Lens Distortions is a slick effects editor

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I have to say the name, Lens Distortions, may lead an interested buyer in another direction, but the app does an excellent job of adding optical IMG_8847effects and fog to any image, giving you a great deal of control of how your image will turn out.

The app is free, but there are a variety of add-in purchases that will give you more options. Unlike a lot of apps that give you computer generated effects, the effects in Lens Distortions have been created with optically captured elements, including real sunlight and haze. As a result, your edited images look quite real.

Using Lens Distortions

Pick a photo, then select an effect. I stated out with some light hits, adding some rays of a bright sun in a photo where the sun was behind some clouds. The effect was, indeed, very real. Once the light effect was dragged into place, I could adjust its opacity, brightness, saturation, contrast, and I could flip the effect vertically or horizontally. It’s quite flexible.

I also experimented with some fog effects, and I also found them realistic. You can drag the fog or haze around, and using the opacity slider I could get a very realistic photo.

Some of the effects can be very subtle, but all are effective. The other app that directly competes is LensLight, which I’ve reviewed here.

LensLight is $2.99 but it doesn’t bother with any in-app purchases and has a complete suite of effects and tools.

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Lens Distortions saves at full resolution which is a big plus for a photo editor. It’s easy to use, and from within the app you can connect to tips and Instagram users who have posted images edited with the app. There’s some good ideas there.

What could be better

Too many in-app purchases. Assign the app a price, and give me a lot of effects. Although you can do a lot with the free version, you’ll probably want more. The app needs an undo, or a button to see a ‘before and after’ which really is a must. I also think the editor is missing the ability to scale an effect, and I found some of the sun effects just too large. LensLight has this, and I use it all the time.

Summary

Still, Lens Distortions is a terrific little app. Just using the free entry-level version, I could enhance my photos where needed, and the results were realistic. Buying all the effects makes this an $18.00 app though, and that’s just too high. Optical effects are of very high quality, and that is the real reason to grab Lens Distortions and see what it can do for you.

Lens Distortions requires iOS 8 or later. It was well behaved using the beta of iOS 9.3.

About Mel Martin 122 Articles
Mel Martin is an experienced writer and photographer. He spent 6 years at TUAW writing about photography for the Mac and the increasing catalogue of iOS apps that have made the iPhone the preferred camera for so many. Mel hails from Missouri, attended college in Iowa, and spent most of his life in journalism. He now lives in Arizona, a great place for iPhone photography.