Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens Review
As someone who likes to take pictures, I look forward to every smartphone camera upgrade that comes along. I am waiting for the time when camera phones can replace my DSLR, or at least my point and shoot. The iPhone 5S has a very good camera built in, but I still carry my DSLR every time I might need to take great quality pictures with macro or wide angles. Unfortunately, the iPhone’s camera simply can’t do any of these things on its own. Olloclip was designed to give your smartphone camera these abilities with an easy clip on adapter. This particular model has 4 different lenses; 15x, 10x macro, wide angle, and a fisheye all in one simple package. It comes in 5 different colors for the iPhone 5/5S. Olloclip makes lenses for all types of smarphones and tablets, but I will focus my review on the Olloclip 4-in-1 lens for iPhone 5/5S.
What’s in the box
You get a protective pouch, in which you can carry the lenses. In total you have 4 different lenses, 2 of them are on the clip itself, these are your macro (10x & 15x) lenses. The other 2 you can screw on the clip and are the wide angle and fisheye lenses. I’m glad they also include 2 plastic protectors, otherwise the lenses would get scratched up very quickly. The last piece I couldn’t find any info on is the black plastic piece on the bottom right hand corner of the picture. I was able to make it fit inside the clip on, so I guess it’s for protection. Since you are not going to be carrying the clip with the lenses on the phone all the time, the soft pouch does comes in handy.
Initial Thoughts on the Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens
I have seen several of these add-on lenses online, I was never really interested in them because most of them are part of some type of case, or they require you to strap them onto the phone making it very difficult to put on and take off. They usually come as separate pieces as well, making you screw and unscrew each lens every time you want a different look. Olloclip 4-in-1 lens is different, it comes in 1 package and it’s easy to put on and take off. If you carry your phone in your pocket or purse you are most likely not going to have the clip attached all the time, and you will just snap it on when needed. The one thing you have to keep in mind is that if you have any type of case, no matter the thickness, you will have to take the case off before you use the Olloclip 4-in-1 lens. For me this isn’t an issue as my case comes off very easily, but for those of you that have one of those thick protective cases it is something to keep in mind. The clip fits the phone very snugly, which is a good thing.
Using the Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens
The first thing is putting the clip on the phone. This is a simple process, and once you’ve figured out which lens you want to use, you just snap the Olloclip on the iPhone at the top right hand corner where the back facing camera is located. You will know that’s all the way in because you will block the power button. In the video below you can see how easily it goes on, and how to change between the lenses. If you pay attention to the iPhone’s screen you can also see how the camera changes through the lenses.
Testing the Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens
It’s nice that you can easily exchange lenses, but the main question for me will always be how good the quality of the pictures will be? Are the lenses high enough quality for me to use it? Ultimately if the Olloclip decreases the image quality too much, I wouldn’t use it. For me the most useful lens is the wide angle, so I will start with that one.
The picture above is what a normal iPhone picture looks like. It was a beautiful morning, so the light was just right. I framed the picture with the trail and the mountain so that you can see the difference. The picture below shows the same trail and mountain, but notice how much more of the mountain you are able to see.
However, the extra areas in the picture are not as sharp as the center than what the iPhone lens sees without the lens. I’m not sure if this is due to the lens itself or if there are other factors. Every picture I took of landscapes I noticed the soft edges, so I wanted to see if it had the same effect for a closeup picture.
The picture above is without the wide angle, you can see that all the letters are very sharp. The good news is that the picture below with the Olloclip is much sharper, you can see a little softness at the edges, but it’s barely noticeable. I think that my focus on the landscape pictures was too small making the edges soft, so this is not a deal breaker for me.
Next is the fish eye lens. I don’t see myself using the fisheye much. Even though this lense gives you a 180 degrees viewing angle, it distorts the image too much for my taste. If this look is something you like, then you’ll absolutely love it. Another downside for me is that you get a black circle on top of the rectangular image that comes out of the phone. Having said that I think these pictures are supposed to be more for fun than anything else (see example below). We were having fun in the car, and believe it or not this is a fiat 500 which the lens makes it seem like a much larger car.
This next picture shows how much the lens can view, but for me the black edges takes away a bit of the cleanliness of the picture.
I was most surprised with the quality of the 2 macro lenses. The 15x gives you great quality and you can get very close to your subject. I can’t really think of anything better to show this effect than through flowers. If I hadn’t taken the picture myself, I wouldn’t have believed it was done with an iPhone 5S. The sharpness and quality of this picture is amazing. To take this picture I was about 4 cm from the flower.
The last lens is the 10x, and this is also an amazing lens. You don’t have to get as close to your subject, but the quality and sharpness of the picture is just as good. I didn’t focus on the center of the flower in this case, but on one of the petals. I love the depth of field that this lens give me, since I don’t have to be as close to see more.
Lastly I’d like to share 4 pictures of the same object using all 4 lenses of the Olloclip 4-in-1 lens.
Final Thoughts on the Olloclip 4-in-1 lens
With 4 different lenses, easy clip on/off, good quality glass inside the lenses and 5 different colors to choose from, the Olloclip 4-in-1 lens is a great addition to any iPhone photographer. It gives you the ability to leave your bigger cameras behind for day to day pictures. I will still carry my DSLR for important shoots until a smartphone can shoot with the same quality. I don’t think smartphones will replace DSLRs any time soon, but they are getting very close to replacing point and shoots. Considering that you might be able to replace your point and shoot, this is a great deal. The design is small enough to be able to carry without adding bulk, and the pictures you can take with it are quite beautiful and a worthwhile addition. You can buy the Olloclip 4-in-1 lens for $69.99 directly from their website https://www.olloclip.com/