Lens Whacking is a technique that many photographers use to create really interesting focus effects. Basically, you’re not securing the lens to the camera itself, but instead, rotating and angling the lens in front of the sensor to create your desired focus effect in camera. For a long time, whacking was exclusive to photographers, with the exception of some cinematographers (including me) that used other tools to create a similar effect.
I used a Lensbaby 3g, and with the spring loaded accordion… thingy, I just compressed and released it while recording. The effect was pretty cool, but it was loud, clunky and I was very aware by the end that I definitely shouldn’t be using it for that purpose.
Enter the Lensbender. Made with cinematographers directly in mind, the Lensbender is basically a mount for your lenses that allows you to Lens Whack while shooting video without encountering the issues that those using other products might present! Probably the biggest plus is it allows you to use your own lenses. When using other tilt-shit type effect lenses, you’re stuck with whatever is native to the lens. With the LensBender, you can pick and choose what you want to use.
Before you go and start whacking your lens everywhere, you should probably keep this in mind. We’re looking at a product that is in it’s very early stages. I want to make it clear, I have not whacked any of my lenses with it, but if I were, I’d be careful about aggressiveness of my whacks. Also, realize that this only truly works with smaller lenses. It wouldn’t work with my long-ish Rokinons or any lenses that are very wide.
That being said, it’s a step in the right direction. At least there’s someone out there with recognizing that cinematographers also want to be able to whack it whenever they want.
Lenswhacking SLR Mount
Reduce image shake.
Protect your sensor.
Give yourself an extra hand.
A universal lens mount designed to make freelensing a whole lot easier. Constructed from lightweight aluminium, the Lensbender suspends your lens securely in front of the camera body, allowing a huge range of movement and flexibility and giving you an extra hand for aperture adjustment and focus-pulling.
Lensbender // Sunset Bali
Lensbender // Fire Show After Sunset
(cover photo credit: snap from Lensbender)