September 15, 2010
Photojojo, seller of fun photography gifts and gear, now carries actual lenses for use with a cell phone. They are miniature (and much cheaper) versions of DSLR-type lenses! When I saw this combo of my two loves, my iPhone and photography, I just had to investigate. The first lens I’ll review is the Fisheye Lens. Unlike a “fisheye lens effect” app, this doesn’t just distort the existing photo into a fisheye shape. This is a real fisheye photo; you can see that two photos taken at the same location, same distance, and same angle, look very different. Substantially more area will be photographed and drawn into the fisheye. The second lens is actually a two-in-one: Wide Angle and Macro. The Macro Lens attaches to the phone, while the Wide Angle Lens is an additional piece that screws onto the Macro. Wide Angle is just what it sounds like -- it simply allows you to take a wider shot. I wasn’t in love with this one -- it does do what it says, but it tends to be vignetted around the edges. I suppose that could be part of its charm, or maybe I’m simply not putting the lens on exactly right. Really, if you want a wider shot than what the iPhone’s camera allows, you’re better off using a good panorama app instead. However, the Macro Lens is a different story. If you love to take super duper close up photos like I do, you simply cannot do that with the iPhone camera. Until now. This Macro Lens really does the trick! The flowers in these photos actually range in size from roughly nickel-sized (the lavender one) to quarter-sized (the entire cluster of pink-orange flowers). And the bee is, well, bee-sized. I am holding the camera maybe a centimeter or less away from the subject in these shots. With more patience and less fear of bees, I could have gotten the bee’s face in focus, but the fact that I could get any part of this animal in focus, so close up, was just shocking to me. Without the Macro lens (my “before” shots), you can see the photos are an utter blur. The lenses attach to the phone via a very thin, magnetic metal ring with one sticky side that you stick on your phone. The good news is, if you have a case of your phone, it will stick to most cases just as easily as the phone itself. Unfortunately, you do have leave the ring on your phone, which isn’t the most gorgeous, especially if you have the iPhone 4. The ring would cover the flash, so you have to cut part of it away, giving you a slightly jagged (unless you cut a lot better than I do) metal “C” instead of a ring on your phone. Of course you can take it on and off as needed, but I would think the sticky would wear off after repeated removal and re-sticking. I’m keeping that “C” on my iPhone as long as it will stick -- these lenses are just too much fun to pass up! [gallery link="file"] If you think you need to own these lenses, but are not prepared to shell out the $40, I have managed to get my hands on a brand-new set of these lenses for one extremely lucky winner (thank you, Photojojo)! Comment below, or retweet for your chance to win. U.S. addresses only, please! Contest ends September 16 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Best of luck!