10 Cool iPhone Photo Lenses

Thanks to upgrades with each new iPhone, we’ve seen the explosive growth of iPhoneography and photography apps. With the design of the iPhone obviously centered around communication (and fitting in your pocket) with the camera secondary, Apple has yet to integrate an actual adjustable lens, optical zoom and manual focus. And any pro to amateur photographer knows the pain of the digital focus found on any smart phone camera. So now we’re seeing the fast expanding world of iPhone lenses. Let’s check out 10 cool ones, some functional and fun for the casual photographer, letting you fit a lens on that also fits in your pocket, some for the serious photographer with mini-telephoto lenses  and some are just plain excessive, like a mount for a full SLR lens!

OlloClip iPhone 4/4S Lens ($69.99)

This lens is actually 3 lenses in one, making it a great portable option for the casual user. The lens is double ended, with a fish-eye lens and the other side a 10x macro-lens, with and attachable wide-angle lens.  It comes with a lens cap for each end and a little travel bag. This makes it one of the few lens sets that you could carry in your pocket no problem.

Courtesy of Olloclip

iPhone Telephoto Lens ($35)
Here is a mini-telephoto lens that give a big 8x magnification for those long distance photos. While carrying it around seems a bit excessive, it’s still much more compact and portable than bringing a camera with that level of zoom and could even fit in your pocket as well.  It comes with its own black iPhone case to mount it onto, along with a collapsible table tripod, case and cleaning cloth. So with this, you have you can take distance, low-light and steady shots in a neat little package! Perfect for a photographer who wants these camera options who doesn’t want to carry the full size camera and equipment for (or pay for it).

Courtesy of Photojojo

Jelly Camera iPhone Lens Filters ($15 set of 3)
This cute colorful jelly lens set fits on any smartphone, with 3 different effects available. Sized and ready to attach to your keychain, these lenses use a gummy ring to repeatedly stick to your smartphone. The pack of 3 lens is only $15, with a kaleidoscope, starburst and wide angle effect.

Courtesy of Photojojo

Fisheye, Macro, Wide Angle and Telephoto iPhone Lens Set ($49 set of 3)
Like the jelly lens filters, this set of 3 lenses can also be stuck to any smartphone. These lenses use a removable magnetic ring that allows for easily changing but also sturdy enough. These lenses have a nice aluminum finish and use high-clarity glass to ensure quality pictures.  The telephoto lens does 2x zoom and the fisheye lens covers 180 degrees. The combo wide/macro lens covers .67 wide and the macro focuses between 10-23mm.  They all come with front and back lens covers, keychain attachments and can also be bought separately at $20-$25 each.

Courtesy of Photojojo

Turtleback SLR Lens Mount for iPhone ($249)
This SLR lens adapter goes all the way, letting you mount a full Canon or Nikon SLR lens onto your iPhone. The iPhone case and adapter are made of aluminum, ensuring its strength and durability. Note it doesn’t include an SLR lens, but it includes a tripod and the case has strap loops, letting you hang your iPhone around your neck like a real DSLR camera. So if you own a SLR lens, you can now bring your iPhone into its world.

Courtesy of Photojojo

Easy Macro Lens Band ($15)
Now back to a casual option with the easy macro lens band. This lens band works for any smartphone, letting you simply strap it on for macro pictures. Not only does it take up pretty much no space in your pocket, you can even sport it as a wristband to make sure you don’t loose it.

Courtesy of Photojojo

iPhone Lens Dial ($249)
Here is an expensive and flashy option to having a set of lenses. Here you have 3 optical-quality lenses mounted to an iPhone case, letting you rotate between them. Made with aluminum, the whole thing weights 10oz, so about double an iPhone’s weight.  It includes a 0.7x wide angle, 0.33x fisheye and a 1.5x telephoto lens. It also comes with 2 tripods, one for portrait and one for landscape pictures.

