Smartphone lenses, which generally fit over you phone's lens, can expand the types of photos you shoot or videos you capture. These iPhone kits include lenses that let you get close-up details (macro), some that capture a 180-degree field of view (fisheye) and some that deliver expansive landscapes or scenes (wide-angle). There are even some telephoto lenses. The best investment you can make is a kit that provides the flexibility of multiple lenses along with strong image quality.
If you're looking for the sharpest photos you can get from a set of add-on lenses, our pick goes to Moment's lenses, which can be used alone, or in tandem with its cases for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6 (and now the iPhone 8, too). They're pricey, but the image quality you get from Moment's lenses is simply the best around.
For people who want something a bit more affordable, Olloclip's Lens Kits are where it's at. There are multiple systems to choose from including the standard three lens Core Set, the Active Set which includes an ultra-wide angle and 2x telephoto lenses or the Macro Pro Lens Set which features lenses with 7x, 14x and 21x magnification.
Latest Camera Lens News
Moment, which makes some of the best lenses and cases for iPhones, announced a new case and new lenses (as well as a special battery case, for Spring 2018): The four lenses—a wide angle, fish-eye, telephoto (2x) and macro or close-up lens—are pricey, each costing between $90 and $100, but they give both your photos and videos a more professional look that you generally only get with an advanced camera.
iPhone Lens Tips and Advice: What to Know Before You Buy
For the most part, smartphones lens accessories do an admirable job of allowing you to shoot photos that mimic some of the qualities you'll find in high-end camera that accepts interchangeable lenses. But it's important to remember, the expensive lenses you'd use with an SLR or mirrorless camera are pricey for a reason. In other words, you'll want to dial back your expectations when buying one of these smartphone lenses.
Here are four things to remember about most smartphone lens accessories, and where they come up short in comparison to high-end cameras.:
At best, image quality remains the same: Since these lenses, in almost all cases, are attached by placing them over the rear-facing lens on your phone, the quality, at best, remains the same. In other words, the sensor and lenses combo isn't improved. In some cases, with say a telephoto lens, the sharpness in the center may display modest improvement; however, it's in the corners of the photo where sharpness really needs to be tested. With these lenses, the sharpness almost always falls dramatically in the corners. Most of these lenses will also introduce a host of other problems, such as distortion, chromatic aberration (producing conspicuous purple outlines around subjects), and light falloff (where the center is much brighter than the images at the edges of a photo). Most high-quality interchangeable lenses made for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are designed to significantly limit distortion, aberrations, and other optical defects. The DxO One is the one exception since it attaching differently to your smartphone.
Telephoto lenses produce worse images and video than wide angle: No matter what telephoto lens you attach to your phone, it will produce blurrier photos and more jittery video footage than any wide angle or fisheye. That's because telephoto lenses are highly susceptible to handshake and vibration. It's also because smartphones lack the powerful optical and mechanical image-stabilization systems built into DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and the interchangeable lenses you use with those systems.
Lower quality flash photos: Some smartphone lenses block a smartphone's flash, which further limits your ability to capture decent photos in low light.This is rarely an issue with an interchangeable-lens camera.
Awkward designs and other limitations: Since these lenses need to fit snugly over your smartphone's lens, you'll need to remove the camera's case, or be forced to use a case that's only compatible with the lens. Additionally, once you attach the lens, it prominently sticks out from the phone, ruining its sleek design. Good luck slipping that into your back pocket! Lastly, these lenses lack the sophisticated apertures and other hardware you'll find on interchangeable lenses, which allow you produce truly professional looking images.
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