We’re delighted to publish ths first look review of the new Olloclip kit, case, telephoto and polarizer filter by our Head of Technical Tutorials, David Hayes. David will be writing more on the subject but this review gives his first impressions and we think you’ll be very interested to read these, we certainly were.
Over to you David…(foreword by Joanne Carter).
I became acquainted with the Olloclip lens systems several years ago when I purchased a set of their macro/wide angle/fish eye lens for my iPhone 4. I had to put this aside when I got my iPhone 5. Recently TheAppWhisperer sent me not only me a set of lenses and polarizer filter but also their brand new Quick-Flip Case and asked me to put these through their paces. I was more than happy to oblige!
In this first screen shot, you can see a rear-view of the Quick-Flip Case with it’s Flip panel open revealing the corner of the iPhone allowing you to quickly mount an Olloclip lens. I found the case easy to slip my iPhone into, fitting snugly around the camera. The case itself is sturdy enough, covering the back of your iPhone and gives plenty of access to all your iPhone ports and buttons. As I’m a real klutz when it comes to my iPhone, I prefer a full body armor sort of system as my everyday case but the Quick-Flip case works well with the olloclip system.
What I especially like about the Quick-Flip case system is its removable Pro-Photo Adapter (A). This slides onto the bottom of the case and gives you tripod mounting points (B) as well as a cold-shoe (C) that is perfect for lights and other accessories. It’s also open at the bottom so you can still access your power port. The fit of this adapter is tight with lock tabs on each side. I attached a Manfrotto Pixi tripod into the mounting points and the fit was rock solid. Nice!
In this product shot from olloclip, you can see the full array of possibilities with this system. Again…nice!
With my iPhone5 safely installed into the Quick-Flip Case, Pro-Photo Adapter mounted and attached to a tripod, it was time to give the Telephoto/Circular Polarizing Lens Set a try!
This is a dual lens system with the 2x Telephoto lens (A) on one end and the Circular Polarizing Lens (B) on the opposite end. The system is designed so that while the Circular Polarizing Lens can be used independently, you can also pull it off its mount and slide it onto the Telephoto lens…as well as the olloclip’s Wide-Angle and Fisheye lens. The construction of the system is impressive…aircraft grade aluminum and precision ground coated class optics.
With the Quick-Flip Case Flip corner opened, the lens system slipped easily and snug over my iPhone5 camera lens. While I like this about the olloclip lens systems, I was also reminded that one couldn’t have a screen protector applied to their iPhone’s as it caused the top corner of my protector to peel away from my iPhone. This is something to keep in mind if you do use a screen protector.
The telephoto lens gives you true 2X optical magnification. Not only is this nice for getting a little closer to your subject, its depth of field also helps in selectively focusing on the subject. I didn’t get a chance to play with this much this time around, but I’m looking forward in using this lens in portraits and close-ups for just this aspect.
The Circular Polarizing lens is a nice accessory to have for your iPhone camera. I have several sets of these lenses for my SLR/DSLR’s and they do make a difference. A polarizing lens blocks out light coming in at certain angles and reduces reflections. Olloclip’s lens works like a true polarizing lens, allowing you to adjust or dial-in the degree of polarization you’d like. As I mentioned earlier, this lens will work independently and can be slipped off its mount and mounted on the telephoto lens…as well as olloclip’s other lens. (They include a step-down mount for this purpose.)
While I plan to share with you in future articles more about the uses of this lens system, I did want to give you a bit of a preview. In this screen shot, I took a picture of my across-the-street neighbor’s house. “Normal” is using my native camera app, while “2X Telephoto” is the same vantage point but with olloclip’s lens. (If you look close at the edges of this shot, you can see the lens’s depth of field coming into play.)
And…here’s the neighbor’s house again…both taken with the 2X Telephoto lens…”Normal” taken without the Polarizing lens…and “Polarizer” with it! The colors in this shot are certainly richer…particularly the sky!
So there you have it…a quick look at olloclip’s newest systems. I am generally pleased with all of this and am looking forward to working with it more in the future. Just one last point…their website is chock full of technical info about their lens and such if that’s your sort of thing: www.olloclip.com. Do give it a look!