Courtesy of Photojojo

Holga iPhone Lens Filter Kit ($24.99)
This fun lens filter kit comes in a 5 colors and offers 9 different filters. This lets you skip the apps for some real lens effects, from colors, multiple split images and a macro. Check out the link below to see the full selection of filters.

Courtesy of Holga Direct

iPro Lens Sytem for iPhone ($199)
The iPro lens system at $199 gives you two professional quality set of two lenses. The lenses use a bayonet mount to securely attach to the case. It also comes with a handle, which helps you keep shots stable, lets you attach it to a tripod and also conveniently stores the lenses inside. The whole thing is made from anodized aluminum, making it stronger and more resistant to wear or corrosion than regular aluminum. The wide angle lens gives a 35% wider view and fisheye lens gives a 165 degree view. The maker, Schneider, plans to release a telephoto lens in the near future, which should retail for around $100.

Courtesy of iPro Lens

iPhone Microscope ($17)
For our last camera lens I’ve decided to go with a microscope. This cool looking device offers a 60x magnification level, with 3 LEDs. Two LEDs are used to illuminate your specimen and one is used as a note detector, letting you see watermarks on paper currency. It comes with a carry case and the lens mounts with a sleeve that slides over the top of your iPhone. It uses 3 little lithium batteries as a power source.

Courtesy of Brando

Do you use any lenses for your iPhone not mentioned here you’d like to recommend, please let us know in the comments below!

This was a guest post by Liz, a blogger for social photography site Viewbug.com, where you can compete in photo contests and share your shots, so come check us out!

 

Have some cool articles you would to us publish here on iPhoneogenic? Drop us a line at iPhoneogenic@gmail.com to be a guest contributor.

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11 responses to “10 Cool iPhone Photo Lenses

  1. I am planning to buy iPro system lens and turtleback SLR lens… however, they are very expensive :(. but it seems worth for the quality we will get :)

    Currently I own iPhone lens set and tele lens, however the quality is horrible. One more thing, Olloclip is not that great as well (I have tried many times with my friend’s Olloclip lens), quality is a little bit better than standard chinese iPhone lens set but still suffer from fringing problem on the edge of the pict frame.

    Hopefully I can give the review after getting iPro system lens…

    Great article!

  2. This looks beautiful but as a protection point of view this won’t be a good choice. But still as I love photography, I want to try this out for my iPhone.

  3. I have a question about the telephoto lens and SLR mount. What kind of quality do these lenses/adapters provide? I don’t want to invest in them and it provide poor quality photos. Anyone have any input?

    • They are actually quite decent. Many users are opting for the olloclip. Some really good macro work has come from this lens. As for the telephoto lenses, I’m not keen on one yet. I have and used a 6x telephoto and a 2x telephoto lens, both leave barrel distortion plus they leave black vignetting around the photo (which can easily be cropped off or zoom until the vignette is gone while in shooting mode).

      Here’s a review of the 2X I did over 2 years ago: http://iphonefilmlab.posterous.com/telephoto-20x-review

      Help this helps some

      • Thanks for the feedback. I’ve got the olloclip- it is a great add on.

        I put up a review-ish post of it on my blog with some sample pics.

  4. Hi Edi,
    Just came to take a look at this. The microscope whilst an interesting one gives a blue-ish hologram around most of the images. It only works on certain things. What I am about to try out is getting proper plate glass to put specimens under like in a lab to see if that works. So far, my results have been mediocre at best and not even interesting enough to app.

    As for the Olloclip, it is still by far the best there is. And so convenient.

    I am not ready to get the DSLR mount yet simply because I don’t wish to mix things up – that is for me a personal thing – however, given that when I go out taking photos with my camera, my phone is part of my kit now instead of a point-and-shoot.

  5. I was wondering some things about that microscope attachment. Is there a way to change the magnification or is it fixed also i would assume it has the ability to be focused? Any help appreciated!

    • Also would this also work as a telescope attachment and I use it for zooming in on things that are far away?

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