Pros: Small and portable; Provides versatile shooting options; Durable design; Excellent image quality
Cons: Small lenses can get lost
Verdict: The Olloclip 4-in-1 lens for the iPhone is a great accessory for those who want to get even better pictures from their smartphone.
As smartphone cameras continue to take the place of point-and-shoot cameras, consumers are looking to do more with the photos they take. But while apps such as Instagram let you add fun filters, you're still stuck with just the iPhone's lens. Olloclip's 4-in-1 lens for the iPhone gives you two macro lenses, a wide-angle lens and a fisheye lens in one compact $69 accessory. Read on to see why this is a must-have device for those who want to get more out of their iPhone's camera.
Small and portable, the Olloclip is 1.4 inches long and 0.8 inches in diameter. The glass lenses are housed in aluminum, making the small 0.8-ounce accessory feel very durable. Our review sample came in red, but you can also order it in silver/white, all black, black/gray and gold/white combinations. The company makes versions for the iPhone 5/5s and the iPhone 4/4S.
On one side of the Olloclip is a wide-angle lens that offers double the width of the iPhone's lens, and on the other side is a fisheye lens that provides a nearly 180-degree field of view. Unscrew these two lenses to get access to the Olloclip's two macro lenses (10x and 15x), which let you get up close and personal.
While unscrewing the outer lenses makes it more likely you'll misplace them, we like that the Olloclip ships with a cloth pouch to store the accessory, as well as two lens covers.
The Olloclip is dead simple to use. Just attach it to the upper right corner of your iPhone. However, you'll need to remove any case you have on your iPhone, and when the Olloclip is attached, you can't use the power button on the top of the phone. However, Olloclip sells a protective Quick-Flip case ($49) with a piece that swings out of the way when you want to use its lenses, and also includes a tripod mount. (You can purchase the case and the lens together for $99).
After that, simply use any camera app on your iPhone. As with the earlier Olloclip, we were impressed with the quality and the zoom level of the macro lenses, as well as the expansive view of the fisheye lens.
Using the 15X Macro lens, we were amazed at how we were able to see even the smallest details, such as individual snowflakes and the yellow, blue, green and red dots on newsprint.
The fisheye lens was just as impressive, allowing us to capture nearly a whole city block and the entirety of the Flatiron Building. However, due to the limitations of the iPhone camera, you don't get a perfect circular image: the upper and bottom parts are cut off.
The 10X macro and the wide angle lenses were also useful, but didn't pack the wow factor of photos taken with the other two lenses.
Sepia filters can only get you so far. Olloclip's 4-in-1 lens kit is a well-made, compact accessory that will let you snap photos you had no idea your iPhone was capable of taking. Photographers of all stripes will find this $69 accessory invaluable.
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