Olloclip Photo Lens 4-in-1 review

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I am not a photographer, so the idea of lugging around a big fat camera with two, or more, lenses is not to my taste. I am not into tweaking the camera with the right settings for each shot either. I love carrying as little as possible on me, and I just hate spending too much time working on capturing a magical moment instead of enjoying it.

When I go on a vacation, my smartphone is my travel companion and my memory-storing apparatus. And more often than not, when I return back home I find most of my photos beautiful, but boring. They lack the adventurous spirit I was feeling or the coolness of the place I was visiting. My camera setup needed to level up.

But being as stubborn as I am, I wanted an easier solution. One Thursday night I was watching the TV show Elementary, where the modern day Sherlock Holmes solves crimes in New York. He uses a zooming lens attachment on his iPhone to capture fingerprints or other small details. I can smell a product placement from a mile but at this moment, it all clicked into place. I needed to get some lens attachments for my iPhone.

Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

A quick Google search led me to the Olloclip’s website, and two weeks later the Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens Kit for iPhone 6/6 Plus/6s/6s Plus was in my hands. I realize Olloclip lenses have been around for a while, and they’ve already made a name for themselves, but it’s only now that this product category got my attention, so I was new to the entire thing.

Olloclip offers a variety of lenses – Active with Ultra-Wide Angle + Telephoto 2x, Telephoto + CPL Lens, Telephoto + Wide-Angle + Macro 10x, Macro 3-in-1 with Macro 7x + Macro 14x + Macro 21x, and the kit I found to be most practical – the 4-in-1 Lens with Macro 10x + Fisheye + Wide-Angle + Macro 15x.

The retail box holds the lenses; the lens caps; three holders painted in black, green, and blue; and a lanyard. There is also a soft pouch to store the lenses when not using them.

I asked Olloclip for an additional CPL lens (essentially a polarizer filter). It’s supposed to be mounted on either the Fisheye or the Wide-Angle lens, and that’s the third thingy you will notice in the pictures below.

Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

The Olloclip 4-in-1 retail box The kit and the Ollocase A closer look The three lenses

The Olloclip kit fits easily on the iPhone. You need to use either some of the adapters (the little black strip on the pictures) to clip the lens onto a naked iPhone or the Olloclip case specifically designed to help you slide the lens without any adapter.

The Olloclip case is sturdy, and indeed, it makes putting the lens a bit easier though I got used to sliding them on my case-free iPhone 6s Plus rather quickly. But I will most surely use the case on a vacation, as it will provide my phone with additional protection.

The lens works with both the rear camera and the front selfie snapper though you have to move them a notch when switching from the rear to the front camera and vice versa.

Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

The Olloclip 4-in-1 kit mounted onto an iPhone 6s Plus with and without the Ollocase

Now, let’s take a closer look at that 4-in-1 kit. If you expected four different lenses, you’d be wrong. The clip itself hold the Macro 10x lens on one of the sides, and the Macro 15x lens on the other. The Wide-Angle lens mounts on the 10x while the Fisheye goes on top of the Macro 15x.

Long story short, if you want to use the Fisheye or the Wide-Angle, you just snap the clip on the respective side. If you want macro mode, just unscrew the big lens from the clip, and you have it. I have to admit it sounded a bit of a hassle at first, but I got used to the combo in a single day.

Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

And before I continue with the camera samples, I just want to mention a small hiccup you should know about. If you use the Auto Brightness option on the iPhone, mounting the Olloclip kit will cover the ambient-light sensor, and the phone will think it’s dark and will lower the screen brightness to the minimum. It’s a good idea to turn the Auto off before mounting the lens.

So, the Fisheye lenses have been a favorite for many social networks fans, and there is a good reason for that. The Fisheye lens has one of the widest FoV (field of view), and it can capture most of your surroundings in just one shot.

The black corners don’t always look good, but that’s why some prefer to crop the image at 16:9 ratio post shooting.

Snapping photos with the Fisheye lens outs lovely pictures with amazingly wide FoV. The samples keep most of the detail at the center while things get blurry around the corners. Sure, the pixel peepers won’t be satisfied with the full-res images, but I found those to be great when you downscale them at 1080p – more than enough for Facebook or Instagram – the places where most of these photos will end up anyway.

Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

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Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

Clean photo Fisheye photo Clean photo Fisheye photo

And here are a few more Fisheye shots I took.

Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

Fisheye samples

The Wide-Angle lens won’t entirely replace your panorama mode, but they would undoubtedly help capture quite a wide shot with just one tap, without risking skewed people or cars by the stitching process in a panorama shot. True, the details also get a bit soft around the corners, but I didn’t expect ground-breaking images anyway.

There is a residual fisheye effect present, but I found this likable as it makes the photos, well, cooler.

Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

Normal photo Fisheye photo Wide-Angle photo

And here is another scene.

Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens review

I’ve played quite a bit with the macro lenses and the results are quite promising even at maximum resolution. The bokeh effect turned out better than I expected, and while there is some fringing, the shots came out with a large amount of detail, high contrast, and lively colors.

 

As I said, the macro shots can do for nice wallpapers, especially when downscaled.

Downscaled macro shots

Finally, if you opt for the Circular Polarizing Lens (CPL), you can put those on the Fisheye lens or the Wide-Angle module. This attachment could add additional detail in the clouds on partly overcast days and would increase the overall contrast of the picture. Or you can get rid of the reflections on glass buildings or water.

Playing with the CPL

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As a conclusion, I think the Olloclip 4-in-1 kit – or another lens attachment kit – can do an excellent job in spicing up your mobile photography. While it may lower the photo quality, today people rarely, if ever, look at images in maximum resolution. The macro lens can open your creative side, which you never knew you had while the wide-angle and the fisheye lenses will help you capture very wide scenes with a single shot.

