A fun accessory for any macro enthusiasts, the Olloclip Macro 3-in-1 lens lets users take photos at 7x, 14x, and 21x macro with their iPhone 5 or 5s. It's as easy as clipping the device onto your iPhone's lens, and lining up the shot. But is it worth the purchase, or is the Olloclip Macro simply another novelty device for the iPhone?
Build & Design
The Olloclip Macro 3-in-1 lens kit includes a 7x macro, a 14x macro, and a 21x macro lens, Instafocus light diffusing hoods, and a drawstring carrying pouch. It's designed to fit the iPhone 5/5S, but it also comes with an adapter to make the lenses fit the 5th generation iPod touch.
Each lens is constructed with coated glass multi-element optics and aircraft-grade aluminum. It has a high quality feel to it for such a small device, and the clip itself features plastic with rounded edges. The rounded edges ensure that it won't cause any damage to the iPhone 5 while sliding it in place over the lens, which was a concern when first using the device. However, even after repeated use, the Olloclip Macro offers a snug fit that won't cause any damage to your smartphone.
The Olloclip features three lenses, each with a different level of magnification. Even though the images are taken with just a smartphone camera, the results are surprisingly crisp, with only slight distortion and blur on the edges of the image. Even with the minor distortion on the edges, the images are impressive and certainly worthy of sharing. In some instances, the blurred edges actually add some effect, and seem almost purposeful.
Image distortion isn't as noticeable on a smartphone, so the macro photos are perfect for sharing on social media sites such as Instagram. Even viewed on a computer, the images are striking if not only for the reason that you can see the grain on paper, every scratch on an object, and the lines on a dollar bill. It is similar to looking at something through a magnifying class, suddenly details you didn't know existed show up nice and clear. The lens gets close enough to see the imperfections in printed text on a small salt and pepper packet, the subtle texture on a keyboard key, or every ridge on a penny. It's also important to note that with any basic editing program, users can quickly sharpen, brighten, and adjust photos to compensate for any distortion.
The image quality really takes this item past "novelty", and instead brings it into the category of serious photography accessory. It's really a must have for any macro photography enthusiasts, because it is lightweight and convenient; no need to tote around a full camera with accessories.
Ease of Use
The Olloclip Macro 3-in-1 lens fits snug on the corner of the iPhone 5, but you will first need to remove any case you have on your iPhone. This is a minor annoyance, and will be worse for those with a heavy duty case, since it's kind of a pain to get the phone out and then attach the lens. But users can always swap out cases on days they plan to use the lens, so it will be easier to snap the case on and off. Since this is a common problem with the Olloclip lenses, the company actually sells a phone case that is compatible with the different Olloclip lens attachments. The case lets users quickly attach the Olloclip lens without removing the entire case, and it even features a dedicated shutter release and a removable tripod mounting adapter.
Each lens also features a removable plastic diffuser that not only filters the light, but also offers an easy way to frame up shots, offering the ideal distance from subject to lens. The diffuser is most helpful in framing shots and keeping a steady hand. The range of focus is so tight that it the using the diffuser to line up shots will help you get used to the close distance photography.
The Olloclip Macro 3-in-1 is more than just a niche product, but it definitely a great accessory for people who really love macro photography. Even for those who don't, anyone that enjoys taking photos on their smartphone will enjoy the diversity the Olloclip Macro lens will bring to their photography. Its small size and carrying case make it perfect to toss in a bag while on a hike or travelling. The Olloclip doesn't take up much space but it packs a punch when put to use.
The Olloclip 3-in-1 Macro lens retails for $69.99, which isn't too steep considering its capabilities. However, the cost is really only worth it for anyone that knows they will be taking macro photos enough to justify the cost. Also, users should think about when they are planning on upgrading their smartphone. Whenever the next iPhone debuts, the measurements could render this Olloclip useless. Therefore, some users might want to wait if they are close to renewing their contract.
Overall, the Olloclip Macro 3-in-1 offered impressive close up images, with minimal distortion. It's easy to use, even for a novice photographer, and offers more options when it comes to smartphone photography. With its functionality and low profile design, photographers will want to keep the Olloclip Macro lens in their bag while on the go for whenever inspiration strikes.
Additional Sample Images
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