What is your opinion on external iPhone lenses?

Discussion in 'Cell Phone Cameras & Camera Phones' started by geniereddick, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. geniereddick

    geniereddick TPF Noob!

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    I'm considering purchasing an external lens kit for my iPhone to help improve the quality of my pictures and video, but first I'd like to get your opinion. Are they worth the money? Do they make big different in terms of quality? Can you get nice bokeh with them?


     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Bokeh is a non-adjustable property of each make/model of lens.
    I suspect what you are referring to is a shallow depth-of-field (DoF), not bokeh.
    Wide angle lenses, add or otherwise make DoF deeper and backgrounds less blurred.
    Shallow DoF is what makes backgrounds blurry.
    Understanding Depth of Field in Photography

    The lens in any camera phone is the limiting factor and most external lenses are going to have various issue, depending on their cost. Add-on lenses with fewer optical issues cost more.

    That said, UPS should be delivering a AUKEY Ora iPhone Camera Lens, 0.45x 140° Wide-Angle for my Samsung phone and Fire Tablet tomorrow. I don't plan to use the 10x marco lens that's included.
    A wider angle view is what I want for a cross country train trip to San Francisco in March and the Aukey seems to have no chromatic aberration, and acceptable to me sharpness around the edges.
    I will mount my phone on a tripod/monopod smart phone holder that has a cold shoe so I can plug my Rode VideoMicro shotgun mic into the phone for improved quality sound.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
  3. Light Guru

    Light Guru Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The clip on lenses tend to be plastic lenses. I’m sure some are actual glass but don’t know which ones are.

    Another issue with the clip on lenses is that because they clip on you don’t get proper alignment of the external lens and the phone lens. This can cause issues like distortion, focus and chromatic aberration.

    Look into the Moment Lenses. They are high quality real glass lenses. They use a bayonet mount to ensure proper alignment.



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  4. geniereddick

    geniereddick TPF Noob!

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    Thanks so much, Keith! I really appreciate all the info. You're right in assuming I was referring to depth-of-field — I tend to get the two terms mixed up because visually I think of the same thing.

    Let me know how you like those lenses. I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts on them :)

     
  5. geniereddick

    geniereddick TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Light Guru! That was very helpful. I wasn't aware of the clip on lenses issues, so I appreciate that tip. I'll definitely take a look at Moment Lenses as I've heard a lot about them from other people too.

     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    One of the things I'm going to be evaluating with the clip on lens is how good it stays on place over the cell phone camera lens.
    The lens on my cell phone's rear camera has a 7/16" square raised cover that may or may not help keep a clip on lens in place.

    If it doesn't I'll likely get a Wogiz Cinema Mount Professional Smartphone Mount so the add-on lens can screw into a mount.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The raised section definitely helps stabilize the clip on lens.
    The lens body is metal. The clip the lens screws onto is plastic.
    The back of the clip just has a hole for the camera lens and has low slip kinda rubbery surface that is against the body of the phone.

    So here is my phone set up for shooting video:
    SmartPhoneVideoRig.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  8. voyageaimer

    voyageaimer TPF Noob!

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    I think the idea of any lense or camera type accessory for a cellphone is absurd. If a person is willing to go to the extent of "improving" their photography capabilities by investing money in a device that doesn't have sole purpose of taking pictures, why no just go out and buy a real camera?
     
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  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Cell phone cameras ARE 'real cameras'.

    The advantage for me of using the cell phone camera with a clip on lens and an external microphone is that the cell phone is smaller, lighter and would be with me anyway. I figure I might as well use all of the phone's capabilities.
     
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  10. voyageaimer

    voyageaimer TPF Noob!

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    A cell phone is a cell phone, not a camera. It is a device that happens to have the ability to take photos. Just like a car is a car. We don't go around calling a car a radio because it can play music, do we?
     
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    As it is, today's smart phones (mobile devices) are way more than just being a telephone.
    I like that I can have my grocery shopping list on mine.
     
  12. BrentC

    BrentC Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    95% percent of my phones use is not making phone calls. In fact it is quite silly to call these devices phones nowadays when they are so much more. They are a computer device and making phone calls is just a small feature. And yes the camera is a real camera and a damn good one.

    Absolutely nothing wrong with getting lenses for them and I have been thinking of picking some up myself.
     
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