Fun at Home for $60: The Lensbaby OMNI Color Expansion Pack Review

The Color Expansion Pack for Lensbaby’s OMNI Creative Filter System gives you even more variety when creating in-camera effects and light distortions.

When we reviewed the Lensbaby OMNI Creative Filter System last year, we loved the in-camera effects we were able to achieve, and found its magnetic attachment system to be innovative. One thing we had hoped to see Lensbaby introduce down the line was the ability for users to make their own custom effect wands. The Color Expansion Pack is a collection of additional Effect Wands, Diffraction Films, and Colored Gels designed to work with the OMNI Creative Filter System. While the Color Expansion Pack doesn’t quite allow for the full customization we hoped for, it certainly hints at what’s possible.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The same pros for the Lensbaby OMNI Creative Filter System apply to what’s included with the Color Expansion Pack
  • The innovative magnetic attachment system
  • Lightweight construction
  • Tons of additional creative options
  • Included felt pouch is nicely padded and helps keep the crystals and gels in the Color Expansion Pack neatly organized

Cons

  • The Color Expansion Pack comes with a lot of small components; photographers prone to misplacing small items need to be extra careful not to lose anything

Gear Used

We tested the Lensbaby OMNI Creative Filter System Color Expansion Pack with the Lensbaby OMNI Creative Filter System (naturally) and the Sony A7RIV.

Tech Specs

Tech specs for the Lensbaby OMNI Creative Filter System Color Expansion Pack taken from Lensbaby’s official product page.

  • For use with the OMNI Creative Filter System
  • Includes two multicolor crystal effect wands;
  • A rainbow diffraction film;
  • And a set of colored films & gels
  • Multicolor Crystals: Covered in a unique spectral coating, create a variety of changing prismatic colors & interesting fractal effects.
  • Crisscross Rainbow Film: Create a striking patterned rainbow effect across your frame.
  • Lumi Films & Color Gels: Add color, light leaks, flare & expired film effects with the films. Or a single swath of color with the gels.

Ergonomics

The Color Expansion Pack comes with the same padded, felt storage pouch included with existing OMNI Creative Filter System components. It helps keeps the various components of the Color Expansion Pack neatly organized and prevents the multicolor crystals from becoming scratched.

Here’s a look at the two multicolor crystal effect wands and the rainbow diffraction film included with the Color Expansion Pack. They utilize the same attachment arm design as the other effect wands found within the OMNI Creative Filter System. The round ball is magnetic and attaches to the magnetic mounts easily. This design also makes the wands very easy to pivot, enabling you to make quick adjustments to how the light gets reflected and refracted into your lens.

A selection of Crisscross Rainbow Films, Lumi Films, and Color Gels round out the rest of the Color Expansion Pack. Simply slide one of these films or gels onto the attachment clip on the blank effect wand, tighten the screw, and use them like you would the other effect wands in the OMNI Creative Filter System.

Build Quality

The new effect wands included with the Color Expansion Pack feature the same fit and finish as the rest of the Lensbaby’s OMNI Creative Filter System. The metal wands feel solid in hand and attach to the adapter rings easily thanks to the use of magnets. The various films and gels included are flexible with just the right amount of rigidity to remain upright when attached to the blank effect wand. The padded felt carrying pouches does a fine job keeping everything organized and protected.

Ease of Use

Like the rest of the effect wands in the Lensbaby OMNI Creative Filter System, the Color Expansion Pack is easy to use but challenging to master. Live View is definitely your friend here, allowing you to see the in-camera effects on the fly and make any necessary adjustments. Thanks to the magnetic attachment system, the wands can easily be repositioned. As with the rest of the OMNI Creative Filter System, you’ll want to make sure there is plenty of light available when using the Color Expansion Pack.

Image Quality

Here are some sample images we created using the Lensbaby OMNI Creative Filter System and the Color Expansion Pack. As you can see, the effects range from subtle to rather dramatic. You can spend lots of time playing with the different Effect Wands, Films, and Gels to create unique effects in-camera. As a matter of ethics, none of the sample images seen here have been retouched so that you can judge the quality of the images produced for yourself.

Conclusion

Likes

  • Allows you to create interesting lighting effects and diffractions in camera
  • Add pops of color to images for dreamy, ethereal, or vintage looks
  • The unpredictable nature of the effects make shooting with them quite fun
  • Small footprint takes up very little space in my camera bag
  • Well designed overall

Dislikes

  • Honestly none

If you already own the Lensbaby OMNI Creative Filter System, the Color Expansion Pack is a worthwhile addition that increases the creative possibilities. If you found the results using the other effect wands in the OMNI Creative Filter System leaning towards the subtler side, the effects you’re able to create using the Color Expansion Pack are much more pronounced. The new Multicolor Crystals, Films, and Gels allow you to add pops of color to your images. With the Color Expansion Pack, you can create dreamy and ethereal in-camera effects or introduce color shifts that appear like light leaks. The possibilities are near-infinite, and you don’t have to fake it in post using Photoshop.

The Color Expansion Pack for the Lensbaby OMNI Creative Filter System earns five out of five stars. It’s available now from Amazon.

Pauleth Ip

Paul is a New York City based photographer, creative, and writer. His body of work includes headshots and commercial editorials for professionals, in-demand actors/performers, high net worth individuals, and corporate clients, as well as intimate lifestyle/boudoir photography with an emphasis on body positivity and empowerment. Paul also has a background in technology and higher education, and regularly teaches private photography seminars. When not working on reviews and features for The Phoblographer or shooting client work, Paul can be seen photographing personal projects around NYC, or traveling the world with his cameras in tow. You can find Paul’s latest work on his Instagram over at @thepicreative.