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Home » App Sales, Reviews

Photo App Focus: Big Lens

Submitted by on February 12, 2013 – 12:56 am 3 Comments

Big Lens for iPhone

big lens, iphone, ipadBig Lens has been out for a while, but until now I haven’t shared a look at it here, despite the fact that I use the app regularly.

Big Lens is FREE for a limited time.
The app has now returned to its regular price. =M= It’s normally $0.99 and well worth a dollar. It’s more than another fake focus or tiltshift app. It’s an excellent faux depth of field app. I’ve got a download link and my belated review of the app after the jump. >>>

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More than Instagram’s tiltshift blur, Big Lens more precisely and accurately recreates the look of a more focused, even narrow depth of field. It creates this by adding a slective gradient blur to parts of the image. The end result is a more precise, more versatile, more realistic faux depth of field than Instagram’s simple tiltshift effect can create.

Big Lens has two modes, Basic and advanced. The Basic mode is similar to the popular tiltshift effect in many apps. There are two blur tools — a circle and a bar. Pinching and moving resizes and places the blur effect as it behaves in other apps.

That’s where the similarities end and where Big Lens earns its keep. Big Lens has an excellent set of camera-style tools that give you much more control over the blur. Simulating the effects of a DSLR lens, the Aperture tool lets you adjust the intensity of the blur and amount of the gradient. There is a Lens tool — more like an aperture shape tool — that also effects the look of the blur.

Advanced mode has all of these tools except the area of focus is painted and erased onto the image, giving more precise control of the effect and allowing the artist to paint in an accurate depth of field focus effect. There is also an intelligent Lasso tool to help quickly select and isolate high-contrast objects.

All of the tools work well and are very responsive. Nothing felt laggy or inaccurate to me. Even switching between a one finger paint and a two finger pinch and move gesture was solid and worked well.

Unlike many focus apps, the edges of the focus are soft and have a natural fade. By experimenting with the Aperture and Lens tools, you can really fine-tune the gradient and roll-off of the blur to create very natural-looking focus effects.

Big Lens has 18 filters, many of them recreating the looks of various LOMO cameras. The filters add contrast and color tweaks, as well as other aberrations and effects to the image. They’re well done, easy, one-click looks for your photos, but they’re not the primary use of Big Lens. Creating great focus effects is and Big Lens does an outstanding job.

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I’ve used many of the good focus effects apps available, including TiltShift, FocalLab and BlurFX. Nothing comes close to the ease of use of this app along with the detail and natural looks of the effects Big Lens creates.

Big Lens supports full 8MP native resolution of the latest iPhones and it preserves EXIF including Geotags.

Big Lens is FREE for a limited time. That’s an essential download. Even for a buck, I still highly recommend it.

Grab it now. I have no idea how long this discount will last.

Big Lens is normally $0.99. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

=M=

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Marty Yawnick

Marty is a self-employed graphic designer in the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex. He is an avid Rangers baseball, Chicago Cubs, Packers and Highbury Arsenal fan. In addition to capturing random moments with whatever camera is close by (usually his iPhone), his other interests include coffee, film, music, and traveling in seats 5E and 5F with his fiancé.

  • Eina

    Hi,

    Title of this post says Big Photo when your content says Big Lens. :) Got a bit confused. Nice post, btw.

    • Marty Yawnick

      Hi, Eina,

      Yep. My mistake. I’ve fixed the title of the post and changed it to the correct app. Thanks for catching that!

  • MiniBlueDragon

    I bought Big Lens quite a few months back but am almost always disappointed with the end result when I use it. For me the DoF effect looks fake and excessive and there’s no natural transition between focused and blurred; it’s almost instant. My ‘go to’ for most of my DoF effects has to be AfterFocus. The selection tools are great, the selection of apertures and the ‘natural’ bg focus is second to none. The only negative for me is the image output limit of 2880px. :(