Olloclip Lenses For iPhones

Olloclip for iPhone 5c

One of the most useful (and entertaining) options for your iPhone is not an app, it’s the Olloclip. These handy lenses clip on to the corner of your phone, and allow you to get some really wide shots, as well as a fair amount of detail in close focus macro pics. Note that while it works for video too, we were more interested in taking still photos.

We tested out the Olloclip on my daughter’s iPhone 5c, but they are available for the rest of the iPhone line as well. Keep in mind that I’m an Android user who prefers actual cameras to phones, so it takes a lot to impress me, yet the Olloclip managed to deliver. I tried the fisheye indoors and out, and found the crazy wide view fun to exploit, although the camera can’t record 100% of the circular image. Go outdoors for a panoramic vista, and you can fit a lot into the frame. Take a shot that includes vertical lines at the edges, and you can see just how much the lens distorts your image (Pic 1, below). This is a not a flaw, rather it is a function of the extreme angle of view. It’s a fun effect when used properly, but use it too much and it becomes cliche’.

Olloclip Mounted On iPhone 5c

Flip the Olloclip over, and the wide angle lens will let you get similar shots, without the converging vertical lines. Or unscrew the wide lens and get in close for some macro shots. There are some limits to getting good macro images, as you need to be careful where you focus. The depth of field is so shallow, that unless your subject is flat, most of it will not be in focus. Of course, if you’re taking photos of bugs, just make sure to get the eyes sharp, like a good portrait. And watch that you don’t cast a shadow on your subject. For the shot of the quarter (Pic 2, below), I tried to keep the lens on the same plane as the coin, and a little offset, to avoid reflections. You can see how it’s not sharp on the top, but pretty good on the bottom. This is probably typical of what to expect if you are a casual camera-phone user. With more light, and a little more effort, the results could be much better.

Olloclip With Lens Covers And Carry Pouch

The “clip” part of the Olloclip is plastic, with the lenses held in place by aluminum for precise alignment. Each lens is ground and coated glass. I noticed my fisheye images were soft at the edges in some images, but that is due in part to lens flare (pic 3, below), so watch out for bright light hitting the front of the lens. As I’ve stated already, a phone is not a camera, but I find the quality good enough for spontaneous shots, and if you take your time, you should be able to get some pretty impressive results.

If you’re not the kind of person that likes to bring your camera with you, and just wants to take some pics to post online, the Olloclip is a great choice. If you take your photography seriously, and happen to have an iPhone, you can probably have a lot of fun with the Olloclip too. Wide, fisheye, and macro shots can all be had with the 3-in-1 lens, and it fits in your pocket when not in use. A microfiber pouch and a pair of lens caps keep it safe when not in use. The only thing I don’t like is that we need to take the iPhone out of its case to attach the Olloclip. That may not be ideal when the weather is not so great. Other than that, it’s easy to use, and fun to get creative. Check out all the models available at

– Brian

Pic 1: Interior Shot, Olloclip Fisheye Pic 2: Close-Up Of Quarter Pic 3: Olloclip Fisheye
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