Manfrotto Klyp+ Lens Kit (iPhone 5) Review

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Design: Solid and Complete

Well known as a manufacturer of top-quality photography equipment, Manfrotto has a lot to live up to with its $95 Klyp+ system. The kit includes a flexible plastic case, three lenses, tripod attachment, wrist strap and cloth carrying bag. The three lenses are a 1.5x portrait lens, fisheye and wide angle.

Credit: Jeremy Lips / Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Jeremy Lips / Tom's Guide)

Our iPhone 5s slid easily into the case, and lenses are attached through the threaded mount positioned over the iPhone's camera. I wish the case had a full back for better overall protection; instead, the Manfrotto has a section cutout in the rear. On the other hand, the covered controls for the volume rocker and lock button worked well.

The lenses come with covers for both sides embossed with the Manfrotto logo. This is a nice touch, since having a little extra protection while you're not using them is always good. Each lens is coated in a black anodized finish and neatly labeled to prevent any confusion about which lens is which, although you have to remove the cap to read the text.

MORE: Best iPhone Camera Lenses

The Klyp can be combined with Manfrotto's $73 ML240 LED accessory to provide continuous soft lighting, something not offered by rival kits from Olloclip or CamKix.

Ease of Use: Among the Best

Manfrotto ranks near the top for ease of use, alongside kits from Olloclip. You can slide the phone in and out of the case more easily than you can with competitors like the CamKix or HitCase Pro. Lenses fit smoothly onto the threaded mount, while the ones not in use can be safely stowed away in the included cloth bag.

Image quality: Landscape, Fisheye and Portrait Lens

Before we start, take a look at the test shot below using the stock iPhone 5s camera. We used it to compare things like sharpness, distortion and color accuracy.

Credit: Sam Rutherford / Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Sam Rutherford / Tom's Guide)

Landscape Lens: Sharp

Credit: Sam Rutherford / Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Sam Rutherford / Tom's Guide)

Wide-angle pictures from Manfrotto’s landscape lens were good, second only to shots from the Olloclip wide-angle lens. Details on the focus subject (the arch) are clear, with continued sharpness in the center, falling off slightly toward the corners. There is some distortion of shapes, but that's common with these lenses.

Fisheye Lens: A Bit Soft

Credit: Sam Rutherford / Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Sam Rutherford / Tom's Guide)

Pictures from the fisheye lens were fine, but I was expecting a little more from a brand with Manfrotto’s kind of recognition. Sharpness was just average.

1.5x Portrait Lens: A Gem

Credit: Sean Captain / Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Sean Captain / Tom's Guide)

This was my favorite lens in Manfrotto’s kit, and a shining star among all the lenses we tested. It has strong overall sharpness and the least chromatic aberration — smeared colors. The lens even improves on the original iPhone 5s’ performance, according to our lab results using test patterns and the Imatest analysis software. This model makes a great all-purpose lens and would be the first thing I grab to shoot most pictures.

Bottom Line

At $95, the Manfrotto Klyp+ sits between the sub-$50 CamKix and the rugged $150 Hitcase Pro. Including the case, cloth bag and tripod mount, the Klyp+ system offers a more professional (and more expensive) quality and feel to a case-plus-lens kit. Without a lens attached, the case functions well in everyday situations, while allowing you to slap on a lens when the time is right.

Sam is a Senior Writer at Engadget and previously worked at Gizmodo as a Senior Reporter. Before that, he worked at Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag as a Staff Writer and Senior Product Review Analyst, overseeing benchmarks and testing for countless product reviews. He was also an archery instructor and a penguin trainer too (really).