Soratama | 宙玉

Aerial ball shooting technique : 宙に浮かぶ玉の中の光景を撮影できる宙玉(そらたま)。撮影のためにはどんな機材が必要になるのか? 撮影のコツや作例などを紹介。


Preferable lenses

Because close-up mode is required when using soratama, lenses with shortest minimum focus distance are preferable. The shorter the minimum focus distance is, the larger the size of the clear ball in the picture can be. In this mean, macro lens is the better choice.
However, we do not recommend using a telephoto macro lens. In order to adjust the ball to a suitable size, the soratama extension tube needs to be extended. In this case, there is a possibility of damaging the lens because of the weight. Also, there are cases where you cannot get close enough to the object even if you are using a standard macro lens. In this case, please use a macro extension tube as well.


The lens tube is too long. This will cause damage on the lens.

Talking about the focal distance, lenses around 24-50mm are recommended (35mm equivalent focal length.) It can still be photographed with lenses that are out of this range. However, the lens tube will get long if the focal distance gets too long. In addition, the soratama ball and the lens will touch each other if the focal distance was too short. The distance from camera lens to soratama is proportional to the focal distance of the lens. The shorter the focal distance is, the more compact it gets.

The easiest way is to fix close-up ring onto the standard zoom lens. By zooming, you can control the size of the ball appearing on the picture. The advantage of this is that you do not have to be too sensitive about adjusting the tube length.
When using a single focal lens, there is a need of adjusting the Soratama extension tube to change the size of the ball. It is a little troublesome compared to the zoom lens but once you have set the tube length, you do not have to adjust anything.

As long as the focus is on the target, the soratama can be used. Please try on many lenses and find out what works best for you.


The standard zoom lens is easy to adjust