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Olloclip – First Look Review Of The New Kit!

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!

David is Head of Technical Tutorials here at theappwhisperer.com and this role adds to the many things David has done in his life…some of which he considers more significant than others. Yet, he feels all have made him the artist he is today. He’s been a cook at a truck stop, a janitor at a military base, worked in advertising, been a banker managing other people’s money, and an elementary school teacher. Trained as a photographer as an undergrad, he’s recently returned to these roots and now considers himself foremost a photographer and secondly a mixed media artist. You can find David’s work on many other popular websites including his own: http://www.clearerreflections.com.


  • Carlos

    Nice one David.
    My two cents.
    There are many lenses out there to enhance the optical capabilities of the iPhone. On the downside of this, you must remove the case that 90% of us have on our iPhones to be able to use these lenses. I know of one case that has the lenses built then. But this is a problem because once you put it in your pocket it’s very bulky. Another version uses a magnetic washer that sticks around the lens and then you attach the lenses on top of that.
    Not bad but once you use the washer on that iPhone you cannot change it to another one. I.e. 4s to 5 to 5x. Same applies for the olloclip itself.
    I have tried all versions of the above. The one lens that I do love is the macro. This lens opens up amazing amount of possibilities. Again you have to reconfigure the case and your iPhone to be able to photograph with this attachment.
    As a sidebar, I was also told at either iWorld booth in San Francisco 2013, that olloClip had no plans at the moment for creating a clip for the iPad.
    That said, I prefer to use my feet for zooming. No macro or polarizer or wide angle. Just learn to make the best of the camera app on my iPad.
    That is all! Have a sweet day.

  • Paurian

    The case is a step in the right direction, and as much as I love my Olloclip (for iPhone 4), it’s just sat there for months because I’m sick of how it fights with my screen protector. They need to redesign the clip so that it can expand and grip onto the phone … maybe make the clip out of hardened silicon or slightly flexible rubber instead of hard, unbending plastic.

    Many more people would be willing to use the Olloclip if it could just fit over a thin case … or at least fit over a screen protector.

    So… 2 out of 5 stars for the clip. 4 out of 5 stars for the new case system … because they still can’t get their head out of the sand regarding the importance and usefulness of screen protectors over their nice-to-have gadgets.

    • Mike

      Parian, no need for a screen protector. iPhone utilizes Gorilla Glass. It’s very hard to scratch.

  • Paurian

    Gorilla glass is not scratch proof – it is merely scratch resistant.

    Furthermore, screen protectors are VERY handy when the screen cracks – it holds the screen together so that the shards don’t cut your fingers until you can afford to get a replacement because you spent all your money on the amazing olloclip. 😉

  • Beth Mason

    A: lens system – I like it a lot. I don’t use the zoom two times optical zoom lens too often but I use the polarizer lens pretty frequently. I wish it had a cover so that it wouldn’t get so many fingerprints on it.
    B. Quick flip case – I use the macro lens every day. So my iPhone thanks you olloclip for developing this case as I had a naked phone for the last year or so. I am a little clumsy. The one feature I wish that the case had was some place that you could store your lens system when you’re not using it rather than putting it back in your pocket – before the case I would simply slide it over onto the top of the phone until I was ready to use it again.
    C. My completely unsolicited opinion regarding screen protectors: they’re a pain in the ass and they don’t do anything other than distort/diminish your view of your screen. Bubbles, peeling up on the corners, accessories that peel them off…many, many issues with screen protectors and very few issues without screen protectors. I’ve never scratched a screen. I have broken phones and scratched camera lenses.