Lensworks’ Lightbrush is an LED filter tray that injects colour into your shot

Feb 22, 2024

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Lensworks’ Lightbrush is an LED filter tray that injects colour into your shot

Feb 22, 2024

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Lensworks Lightbrush

This is an interesting one and something I haven’t seen before. Light leaks and similar effects seem to have become all the rage over the last few years. It’s a trend kicked off by apps like Best Camera and, subsequently, Instagram.

They’ve also popped up on TV and in Hollywood. But now, Lensworks wants to make it consistent and repeatable with their new Lightbrish LED filter. It slips into a matte box and lets you inject colour from all sides.

Lensworks Lightbrush – Light leaks galore!

As described in the video further down this page, Lightbrush is a fully controllable RGB filter. Well, technically, it’s more of a filter tray than an actual filter, which slots into a matte box. This way, you can get the lighting effects with the 4×5.65″ filters you’d normally use with your camera.

Most of us probably won’t want to have the look of light leaks or flares on all of our shots. Some folks will, but not most. Where it really appears to shine, though, is in its animation effects, all controlled through a touchscreen remote control.

Lensworks Lightbrush Controller

Animations let you simulate things like flickering fluorescent tubes. And yes, pretty much all LED lights these days can simulate those things, but they only light the environment. This puts the light right at the front of your lens.

The Lightbrush appears to give that same control over the light that you get with a regular LED light. Except, this light is directly entering your filter, creating flare and light spill to really help sell the effect. The effect you might see when working with real flickering fluorescent tubes or similar bright light sources.

A live demo at BSC Expo in London

There are currently units on display at the BSC Expo in London. Lensmonger has posted a video to Instagram showing it off in use. I expect they’ll also be on show at NAB in Vegas in a couple of months for those who aren’t able to make it.

It’s a very interesting-looking device. It is perhaps a device that has limited use cases and won’t appeal to many of us. But this is the first device I’ve seen of its type and potentially holds a lot of promise for both realism when trying to simulate various lighting effects as well as its unrealistic, purely creative options.

I expect we’ll probably start to see ultra-low-budget copies of the Lightbrush coming from the usual suspects over the coming months. I also expect, however, that they won’t be quite as fully featured and capable as this.

I think this might spawn a few DIY projects attempting to achieve a similar result. In fact, the SmallRig Filter Tray (buy here) for the SmallRig Mini Matte Box (buy here) looks like it could be a good candidate for DIY modification.

Price and Availability

The Lightbrush is available as a rental from Lensworks in California, TCS in New York, One Stop Films in London, UK and No Drama in Manchester, UK. But it’s also available to buy directly from Lensworks, although, as I mentioned, it’s not listed on their website, and no price appears to have been announced yet.

For more information, be sure to check out and keep an eye on the Lensworks website.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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