The iPhone is one of the most popular cameras out there. That means there are a lot of photos taken every day with a very small number of sensors and lenses. To truly stand out, you can’t limit yourself to the phone’s basic, built-in lens.
The Olloclip, a tiny four-in-one-lens accessory, remains one of the easiest ways to add some flair to your photos. The quick-connect attachment includes wide-angle, fisheye, 10x, and 15x macro lenses. At first glance, it seems like there are only two lenses included, but if you unscrew the bulbous parts, that’s where you’ll find the two macro lenses hiding. Of course, you still have the iPhone optics between the Olloclip and the sensor, but on the other hand, you’re not going to find a way to screw in a fisheye into your phone.
Last time we checked in on the Olloclip, it was a solid (if somewhat flawed) accessory for the iPhone 4. It simply felt too cheap. Because the shape of the slip-on attachment had to be updated for the iPhone 5’s new body, Olloclip also took the opportunity to upgrade the lens housing as well. It’s still aluminum, but the glass sits flush now and seems to have an improved anti-glare coating.
Of the four lenses, the fisheye was my favorite (and the one I used most often). It produces an effect you simply can’t replicate in post production (see gallery above). If you’re into action sports or capturing fast movement, especially with the iPhone 5s high-speed camera, you’ll definitely want to add it to your daily carry bag. Same with the macro lenses, both of which provide photos you’d never be able to get otherwise. The wide angle lens, on the other hand, is less useful — the iPhone 5 and 5c already sport a 35mm equivalent field of view, and the 5s is even wider.
The new Olloclip remains a nifty toy, and the fisheye and macro lenses are great for capturing some unique shots. But even this updated version isn’t perfect — the plastic “lens caps” are chintzy, easy to lose, and inelegant. The ergonomics mean your greasy fingers will land directly on the lenses too. Plus, if you use any case on your iPhone (other than the Olloclip Quick Flip) this little clip just won’t fit. Still, for heavy Instagram users or those who simply want to post fisheye Vines and fool around with different effects, this little guy remains one of the best accessories you can buy for your iPhone.
All photos by Josh Valcarcel/get-gadget