Amir Camera 3-in-1 Lens Kit Review: So-so Budget iPhone Lenses

Amir's trio of affordable smartphone lenses — a 0.4x super-wide-angle lens, a 180-degree fish-eye lens and a 10x macro lens, all for around $12 — cover a good range of options. Although they do have some imperfections, they get the job done.

Design

Amir's threaded glass lenses are well-made and easily attach to the sturdy clamp. Just be careful to avoid overtightening the macro lens to the clamp; I did, and because the macro lens is so small, I needed to use a pair of pliers to twist it off of the clamp.

As with many lens kits, Amir's fish-eye lens needs to be screwed onto the macro lens. The lenses come attached, so don't think your kit is missing a lens. The front cap can be a little tough to remove, but each of the rear caps has a small tab that makes its removal quite easy when you're ready to shoot.

We tested the Amir 3-in-1 kit with an iPhone 8, but the kit is also compatible with the iPhone 7, 6s, 6 and 5s, as well as many Samsung smartphones.

Wide-Angle Lens Performance

Not surprisingly, the 0.4x super-wide-angle lens exhibits a good amount of curvature, so keep that in mind when choosing a subject and composing a shot. While the center of our shots were sharp, the crispness fell off as we moved toward the edges.

However, this effect was more noticeable in some photos than in others; it was less pronounced in an image of a brick building than it was in a treescape. We also noticed some chromatic aberration (purple fringing) and halos along high-contrast edges.

Fish-Eye Lens Performance

At 180 degrees, Amir's fish-eye lens provides the typical circular field of view. As in images taken with the kit's wide-angle lens, the center of the image is relatively sharp but becomes decidedly softer as you move toward the edges.

Keep in mind that the lens is so wide that you need to examine the outer edges of the composition before you shoot, to avoid getting your fingers or other extraneous elements (like your feet) in the photo. Be on the lookout for lens flare and reflections on sunny days, too.

Macro-Lens Performance

Macro lenses can be difficult to shoot with because of their very shallow depth of field (area of focus). This was especially true with the Amir 10x macro lens, in part because the lens has such a low profile.

With a suggested lens-to-subject distance of about 0.5 inches, both the phone and the lens have to be so close to the subject that it's almost impossible to light the scene or get more than an exceedingly small area of focus. When we photographed a flower, the petals were almost touching the lens.

Bottom Line

While $12 may seem like a bargain, all of the lenses in Amir's 3-in-1 kit have their shortcomings. It's worth spending a little more on the Aukey Ora, but that kit lacks a fish-eye lens. But if you're on a tight budget, not too fussy about image quality and only want to post some small pictures online, Amir's 3-in-1 kit may be worth buying.

MORE: Best iPhone Camera Lenses - Wide Angle, Macro & Zoom Kits

Credit: Tom's Guide

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