Entertainment, Hardware

Olloclip Lens for iPhone Review: Adding New Perspectives

Olloclip?s 4-in1 iPhone lens is meant to give you a fisheye, wide-angle, and two macro views. The design and machined precision are very professional. It all fits into a micro-cloth pouch that can easily fit in your pocket and double as a lens cleaner. There aren?t instructions for its use on, nor in, the packaging, but the device is really intuitive. The online instructions have a little bit more information.

The device comes neatly boxed. It includes the 4-in-1 lens, two lens caps, and the dual purpose pouch. The product comes in an array of colors, but our sample was a non-distracting white.

Everything you need, almost, for using the Olloclip 4-in-1 lens attachment for the iPhone.

The new lens, shown off at CES 2014, is available for the iPhone 5/5s and 4/4s. I experimented with this latest accessory from Olloclip. The view below is a normal iPhone 5s photo taken out of an upstairs office window.

A normal image taken with the iPhone 5s

If you wanted a wider angle using the Olloclip it causes straight horizontal lines to be curved at the top and bottom of the picture. It only slightly expands your view.

Image taken with the wide-angle lens.

The fisheye lens gives you a broader view at 180 degrees which always appears slightly distorted.

Image taken with the fisheye lens.

Removing the aluminum machined housing gives you a 10x and 15x macro lens. Holding the camera steady at a distance of 13mm (1/2 inches) or 18mm is rather difficult. This makes a tripod necessary. Most tripods for the iPhone 5s are small spider devices or you can use an adaptor to hook the camera up to a standard tripod.
Moving to the hot house garden, the next picture is a close up of an orchid. The following image was taken with the 13mm macro lens attached to the phone. A tripod was definitely necessary to avoid camera shake, and lighting becomes difficult because the camera is casting a shadow.

Image taken with 13mm macro lens.

The next picture was taken of the same area of the orchid without the Olloclip lens attachment. The iPhone was held about six inches from the subject when the photo was snapped. The image was then cropped to match the 13mm macro size to achieve a result similar to the one using the special lens.

The orchid close up without a special lens.

This is definitely a novelty item for a quality point and shoot camera phone. Would I buy it? Not at $69, after checking out other options.
JKase 3-in-1 on sale at Amazon for $11.98. ELV 4in1 is much larger than the Olloclip mini lens. It comes with a sturdy appearing mini tripod, something I really needed with the Olloclip. The product includes the same accessories as the Olloclip, a black telescope lens (20mm) with manual focus, fish eye lens, macro lens, wide-angle lens, lens caps, and microfiber lens cloth. This kit also comes with an instruction manual, perhaps indicating that its use is not as intuitive as the Olloclip. It is $20 less than the Olloclip.

Neewer offers a 12X optical zoom telescope camera lens and tripod for $20.95 on Amazon. I have not yet used any of these other products and cannot comment on the quality of their lens. However, if you are really serious about photography, an iPhone is not the best choice for taking pictures anyway regardless of the choice of additional lens.

If you want to use the iPhone for record shots or selfies, there is a sizable selection of adaptive iPhone lens with a broad range of prices on the market. Shop carefully.

A marketing video for the 4-in-1 Olloclip can be seen here: