Add-on camera lens for iPhone

Photo & Camera Discussions

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 05:12 AM.
#1
MI - Michigan
18 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.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Past Cruise: Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas, May 2017.
#2
Seattle, WA
2,018 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...
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Up next: nothing booked.

See our cruise photos at http://photos.templin.org/cruises/


Prior:
Alaska (Seattle RT) Emerald Princess 9/16/17-9/23/17
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
#3
1,037 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
2,018 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.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Up next: nothing booked.

See our cruise photos at http://photos.templin.org/cruises/


Prior:
Alaska (Seattle RT) Emerald Princess 9/16/17-9/23/17
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
1,037 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
238 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
8,378 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by RandallFlagg
.....that memory card can be erased!!
Wait...what?

Dave
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Photography is therapy. My camera is my couch.

A cruise ship is my favorite camera accessory!
#10
Michigan
1,906 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


Sent from my iPad using Forums
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature



04.1948 - Italian Line MV Vulcania: NY to Piraeus
06.1950 - American Export Line S.S. Exeter: Piraeus to Naples
07.1950 - American Export Line S.S. Excambion: Marseilles to NY
08.1955 - Moore McCormick Lines S.S. Argentina: NY to Buenos Aires
08.1958 - Grace Lines S.S. Santa Cecilia: NY to Arica, Chile
02.2013 - RCCL Adventure of the Seas: San Juan -Southern Caribbean
11.2014 - RCLL Adventure of the Seas: TA Southampton to San Juan
02.2015 - Celebrity Infinity: Buenos Aires to Cape Horn and Antarctica
12.2015 - Celebrity Infinity: Fort Lauderdale to Valparaiso Chile
08.2016 - B2B Celebrity Millennium: Seward AK to Vancouver CA to Seward AK
11.2016 - Celebrity Silhouette: TA Rome to FLL

01.2017 - Celebrity Eclipse: Exotic Southern Caribbean
07.2017 - Celebrity Constellation: Greek Isles
12.2017 - Celebrity Summit, Dutch Antilles Caribbean
03.2018 - Celebrity Xpedition: Galapagos
06.2018 - Celbrity Summit, Bermuda and New England

11.2018 - Celebrity Eclipse: Italy & The Adriatic
11.2018 - Celebrity Eclipse: TA Barcelona to Buenos Aires
03.2019 - Celebrity Eclipse: BA to Valparaiso
03.2019 - Celebrity Eclipse: and on up to San Diego

09.2019 - Celebrity Reflection Amsterdam to Barcelona
09.2019 - Celebrity Reflection Italy & Spain
02.2020 - Celebrity Solstice Auckland to Melbourne
#11
238 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


Sent from my iPad using Forums

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
18 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
I appreciate all the advice everyone! Looks like I’ll just be purchasing a new extra SD cards instead!


Sent from my iPad using Forums
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Past Cruise: Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas, May 2017.
#13
CA
2,043 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
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.
The article Havoc mentioned lists the Moment case/lens as an option. It has a case precisely to help align the lens properly.

Yes, there's an expense to aperture. However, the iPhone (particularly the newer models) already has an incredible processing engine that's far better than your typical auto setting on a dedicated camera. As long as you're not trying to blow up any of these photos, it'll be more than adequate. Most people just share their photos on Facebook or text message anyways. Your iPhone is fine for that.

We're all talking about all those people who leave their DSLRs in auto mode. Most of those aren't going to be lugging their cameras around all the time either. Whereas your phone is always with you. It just falls back to the "the best camera is the one you have with you."

These clip on iPhone lenses don't cost a lot either. It's worth it to just get one. Easy to carry and low cost. There's not a lot of downside to getting one if you get that one cool shot you otherwise wouldn't have bothered to try and get.
#14
Toronto
184 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Sometimes when you are using a quality camera and are immersed in what you doing on an excursion and suddenly want to capture a moment you don’t have time to make adjustments. So my default is to leave the camera on auto and adjust the settings when and if you have the time.

On the iPhone issue I would skip the iPhone add on lens and just spend the $25 for the cord that lets you transfer photos from your SD card to your iPhone.

The iPhone camera is as good as iTunes, which compresses music. ITunes is fine for pop music in the background but if you want to listen to classical and really enjoy it you need a CD or vinyl and a modest amp and speakers.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
__________________________________________________ _
Past Cruises:
Caribbean Feb 2015 Celebrity Silhouette (Atlantis)
Caribbean Mar 2014 Celebrity Silhouette (Atlantis)
Caribbean Feb 2013 Independence of the Seas (Atlantis)
M
exican Riviera October 2011 Oosterdam (Atlantis)
Mexican Riviera October 2009 Mariner of the Seas (Honeymoon!) (Atlantis)
Rio to Buenos Aires Feb 2008 Celebrity Infinity (Atlantis)