Olloclip make clip-on lenses for both iPhone and android, basically equipping your smartphone camera with superpowers. Using a different lens, get creative with a range of wide-angle, fisheye and close-up shots.
Disclaimer: I was gifted three Olloclip lenses in exchange for an honest product review. However as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
What is Olloclip?
I love the idea behind Olloclip. Different lenses that clip onto your phone, expanding the versatility and capability of your existing camera phone.
It’s a concept you may already be familiar with if you own a mirrorless or DSLR camera, which both rely on attaching different lenses to your camera for different purposes.
However, a key difference is obviously price, since those cameras will set you back several hundreds or thousands of pounds. As well as convenience, remembering to actually bring your camera in the first place, and of course, a considerable difference in weight and size!
While a product like Olloclip isn’t going to replace your professional DSLR, it may still earn its place inside your hand or man bag.
How it Works
I was gifted three lenses to review for my iPhone XS: telephoto, super-wide and fisheye/macro. They arrived neatly packaged with a phone case and lens clip in order to attach the lenses. The lenses work both with and without the phone case, although I prefer to use them without.
Attaching the lens clip is easy. Hold down the front button and slide it over the camera until it clicks in. Check out the video below and Olloclip’s Support page for a more detailed user guide.
The lenses also work with both iPhone cameras: the front selfie-mode and the main camera at the back. When using the back camera, you’ll notice two options: the top option is for most lenses except for telephoto, which needs to be clipped onto the bottom.
I couldn’t wait to give this a try! To test out each lens, I ventured out into Hampstead Heath on a sunny spring day. Here’s how I got on…
The Telephoto 2x is essentially a zoom in optical magnification lens with two quirks you should know. (1) Remember to clip the lens onto the back bottom camera setting and (2) set your camera in portrait mode in order for it to work. Once set up correctly, this lens can deliver some impressive close-ups!
Below I took two photographs from Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath overlooking the city. Standing in exactly the same spot, I compared using the telephoto lens (right) to without (left). As you can see, the zoom is pretty impressive!
Another cool feature of the telephoto lens is that it can blur the background if you focus on closer objects. For example, the two images below, taken with (right) and without (left) the lens, reveal this effect.
Super-wide does the opposite job of telephoto, zooming out approximately 120 degrees to give you extra visibility. This lens is particularly useful for group photos, landscapes and interior shots, and one of their best-selling lenses. For an even wider angle, Olloclip has the ultra-wide lens with an impressive 155 degree field of view.
In the landscape image above, there is no visible distortion. However, sometimes if you get closer to your object, you may see a spherical effect like the one below (right).
Fisheye is probably the most fun of the three, giving you those unique GoPro style fish-eye shots. It’s a creative wide-angle spherical lens, which you can use however, wherever you want.
I had a lot of fun goofing around with this one. You can also experiment with cropping out the black edges for a different look.
The fisheye lens also has a second setting, the Macro 15x. This lens will turn your camera into a microscope! Just remember that you need to hold the lens about an inch from your object in order for it to work.
To use this lens, unscrew the fisheye lens to reveal the Macro lens underneath. I was really impressed with the clarity and detail of this magnifying lens, producing some very delicate and intricate shots!
It really is a lot of fun to stick the camera up close and personal to whatever you wish. Flowers, bugs, or strange surfaces reveal more than what meets the eye. Also great for producing artistic prints for the home.
Overall, I was surprised with the versatility and quality of the Olloclip, and recommend it to any hobbyist photographers looking to experiment. While it’s not a substitute for a professional camera, it’s a fantastic compliment.
Although I own several cameras, I take the bulk of my photos with my phone simply because it’s always with me! This is one of the main advantages of a small portable product like the Olloclip, and one of the main drawbacks of proper cameras.
Another major advantage of the Olloclip is its price point. Among other competing products, Olloclip offers the best value-for-money. Lenses are available for purchase here in bundles or individually, with over 8 different high-quality lenses to choose from.
Finally, although Olloclip lenses are compatible with most iPhone’s and Androids through their multi-device lenses, there is one little catch. In some cases, changing your phone may require purchasing a new Olloclip set!
What do you think? Would you buy an Olloclip for your phone? Let me know in the comments below!
This really sounds great, definitely something I’ll be looking into!
I’ve heard a lot about these lenses and your review has certainly helped explain what each one is about! Brilliant for travel when your luggage is very limited as I’ve suffered from carrying all the camera entourage recently! Seems to be a pretty neat product!
Exactly! Especially if going on a quick weekend break, it can be difficult to haul all your camera gear too! Not quite a substitute but as I mentioned, a great compliment and fun product x