Hands-on: Olloclip three-in-one lens attachment for iPhone 5 review
When it comes to iPhone 5 accessories there have only ever been a handful that have got us well and truly excited. Being camera fiends, we found Olloclip's three-in-one attachable lens for the iPhone 5 to be one of those practical yet fun gadgets that are very much among that handful.
The thumb-sized Olloclip clips over the corner of the iPhone 5 to cover the standard 33mm-equivalent lens. On one of its sides the Olloclip can transform the iPhone 5's camera lens into a yet wider-angle equivalent: although no magnification information is provided, we suspect it equates to roughly around the 22mm mark.
Flip the Olloclip over to its other side and it offers up a 180-degree fisheye which produces images close to a full circle, black-out edges and all.
The third option is revealed by unscrewing the wide-angle lens to reveal a super macro lens. It can focus between 12-18mm away from the subject. Now that's super close-up. However that can act as a limitation in the same breath as it can only focus close up between that small window for extreme magnification results.
Over the past few years we've had the chance to use a variety of iPhone lenses from a mixture of manufacturers - including VTec, Photojojo, Phocus and more - and, despite each of their positives, find the Olloclip to be the most versatile and practical. It slips on so easily, no faffing around with any adhesive parts or frames - although the company will offer an optional frame later this year - and can be carried around easily in a pocket. Both lenses come with plastic lens caps for protection and a mini carry pouch is included in the box too.
Optical quality is never going to be exemplary from a clip-on lens, so if you buy an Olloclip thinking that it's going to produce edge-to-edge sharp shots, think again - it won't. But the wide-angle attachment produces results better than the clip-on competition that we've seen before.
The fisheye lens is a pronounced effect, in fact it's so wide it's often tricky to keep fingers totally clear of the shot. The outer 15 per cent of the circular area is considerably soft, but that's part and parcel of this kind of effect. Lens alignment is crucial too, in order to centralise shots within their circular frame.
The Olloclip is small, smart and above all else it's fun. The idea of adding a lens to an iPhone may sound inconceivable, but the Olloclip makes it possible while remaining subtle by design. The red version matched up with our white iPhone 5 very nicely indeed.
Priced at £69.95 it may not the very cheapest accessory lens out there, but it does break down three ways to add value for money and that super macro is not only super cool it's something that can't be "faked" in a photo editing package.
Thank you to Vodafone for loaning Pocket-lint the iPhone 5 used in this test