It’s no secret that the iPhone 4S has a great camera. In fact, many professional photographers opt to use it for candid shots in lieu of lugging around a DSLR around. Some believe in the iPhone 4S camera so much, they dedicate portions of their career creating images solely from the 8-megapixel shooter, like Lisa Bettany. With the iPhone camera being so great, many companies have hopped on the bandwagon to try and make products to further better the iPhone camera experience. The Olloclip is one of those products. Did it better the already stellar experience of using the iPhone 4S camera? Read on to find out.
The Olloclip is a 3-in-1 lens system for the iPhone 4/4S. Sporting a unique design that enables the three-lens system, the Olloclip is easily installed by simply slipping it over the corner of your iPhone over the camera. The fit is so tight that you cannot use a screen shield with the Olloclip. More often than not, the Olloclip will simply bubble your screen shield beyond repair if you attempt to do so. The Olloclip comes with a handy microfiber bag that also doubles as a way to wipe your lenses clean.
Like mentioned above, the Olloclip has three different lenses: fisheye, wide angle, and macro to provide versatility and creativity in numerous situations. We’ll take a look at each lens seperately.
The fisheye lens offers approximately 180 degrees of viewing angle, making it the widest lens available on the Olloclip. Using a fisheye lens produces a unique shape of the photo itself: it seems as if you are looking through a fishbowl. Using the fisheye lens is useful when focusing on one complete subject and disregarding its surroundings. The edges of each photo are greatly distorted, and the center of the photograph is the only portion remaining in focus. For those looking to produce “genuine” photographs, this probably won’t appeal to you much at all: you won’t get technically sound photographs while using the fisheye lens.
The wide angle lens on the Olloclip is similar to the fish eye lens in that you get a wider viewing angle than normal, but it’s no where near the extreme you experience while using the fish eye. The current iPhone 4S has an (approximately) 1/3.2″ sensor in it, sporting lens specifications of 3.85mm and f/2.4. If we compare this to a 35mm film camera, the iPhone lens would translate to 30mm and f/22. The wide angle lens attachment on the Olloclip approximately doubles the viewing angle, which compares to a ~17mm lens on a 35mm camera. In my experience, the wide angle lens was useful in capturing whole rooms when there simply isn’t enough room to just “stand back” and capture everything you want to. Also, the wide angle lens was useful for landscape photography, allowing users to get both more detail and more information (focusing-wise) in each photo. There is still a little bit of distortion in the photos, as you can see between the wide angle photo (top) and the iPhone 4S without the Olloclip (bottom)
The macro lens on the Olloclip is concealed underneath the wide-angle lens: simply unscrew the wide-angle lens adapter to access it. The macro lens impressed me more than the other two lenses for a couple reasons. Firstly, the other two lenses are functional, but feel gimmicky for technically sound photographs. However, the macro lens performed exceptionally well. Increasing the iPhone’s optical zoom by about ten-fold, the macro lens allows for some insanely detailed photographs for a phone camera. While the focus can tend to get a bit soft in same places (this is still a phone camera), the overall effect is quite nice, and surprised me with just how close I could actually get to objects I was photographing. Be sure to click the pictures for full-resolution glory.
As I’ve mentioned, the iPhone camera has become the staple shooter for many people, and for good reason. The iPhone 4S’s 8 megapixel sensor does a fantastic job and is versatile in almost all situations. Couple that with a wide f/2.4 aperature, and the Olloclip, you can create some seriously satisfying photographs. If you’re in the market for iPhone camera accessories, the Olloclip is one of the best around, and worth your time checking out for $69.99. Visit Olloclip’s website to learn more.
Pros: 3-in-1 lens system is clever, adds great functionality to the iPhone’s camera.
Cons: The fisheye and wide-angle lenses feel a little gimmicky for those looking to produce “genuine” photographs, doesn’t work with screen shields.