As of late numerous smartphone camera add-ons and accessories have become available on the market. These range greatly in price and quality and come in a variety of different configurations and options. Today we will have a look at some of these accessories, including a variety of clip on lenses, a tripod and a panoramic photo stand. All the items tested were purchased from a store called Typo and everything tested was relatively inexpensive.
First we will have a look at the lenses. All the lenses simply clip on to any smartphone and aligns with the camera. The easiest way of showing what the lenses offer is to take a look at some photos taken using them. As a point of reference all the photos were taken using my iPhone 6S.
Normal Phone Camera
Wide Angle Lens
Illuminator Wide Angle Lens
Fish Eye Lens
Normal Phone Camera
Illuminator Macro Lens
Illuminator Lens – LED ring light off
Illuminator Lens – LED ring light on
Both the wide-angle and fish-eye lenses deliver disappointing results with black corners appearing in the photos taken with them. This is more tolerable with the fish-eye lens because of the type of photos it produces. In the photos taken with the wide-angle lens the black corners are far more disruptive and generally ruins the photos. The macro lens on the other hand delivers great results. You can get photos of the tiniest things and they look great.
The true surprise was the illuminator lens, which delivered great results. It comes with wide-angle and macro lenses. The wide-angle lens however contains a larger lens than the previously mentioned one and thus suffers far less from the black corner problem. The illuminator lens also attaches to the phone with a much improved clip and can be attached either to the front or rear phone camera without any issues. On-top of all these benefits it also has a LED light ring that can be turned on for taking photos in lower light conditions, which works surprisingly well. Of all the lens attachments the illuminator lens is by far the best of the lenses I tested.
Now let us have a look at the tripod. So to start let me tell you a little secret to taking better photos, well 2 little secrets. There are 2 things that can greatly improve the photos you are taking, firstly getting the lighting right and secondly using a tripod. This is not the greatest tripod in the world, it isn’t even a good tripod, but even so the benefits it offer above not using a tripod is immense.
Lastly we have the panoramic photo stand. Most smartphones these days have the ability to take panoramic photos, however as most people have come to realise you require a very steady hand to take these photos. In the event that you do not posses a rock stead hand rather strange effects can occur in the resulting photos (and by strange effects I mean people looking like monsters from a Guillermo del Toro movie). The panoramic photo stand gives the user a way of achieving a steady base from which to take panoramic photos as well as automatically rotating the phone at a consistent and appropriate rate. This results in professional looking panoramic photos.
These smartphone camera accessories are a relatively inexpensive way of improving the photos taken with your smartphone, and as they are quite compact, and you always have your smartphone with you (as opposed to a dedicated camera) they offer a great opportunity to take some great photos. These accessories and your smartphone will never compete with a DSLR, but they are highly accessible and give a great number of people the opportunity to take better photos. For more photos taken using these lenses please check my Instagram.