Every now and again, the GearDiary team gets a press release that leads to a round of “No way that’ll ever work!” emails being tossed around our “reply all” circle. Then invariably, I’ll be the one to volunteer to try it. Maybe it’s just the dreamer in me. My little world is full of butterflies and unicorns, too.
And it takes a dreamer to believe in a product like a telescope adapter for an iPhone. Especially when you read the claims on the website of its features:
- makes the super wide angel
- the larger luminous flux
- the higher visual acuteness
- good for color reduction
- detachable from the crystal case
- 6X optical Zooming
Now I don’t know if it makes angels wider or reduces color, and I’m pretty sure I don’t know what luminous flux is, but I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if the darned thing doesn’t work!
Here’s what comes in the package. A two part clear plastic case snaps around your iPhone like most cases. Maybe it’s not the most attractive case in the world, but it does offer the stability needed to support the 6X telescopic lens.
The back of the case has a hole and a mounting flange which aligns with the camera lens on your iPhone.
The telescopic attachment slides easily into place and then locks with a satisfying and snug “click.” Removal is a simple reversal of this process.
When assembled, the whole contraption is a bit unwieldy, but that is necessary to support the optics and maintain stability of the system for a clear photograph.
“Is that an iPhone in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”
This is not a zoom lens. It is a fixed-focus 6X telephoto. Since that’s a pretty high magnification and the setup is extremely front-heavy, it is very difficult to keep the camera steady to avoid blurry shots.
I got the best results by propping the phone on a table or against a railing while gripping the bottom of the phone with both hands. But with this technique, I got some surprisingly crisp shots.
Here’s a picture of our backyard pond and pet pudelhunds taken from the back deck of my cabin without the iPhone Telescope Adapter installed.
Now here’s a view of the same pond taken from exactly the same vantage point with the iPhone Telescope Adapter. Note the size of the fish and the end of the filter pump hose for an example of the magnification.
Finally, here’s a view of Rufus McLovin’, our latest rescue dog addition to the family, attempting to eat a mosquito donut out of the pond. Bad dog! Dumb dog! But dang doesn’t he look like he’s in excellent focus?
I haven’t seen a camera accessory like this anywhere else for the unstoppable juggernaut that is iPhonemania. Sure, it’s a bit of a novelty, but the ability to bring life a little closer to us is something that all us dreamers want. Sometimes those unicorns just don’t get close enough to photograph…
iPhone Telescope with Crystal Case is available from USB Fever.
What I Like: Excellent image clarity for the price if you can keep your hand steady. Sturdy, simple construction. Might be useful for birdwatchers and nature photographers.
What Needs Improvement: You either have to keep your phone in this case all the time and remove the lens when you’re not using it or install the whole contraption to take advantage of the device. Slightly unwieldy.