Expand Your Smartphone Photo Capacity

With smartphones all of us are photographers. We take selfies, snap photos of family and friends, capture events, and increasingly we make great photos of places and people all on our phones. iPhonography now has a respected place along side photos taken by more sophisticated cameras. With the plethora of apps available, such as Camera+, my favorite, smartphones can take great photos.

Golden leaves

Golden leaves

The lack of sophisticated camera options, such as taking good macro shots, zooming in, or capturing a wider view has created a market for camera lens kits – first for iPhones and increasingly for Android phones.

I had a lens kit on my wish list, but not at the top. When I upgraded to my iPhone 5S, with its significantly improved camera, a lens kit inched up, so for my birthday I took the plunge and bought one.

Although there are many options:  Universal 3 in 1 Camera Lens KitsOlloClip, a favorite of many iPhone users (about $65), I decided on the iPro Lens System made by Schneider Optics, a subsidiary of a firm that has been producing high quality optics for over 90 years. It is probably one of the more expensive ones ($229), but the results are terrific.

iPro Lens Kit

iPro Lens Kit

The handle holds the trio of lenses, and also works as a tripod mount if you want to have more stability. I found that it was handy when shooting hand-held.

I took my new system for a trial run the other day while Camera Walking. It was great fun, and here are the results. First a shot of the city with my iPhone camera.

Regular iPhone Shot

Regular iPhone Shot

The weather wasn’t great, but it is a nice good view.  Now here is what I captured with the Super Wide Angle lens.

Super Wide Angle Lens

Super Wide Angle Lens

It certainly captured more of the scene, even though the city is a bit smaller, but it illustrated the capacity of the lens. Next, time to experiment with the 2x Tele lens.  Here is a shot without the lens.

Bird House

Bird House

Good, but I didn’t want the building in the scene, so standing in the same place with the 2X Tele lens this is what I got.

Bird House 2x Tele Lens

Bird House: 2x Tele lens

Quite a difference! I was then intrigued to try out the Macros lens. I love close-up and macro photos, so I spent most of my walk exploring macro photo opportunities.  Here is one with just the iPhone camera.

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom

Not bad, but the closer you get with the regular iPhone camera it either gets blurry or won’t take the photo. Here is the same blossom with the Macro lens.

Close Up with Macro Lens

Close Up with Macro Lens

I discovered that with the Macro lens I needed to get very close to get good shots, so I found myself creeping up to trees and diving into flower pots to get the photos below, but it was worth it!

Photo Bells

Photo Bells

Yellow Down

Yellow Down

Looking Out

Looking Out

I love the option to take photos with or without attachable lens, so if you want to expand your repertoire of photo gear, get a camera lens kit. In comparing OlloClip and iPro Lens, some reviews commented that the OlloClip was easier to use because it clips on. Since I haven’t personally tried them, I cannot comment; however, I will say that you have to get the hang of unscrewing the handle to get the lens out. I almost dropped one, but with a bit of practice it got easier. I am willing to deal with this inconvenience for the better quality of glass in the iPro Lens system.

White Macro

White Macro

Camera Walking is about getting outside with your camera to achieve better health, fitness and creativity. So shake up your walks by adding a camera kit lens to your smartphone and you may be amazed at the results.

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