What shall we shoot next? – Mark and I
This week, my husband Mark and I have been testing the olloclip 4-IN-1 Lens for iPhone. It’s tiny bit of kit, weighing less than 23g and measuring just 1.5” x 1” x 1”, which clips onto the corner of your iPhone or iPod Touch and offers four new lens options: macro x10, macro x15, wide angle and fisheye.
It’s designed to be kept in your pocket or bag and attached to your phone whenever you spy an opportunity. Here’s how we got on.
Using the olloclip 4-IN-1 Lens
Having the olloclip 4-IN-1 Lens to hand presents all sorts of fun opportunities but fitting it does mean first removing any casing or bumper you might have on your phone. However, once you’ve done that the lens is easy to put on and take off, simply sliding onto the corner of the phone.
If you tend to make use of the iPhone’s onboard flash, you’ll need to learn to do without it as the lens housing on the olloclip covers the flash, so that it can’t be used when the olloclip is in place.
The X10 lens offers very good magnification, with a good depth of field. However, it’s hard to get a steady shot and the iPhone keeps trying to refocus with even the slightest movement, making holding focus to get a steady shot quite challenging.
These shots were taken in day light by Mark. The figure are around a centimeter tall.
You can also get a great bokeh effect by shooting lights in the distance with the macro lens in place.
This lens too is surprisingly clear with a great depth of field. It allows very strong close up magnification that lets you to see the hairs on a fly, or tiny veins on a dried thyme leaf.
The downside is how close you need to get to the subject – typically around 18mm – meaning you have to be carful about light position as you will cast a shadow or limit the light getting through.
This means neither of the macro lenses are great for sneaking shots of small wildlife and insects but for still life, ice crystals in the snow, dew in cobwebs or raindrops on a window they are great.
All wide angle lenses come with a degree of barrel distortion but it’s more pronounced with this lens that on a standard DSLR, however it only really becomes an issue if you’re comparing with straight shots or shooting a subject with prominent straight lines that will show up as bowed.
Apart from that it’s a fantastic bit of kit to have on hand. It offers clean, crisp shots and allows you to get much more into the frame than you can normally. This is especially useful when photographing closer up or if you have the phone on video mode.
It’s sharpest in the centre of the shot with blurring around the edges, but this is to be expected as with most cheap lenses and is a reasonable trade off for almost doubling the view.
Here’s a standard landscape shot and the same shot with the wide angle lens.
The fish eye lens attachment is by far the most fun for messing around and being silly. You can get really exaggerated features from a close up portrait shot and it’s great for abstract shots and extreme wide angle shots.
On the down side, because it’s quite extreme in its almost 180 degree view, you can easily catch your fingers in the edge of shots when simply holding the phone, but that improves with practice.
The shot below is grainy and saturated because it was taken indoors under a standard yellow bulb, but you can get much clearer shots in good light.
The olloclip 4-IN-1 lens retails for £59.99 and can be purchased at http://www.olloclip.com and through Apple and other major retailers. It comes in Black, Silver or Red and can fit the iPhone 4/4s, 5/5s, iPod touch 4th and 5th generation – just make sure you order the correct model at checkout.
Overall, we’d say it’s well worth the price, given the versatility it adds to the camera you already have in your pocket.
Disclosure: we were sent the olloclip 4-IN-1 Lens for iPhone for review. No payment was received for this post. All posts are 100% honest.