Tips & Tricks

If shooting through crystals and other objects is new to you or you want to learn more about how to get the most out of the OMNI Creative Filter System. These tips and tricks will help ensure you get the best results from your new creative tool!

General OMNI tips

  • 35mm and longer focal lengths are ideal, but you can create great effects at wider focal lengths too. When shooting at focal lengths wider than 35mm sometimes the Effect Wand can become too visible in the frame. Also, due to the wide field of view, sometimes the Effect Wand doesn’t take up enough space in the frame.
  • For more intense effect, look for a bright source of light to work with, this can be natural or artificial. For a more subtle effect, try avoiding bright direct light sources and use the crystals to reflect contents from one part of the frame (or from out of frame entirely!) into the scene.
  • OMNI can be used on most prime and zoom lenses with both auto and manual focus. It is also compatible with Lensbaby Velvet 56, Velvet 85, and Burnside 35 lenses. You can buy third-party step down rings to use OMNI on Lensbaby’s 46mm Optics as well but keep in mind that when you adjust the aperture, the entire OMNI mechanism will rotate as well.
  • If you’re using autofocus, the camera may try to focus on the object in front of the lens, instead of the subject of the image. It that’s the case, try switching to manual focus. Or, try changing the autofocus point to steer clear of the effect want.
  • Brighter apertures work best no matter what focal length you’re using. This helps to obscure any detail (like lines and edges) of the actual object you are shooting through. It can also be helpful to shoot in aperture priority mode.
  • Get to know each Effect Wand and its unique effect. Start with the primary system – Rainbow Film, Stretch Glass, Crystal Seahorse. Once you’re familiar, then move on to others in the Crystal Expansion Pack.
  • Try shooting at night, getting extra creative with artificial light sources like street lights and neon signs.
  • Experiment and have fun, there are no hard and fast rules to OMNI!

Color Expansion Pack Tips

  • Completely alter the mood and feel of your imagery by using the Color Pack Effect Wands. This can be especially helpful when you are shooting in dull, flat light.
  • The multicolor crystals still have a lot of power even without a bright light source. You can use them to reflect colors that aren’t there into your frame.
  • To punch up silhouettes, sky or other monochromatic space, try the multicolor crystals and reflect colorful reflections into the frame.
  • Add less intense color and flare with the Lumi Films. They are a bit less contrasty than the multicolor crystals – sometimes the crystals in bright direct light can be a bit too much, but the films can add color effects without intense bright flare.
  • Bend and twist the Lumi Films to maximize their ability to create multiple colors at once. They’ll stay the way you bend them for a bit, while also relaxing and going flat when you’re done.

Effect Wands

The Rainbow Film works well attached either directly to the mount, or to an arm. If you place it on an arm, you can get different angles and shapes of rainbow streaks, and depending on the lighting situation, a bit of reflection off the film itself. 

The Stretch Glass is best used with one of the arms so you can move and rotate it almost like a paintbrush. Try placing it at the edge of the frame to streak light through the image. Or try positioning it perpendicular to your lens, near the edge, with the flat side facing in to add large clear reflections.

The Crystal Seahorse is also best used with one of the arms. Its unique shape with angled glass planes, ridged edges, and flat areas creates endless possibilities for complex flare, light redirection, and radiant multi-layered reflections.

Crystal Expansion Pack

The Triangle Prism is all about reflection and can work well placed directly on the magnetic mount or on an arm. Test out the different angled sides of the triangle to see how that affects your reflections. Also, try to shoot through a point where the sides meet for some bonus rainbow colors.

The Crystal Spear is used similarly to the Crystal Seahorse but creates a wide variety of effects from radiant specular highlights and kaleidoscopic reflections to dreamlike flare. The Crystal Spear can also produce rainbow streaks and tends to work best on an arm.

The Scalloped Window can produce a lot of flare around its clear center when shooting through it parallel to the lens. Turn it on an angle or perpendicular to the lens to get beautiful round balls of bokeh, depending upon your light source.

Color Expansion Pack

The Multicolor Crystals work well in both direct light (with more intense flare & effects) as well as in filtered light, reflecting other light sources around them. Use them with silhouettes, white areas, and to fill black space or shadows with color. Experiment as much as you can as each of the crystals will perform differently in each scenario. And don’t be afraid to try shooting with them both at the same time – or mix them with the films or gels.

Think about your light source when choosing from the Lumi Films. Darker colors will need more light and lighter colors less to create an efect. Blend them into the frame as a haze or streak of light. The textured films can add some sparkle and flare if you’ve got a bright light source. And don’t be afraid to double up with two different colors! The Color Gels will simply add a swath of color wherever you position them over your frame.

You can use the Crisscross Rainbow Film attached either directly to the mount, or to an arm. Placing it on an arm means you’re able to get different angles and shapes of crisscross rainbow, and depending on your light source, you can also create amazing rainbow starbursts.