None of those things will replace a thousand dollar camera with the right lens, but the Olloclip is alike a cheat to spare that kind of money to users like me. If you love carrying as little as possible, and yet want to expand your smartphone photography options, a lens attachment kit looks like the perfect choice.

With the Olloclip 4-in-1 lens, you can capture the whole beach, all the people swimming in the sea, the entire sky filled with funny clouds, the tiniest grains of sand, to discover even the smallest pieces of polished glass or details on sea shells you’ve never seen before. All of these made possible by just taking your iPhone and the Olloclip to the beach. I am sure you can imagine the possibilities already. Don’t forget you can shoot videos with those lenses too – slow-mo, time-lapse or even hyperlapses maybe. Yes, I would grab a lens attachment kit in a heartbeat.

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Source: gsmarena.com

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18 thoughts on “Olloclip Photo Lens 4-in-1 review

  1. i got this kind of thing cheap brand just for 5$ , the clip one .. but the quality isnt same like this…

  2. Anonymous, 04 Apr 2016buy real camera if you love photography.Didn’t you read the article?? The writer isn’t into photography. And this article is probably for those who wants cool shots with only having simple and compact ways.

  3. Anonymous, 04 Apr 2016buy real camera if you love photography.There are tons of people with high end DSLRs that don’t have the slightest idea how to use their cameras. Any good photographer can take amazing shots with any decent enough camera.

  4. “”I am not a photographer, so the idea of lugging around a big fat camera with two, or more, lenses is not to my taste. I am not into tweaking the camera with the right settings for each shot either””

    If you are not photographer don’t act like one.

    I also never liked caring big bag with lenses, so I bought ultra zoom that is perfect mix of quality and size. And it doesn’t need too much settings to make good shot AND still it give me better images than any smartphone you can think of.

    And its not like you need to carry is all the time, no one said that you need to carry it all the time. You take it when you go to trip or some event, or there is nice weather and you want to go for walk.

  5. mir, 04 Apr 2016There are tons of people with high end DSLRs that don’t have the slightest idea how to use the… moreI’m not a photographer by any standard however I’ve taken some cracking shots using a standard Galaxy S6 Edge.

    I captured a great shot at a friend’s wedding and it’s the bride’s favourite despite having a $1500 photographer.

  6. Anonymous, 04 Apr 2016I’m not a photographer by any standard however I’ve taken some cracking shots using a standard… moreSo, it wasn’t just me then. I did the same at a wedding last year, the shot from within the church was awesome, and I think it made it to the album. They had a team of photographers with top-notch camera equipment, operators, everything for $5500. And the Galaxy S6 edge shot still turned out among the best from the church part. I am not saying their pictures weren’t great, just the Galaxy S6 edge did great there, too.

    – Kaloyan

  7. Of course you can make amazing pictures using anything you have, I still have bunch of images taken using SE K750i that no one believe me that they were taking using it.

    But there are few major problem with taking photo using phone.
    Even if scene is perfect and overall layout and light is well selected, you can skip the quality. In good condition phone is almost on par with normal camera, but any changes in lighting and you have problem. When you want to make correction on scene, to bump a bit shadows or make some effect using focus, light and perspective…. you cant because you gonna make blurred or out of focus picture, not to mention about colors reproduction.

    Now most important part. We all have nice looking photos made using phone(like from weeding). But question is: Are you capable of repeating those image quality and scene composition over and over, every time no matter what condition you have using only phone?
    No you cant, as you said all you doing is sending those images to instagram or Facebook and there no one really care about all this.
    Normal camera give you tools that you can use instantly on the field to adjust everything, and make good quality images no matter what.
    And its not even about using 5000Euro camera, you can buy such camera for less than 500Euro. Even if long time ago ultrazooms where mocked, today most of them have guts of DSLR but just simpler to use settings and additional bonus that is 50x optical zoom, that give you possibility of making cool effect with focus and framing.
    And as I said, no one force anyone to take this camera everywhere, but when going to trip or event, its better to have device that gonna make his job perfect.

  8. It’s actually a cool gadget. What I don’t like about this article, is that GSM didn’t mention the price (which is kinda important especially when it comes down to accessories). So I was a bit suspicious about that, but quick research revealed the UK price at around £50. Well…I’m down with that, for once I have no reason to say anything bad about the iPhone accessory. It doesn’t cost as much as a nice compact camera, and it’s a cool concept. Well done Ollpclip.

  9. I think the only one worth getting is the macro. The wide angle makes the quality of the photo bad and fisheyes…….unless you love fisheyes shots then get it.

  10. Akinaro, 04 Apr 2016Of course you can make amazing pictures using anything you have, I still have bunch of images … moreYes I can produce consistently good photos when using my phone as a camera. I’ve had been doing mobile photography since the nokia N82 era.

  11. Dear photography snobs:

    This blog post is about an accessory to give iphone users some added photography options. It’s not about how these lenses can replace a DSLR or how they would make you a professional photographer instantly, it’s about giving people OPTIONS. What people do with their money and how they choose to spend it is their own business. Stop making noise already, smile a little, and if you don’t care for this fine. None of you even commented on anything about this post being correct or incorrect, you’re just giving your opinion about a concept this article has nothing to do with.

  12. My Sony QX100 is doing a grand job so far – what’s more, it actually has a 1″ sensor to capture details that a 1/2.3″ sensor just can’t.

  13. Dude! You are sooooooooooooo late for the party!
    As you said, these things have been around for ages and there are thousands of them in eBay and at the stores…….

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