Kamerar Zoom Lens Kit Review: Cheap and Versatile

The dual rear lenses on the  iPhone 7 Plus make it one of our favorite smartphone cameras, but Kamerar's lens kit can take your photography even further. This inexpensive kit features a telephoto, macro and fish-eye lens, which can be swapped out fairly quickly. It's not perfect, but at $35, it's great for the money.

Credit: KamerarCredit: KamerarKamerar claims its Zoom lens kit is the first dual optics system, which means each of the two lens clips in the kit has two physical lenses, one for each of the front cameras of the iPhone 7 Plus.

Credit: KamerarCredit: KamerarEach set clips into an attractive, plastic bumper case and comes with a fish-eye and telephoto lens, and a macro lens. That sounds contradictory, but the idea is that a single clip enhances both cameras. For the fish-eye and 1.5x telephoto lens, this means that the iPhone's 1x zoom view becomes a fish eye that captures 160 degrees.

Credit: Richard BaguleyCredit: Richard BaguleyWith the Macro zoom set attached, the iPhone 7 Plus lets you get really close to the action, focusing on objects as near as roughly 0.7 inches away from the lens.

Credit: Richard BaguleyCredit: Richard BaguleyThe lens adds a 10x magnification to the iPhone camera, and you can then use the digital zoom feature of the iOS camera app to produce a magnification of about 100x.

Credit: Richard BaguleyCredit: Richard BaguleyPoint this zoom at an insect, and you'll get a horrifyingly close-up, '50s monster-movie view of the bug.

Unfortunately, the fish-eye lens produced images that were rather fuzzy and lacked detail, especially at the edges of the circular frame.Credit: Richard BaguleyCredit: Richard BaguleyBecause the iPhone camera app rather annoyingly flips from one camera to the other on a somewhat random basis, you sometimes lose the subject in the frame.

Credit: KamerarCredit: KamerarThe Kamerar Zoom lens kit is well-priced, and it comes with a simple but attractive bumper case. While the lens sets are easy to install and can be pushed out of the way when you want to use the normal camera, you need to push on them hard to make sure they're correctly placed over the phone's cameras.

Otherwise, you get cropped or blurred images. Pushing the lens set out of the way also sometimes caused me to inadvertently touch the front of the iPhone camera, leaving a greasy fingerprint on the glass.

MORE: Smartphones with the Longest Battery Life

The lens set is also unprotected when installed but not in use, so you can't leave it attached and ready to use without running the risk that something in your pocket will damage the lenses.  

The small boxes that the lens set fits into are also small enough to easily lose in a bag or pocket. We would have preferred a way to store the lens sets on the case itself, with some form of cover to protect them.

Bottom Line

While Kamerar's lens kit will work only with the iPhone 7 Plus, those who do pick up this inexpensive accessory will be pleased with its versatility. Credit: KamerarCredit: KamerarIt has a few quirks, but overall represents a good value.