Add-on camera lens for iPhone

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#1
MI - Michigan
12 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Hello everyone! I was hoping someone could recommend a good clip on lens for my iPhone in leu of taking my big camera on all my excursions during my upcoming Alaskan cruise aboard NCL Jewel in August.
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Past Cruise: Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas, May 2017.
#2
Seattle, WA
1,891 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
I don't think there's such a thing as a good clip-on lens. I'm biased, but if the outer lens on the iPhone is designed to gather the light that's out in the world, trying to put a clip-on lens beyond that is NOT going to yield good results. Especially if you're used to a big camera...
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#3
898 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by peety3
I don't think there's such a thing as a good clip-on lens. I'm biased, but if the outer lens on the iPhone is designed to gather the light that's out in the world, trying to put a clip-on lens beyond that is NOT going to yield good results. Especially if you're used to a big camera...
Peety.... you're missing what is "good enough" for many people..... For people looking to post a so-so image on facebook...

To OP... recent article reviewing your options:

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/be...es-for-iphone/
#4
Seattle, WA
1,891 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Originally posted by havoc315
Peety.... you're missing what is "good enough" for many people..... For people looking to post a so-so image on facebook...

To OP... recent article reviewing your options:

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/be...es-for-iphone/
The OP already has a big camera. I'm assuming that's a DSLR. It's one thing to downgrade to an iPhone, it's another thing to downgrade further to some sort of clip-on lens. Physical alignment is PARAMOUNT to good photos in that scenario, and I just don't see an iPhone having a means to provide a well-centered mounting method for a lens, and/or the lens itself having a proper mount to get it that well positioned.

LensRentals.com has several good articles about teleconverters that go between a DSLR and a lens, making a 200mm lens into a 280mm (1.4x) or 400mm (2x), at the obvious "expense" of aperture. They make a fantastic point in one of those articles: the lens has already gathered the light and sent it towards the sensor. Sticking a TC in the path to monkey with those well-aligned rays of light in new and different ways doesn't work well. It works best for longer focal-length lenses, presumably because they're gathering rays of light that were already rather parallel. A clip-on iPhone lens is so far away from that scenario.
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Prior:

Repositioning Ruby Princess (VAN-SEA) 5/5/17-5/6/17

Mexican Riviera (LA RT) Ruby Princess 2/11/17-2/18/17

Repositioning Crown Princess (SEA-VAN) 9/19/15-9/20/15
Alaska (Seattle RT) Ruby Princess 8/9/15-8/16/15
Alaska Sampler (YVR-KTN-SEA) Ruby Princess 4/29/15-5/3/15
Alaska (Seattle RT) Grand Princess 7/20-27/14
Alaska Northbound Sapphire Princess 8/11-18/12
Alaska Northbound Coral Princess 9/4-11/10
#5
898 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by peety3
The OP already has a big camera. I'm assuming that's a DSLR. It's one thing to downgrade to an iPhone, it's another thing to downgrade further to some sort of clip-on lens. Physical alignment is PARAMOUNT to good photos in that scenario, and I just don't see an iPhone having a means to provide a well-centered mounting method for a lens, and/or the lens itself having a proper mount to get it that well positioned.

LensRentals.com has several good articles about teleconverters that go between a DSLR and a lens, making a 200mm lens into a 280mm (1.4x) or 400mm (2x), at the obvious "expense" of aperture. They make a fantastic point in one of those articles: the lens has already gathered the light and sent it towards the sensor. Sticking a TC in the path to monkey with those well-aligned rays of light in new and different ways doesn't work well. It works best for longer focal-length lenses, presumably because they're gathering rays of light that were already rather parallel. A clip-on iPhone lens is so far away from that scenario.
I know many “big camera owners”... an old dslr with a kit lens... or even a “big” bridge camera... that they have only used on auto.... and they don’t even know how to use the AF system... so their iPhone photos are actually superior.
Just because someone owns a “big camera” doesn’t mean they are used to taking quality photos.
#6
Denver
51 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Originally posted by havoc315
I know many “big camera owners”... an old dslr with a kit lens... or even a “big” bridge camera... that they have only used on auto.... and they don’t even know how to use the AF system... so their iPhone photos are actually superior.
Just because someone owns a “big camera” doesn’t mean they are used to taking quality photos.

Couldn't agree more. It sometimes makes me smile to see someone with a really nice Nikon or Canon - big time lenses and the camera is set to auto. Granted, I am a photographer from the old F2AS, MD3 Motor (the whole works) to include darkroom...but still....

Shoot guys! It only takes 20 minutes or so to learn the wonders of manual settings!!

Look at it this way - experiment!! It's not like you are burning through 50 rolls of Kodak film.....that memory card can be erased!!
#7
Southern California
8,006 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by RandallFlagg
.....that memory card can be erased!!
Wait...what?

Dave
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"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."
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#10
Michigan
1,632 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by BnWhited
Hello everyone! I was hoping someone could recommend a good clip on lens for my iPhone in leu of taking my big camera on all my excursions during my upcoming Alaskan cruise aboard NCL Jewel in August.


I’ll start with a caveat or two. I have a big camera, I have an iPhone, and I use both within the realms where their respective capabilities fit the scene. The iPhone is amazingly wonderful. I use mine for shots of the well displayed food in the MDR, snappies of family or friends, for-the-record shots of menus or signposts.
I too have seen ads for iPhone add-ones. I have been intrigued. But I have been a serious (albeit amateur) photographer for 50 years and I long ago learned that there is no magic. A camera is as good as it was designed to be, and any after-the-fact add-ons gimmickry will almost inevitably degrade rather than improve your images.
Stick with your real camera. Save your phone for talking and texting.

Stan


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#11
Denver
51 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Originally posted by GottaKnowWhen
I’ll start with a caveat or two. I have a big camera, I have an iPhone, and I use both within the realms where their respective capabilities fit the scene. The iPhone is amazingly wonderful. I use mine for shots of the well displayed food in the MDR, snappies of family or friends, for-the-record shots of menus or signposts.
I too have seen ads for iPhone add-ones. I have been intrigued. But I have been a serious (albeit amateur) photographer for 50 years and I long ago learned that there is no magic. A camera is as good as it was designed to be, and any after-the-fact add-ons gimmickry will almost inevitably degrade rather than improve your images.
Stick with your real camera. Save your phone for talking and texting.

Stan


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I absolutely agree. A year or so back, my DW purchased a Samsung Galaxy camera. Looks (for all intents and purposes) like a cell phone. However it is a camera that has Email and all kinds of other cool stuff. You can literally take a shot with this crazy camera and upload it to Facebook 5 seconds later (if that is your thing )

Both of us are now "older" (I'll leave it at that) and she tends to shake a little now and then. The image stabilization on that camera is amazing. I don't remember the resolution on that thing, but it is really nice.

We both have iPhones for cell usage and the "occasional" photos. My biggest gripe with the camera is that (and this is MY shortcoming) 9 times out of 10 I forget to wipe the lens...... Sometimes it looks like I am in London on a foggy day
#12
MI - Michigan
12 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
I appreciate all the advice everyone! Looks like I’ll just be purchasing a new extra SD cards instead!


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Past Cruise: Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas, May 2017.