflections.
I prefer the first two subject most of all.
This is a picture I clicked with a Landmark as the subject.

Utsav Chowk, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai

Here’s another picture I clicked with Portraits as the subject.

Wall - E

General Tips:

  1. The focal length to be such that the main subject needs to fit in the focus portion of the ball.
  2. Adjust the aperture value such that the image sharpness is good and you get a magical bokeh too.
  3. Adjust the focus manually to keep the image inside the ball very sharp.
  4. Place the ball in a position where it won’t roll away with wind.
  5. Place the ball in such a position that the background reflection is not visible in the ball.
  6. Don’t hold the ball in hand with direct sunlight striking it as it can burn the hand.
  7. Always store them inside a soft pouch to avoid scratches.


The crystal ball is a wonderful and must have accessory for every photography enthusiast. Use it right and you can create wonders. For approximately Rs. 1500/$25 it is definitely worth the purchase.

If you are interested to buy one, check them out at here.

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For detailed course on Crystal Ball Photography, you can visit

This Post Has One Comment

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