Mar 3, 2017

Commodity lenses for mobile phones

I have a rather nice, if old, Samsung camera. It weighs a kilo and has a long adjustable lense that cannot be changed. It takes quite ok photos, though the macro is hardly macro at all. I don't like to carry the camera along on trips and hikes etc. so lately I've either borrowed my teen's small but excellent Nicon or made do with the iPhone camera.

Some time ago I learned about these extra lenses you can get for your cellphone camera. I even tried a few, that my co-worker had bought and brought to the office to show them to us. A few weeks ago I finally decided, on a whim as usual, to order some lenses from Amazon. I got a 12X Optical Phone Camera Lens with Tripod and a CamKix Universal 3 in 1 Camera Lens Kit. Yes, I got them separately, because at first I only was going to buy the zoom lense, and only later decided on the lense kit.

The main things I have come to understand about the lenses are

  • the macro lense rocks
  • the 12x zoom lense is no good without the tripod or with a target that moves even a hair
  • daylight is a must
  • they will never replace the mentioned Samsung/Nicon cameras, because setting them on the phone camera is not exactly easy to do on the fly
This said, I'm not sorry I bought them, especially the macro lense and the 12x zoom, which I believe will prove to be excellent for certain types of photoshoots. The picture quality is rather good for a phone camera + small lense combo. Yet, on a hike or trip, I fear I will still be carrying a separate camera.

In the case of cameras and lenses, I guess pictures tell the story better than a thousand words.

12x zoom lense. Littlest Pet Shop photoshoot. Photoshopped ever so slightly: simply adjusted the levels and curves a bit (winter photography...).

12x zoom lense. Littlest Pet Shop photoshoot. Photoshopped ever so slightly: simply adjusted the levels and curves a bit. Taken without the tripod, actually.

12x zoom lense. Taken with tripod, slightly moving objects.

Macro lense. Thyme leaf (width approx. 5mm). Daylight, but taken inside the house.

Wide angle lense (top) vs. phone cam without any extra lense (bottom). Poor daylight inside the house, levels and curves adjusted slightly in Photoshop.

Fish eye lense. Don't really know what to do with that one...

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