The camera on the last two generations of iPhone is pretty amazing. The iPhone 4S upped the photographic game in a big way. And while the camera on the iPhone 5 doesn’t look that much better on paper, when you actually shoot with it, the improvements are clear. One of the best ways to get the most out of your iPhone camera is to use one of the many available after-market lens systems. We looked at one such system over the summer. (It comes from our newsletter underwriter USBFever and you can read the full post here.)
Another, more compact, way to get the most from the iPhone 4S’ camera comes from olloclip. The olloclip is a single unit that slips over the iPhone 4S’ corner and lets you enhance pictures in three different ways. Let’s take a quick look at it, and then we’ll give two away!
The olloclip is a quick-connect lens solution for the iPhone 4/4S that includes fisheye, wide-angle and macro lenses in one small, convenient package that easily fits in your pocket. Nestled in the palm of your hand, the olloclip connects to the iPhone within seconds so you’ll be sure to capture the image you want…if you don’t see the picture you’re looking for just flip it over to switch lenses.
The olloclip uses precision ground glass multi-element optics for the lenses. The barrels are made from aircraft grade aluminum using a CNC machine and then anodized. The iPhone 4S/4 attachment is made from a soft plastic material that ensures a secure fit every time to the iPhone. The olloclip uses very high quality components that are expensive to make but we think that our users will appreciate a quality product that gives excellent results and is a joy to use.
The olloclip offers three different lenses in a small, ease to carry, package. In the above image you can see an image taken with the standard iPhone 4S camera, one take with the fisheye lens and a third taken with the macro lens.
Macro lens: The Macro lens applies roughly a 10X multiplier and allows you to focus the iPhone within 12-15mm of the subject. The Macro lens is cleverly concealed within the olloclip and can be accessed by unscrewing the Wide-Angle lens that is normally attached to it.
Fisheye lens: The Fisheye lens captures approximately a 180 Degree field-of-view and produces some striking images.
Wide-Angle lens: The Wide-Angle lens is great for when you need that extra field of view, approximately double that of the normal iPhone.
What’s great about the olloclip is the fact that you don’t need to carry two, three or four different small accessories. Instead, you get three lenses on a single package that can easily be thrown in the carry bag and stowed with the rest of your gear. Then, when you are ready, you simply take out the olloclip, slide it over your iPhone’s corner and take your shots.
It is a great system, but it is not a perfect system. Why? Three reasons.
First, the olloclip is device-specific. It works with the iPhone 4 and 4S. If you want to use it with the 4th generation iPod touch you need an adapter. And if you want to use it with the iPhone 5 you need… to wait. Yes, there’s no bout a new adapter is on the way but, at the moment, if you upgraded to the iPhone 5 you are out of luck.
Second, the tolerances on the olloclip are rather tight. That means you are likely out of luck if you use a screen protector or back film. I know I wan unable to use it with my iPhone 4S thanks to the GLAS.t screen protector I use. And when I used Elana’s 4S to take the pictures of the iPod shuffle, I messed up her screen protector. Is it a huge deal? No. It is, however, something about which you should be aware.
Finally, the olloclip is not inexpensive. At an MSRP of $69.99 you are shelling out significant dollars for a small iPhone accessory. Then again, the optics are of the highest of quality, and the accessory does give you three lenses in one.
You can learn more about the olloclip and order yours here on the company website. And you can check below to enter to win one in either white (brand new) or black (review sample).
What I Like: Three lenses in one; High quality optics; Works well; Comes with a carry bag; Takes iPhone photography to the next level
What Needs Improvement: Device specific; Tight if not unusable when your iPhone has a screen protector or back film; Pricey