Focus on What's Important in Your Photos with Big Lens

Big Lens ($0.99) just had its two-year anniversary in October and is still going strong. Recently selected as a Starbucks "Pick of the Week," this photo blurring app offers much more than tilt-shift effects, but should you give it a try?


Like most photo editing apps available, Big Lens lets you capture a photo from within the app, or import one from your Camera Roll to be edited. From there, you can select either Basic or Advance mode for altering your photo's depth of field by selectively blurring certain elements in your photo.

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Basic mode

Big Lens' Basic mode works similarly to most tilt-shift apps and even Instagram's tilt-shift feature. Select a circle or bar that you'd like to be in focus, and the app will add a gradient blur outward from your focus zone.

Advance mode

This is where the real fun is. Advance mode lets you select an area to remain in focus, but isn't limited to a circle or bar like Basic mode. Paint over or lasso your subject, and let the app take over the rest.

Each mode features Aperture and Lens tools to you can use fine-tune the resulting blur's gradient and intensity to achieve a more natural depth-of-field effect.

As an added bonus, Big Lens offers many different filters to alter your photos. An adjustable slider resides above your filter options, changing the selected filter's intensity. Admittedly, they aren't the best I've seen, but filters aren't the focus of this app (pun intended).


  • Easy to use
  • Natural looking results


  • Built-in filters leave much to be desired

The Verdict

With the right amount of tweaking to the app's built-in tools, Big Lens gives your photos great depth-of-field effects that just aren't possible with the iPhone's camera. If you're big on iPhone photography, Big Lens is definitely worth a download.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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Tommy Ly spent a few years covering iOS news and writing iDevice accessory reviews for before joining iPhone Life and loves checking out cases and other mobile gear. He can be reached at