Capture distinct images with your mirrorless camera for cheap with these four “toy” lenses


posted Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 12:59 PM EST

We recently covered Mathieu Stern's review of the $1,600 Trioplan 100mm f/2.8 "soap bubble bokeh" lens, and now he's back with a review for those of us who want to spend a lot less money to get a really distinctive look. In Mathieu's latest post, he discusses four toy lenses that are worth trying out on your mirrorless camera. The best part? They all cost under US$30.

First up is the Fujian 35mm f/1.7 lens, which can be found for only $19. For an in-depth review of this CCTV lens, check out this post by Norman Chan at Tested. Stern says that it produces really cool, swirly bokeh, and is one of the most affordable ways to get a lens that produces this effect. Another lens Stern discusses is the $17 Holga 25mm f/8 lens. This "cheap Chinese plastic lens," he says, "gives a really distinctive look to your photos." 

Check out the video above to see these and two more lenses which you may want to give a try. Stern helpfully includes sample shots taken with all four lenses in the clip, but be sure to check out this post on his website to see versions which haven't had to suffer through YouTube compression!