Chase Jarvis is credited with saying, “The best camera is the one that’s with you.” For most people, that camera is their smartphone. It’s amazing how good these cameras have become and how accessible photography is to the masses. Excellent hardware, photo-editing apps, and social media have made the end-to-end photography experience a breeze.
However, smartphone cameras have severe limitations. Fixed lenses, small sensors, poor depth of field, and limited zoom capabilities to name a few. But it’s not worth investing into a standalone camera for most people.
Phone Camera Lenses attempt to alleviate this by adding lenses on top of your smartphone’s existing camera. With new lenses, you’re able to frame new and unique shots. This can greatly enhance the creativity of your pictures, or simply help you fit all your friends into a group pic.
LUCRO hooked me up with a lens kit for testing and I’ll be using it in this review. But since I already own a smartphone lens kit, I’ll be giving this one away for free. But first, to the review!
Smartphone lens kits can come with all sorts of bells and whistles to help them appeal to buyers. In the past I purchased a kit that came with its own tripod. However, I soon found that the most important thing about a smartphone lens kit is portability. Smartphone cameras are appealing because you always have your phone on you. For the normal user, a lens kit should be just as portable. This one from LUCRO comes with the absolute basics: a fish-eye, macro, and wide angle lens.It also includes one clip that the lenses can screw onto, and a small bag for carrying everything. This is perfect for the smartphone photographer on the go.
Most smartphone lenses have a cheap feel to them. You shouldn’t expect much more than cheap glass and plastic bodies for gear that costs $10-20. However, I was surprised at how premium this kit felt. The body is made of a light, sturdy metal and the glass is decent.
The glass works like any other phone lens kit. Clip the lens on top of your phone’s existing camera lens and shoot.
The macro lens on this particular kit isn’t great. In fact, most aren’t. But if you’re creative, you can get some nice shots if you’re willing to take advantage of some blurring.
Fish-eye shots are sort of gimmicky in my opinion. However, we’ve seen a small resurgence of fish-eye shots due to the popularity of lomography. The detail here isn’t great, but good enough for Instagram.
This is the most useful lens for everyday use. The wide-angle lens allows you to capture more objects when framing your shots. Below is a before-and-after example of shooting with the wide-angle lens.
You will notice some vignetting. Unfortunately, I wasn’t trying to be artsy. The wide-angle lens doesn’t sit close enough to the camera lens to exclude these black, rounded borders. Most lens kits in this price range have this issue. You’ll need to zoom slightly to reduce the bordering.
Smartphone lens kits are a fun way to get creative with your photos. They aren’t meant to look professional or replace a DSLR, but they can act as a gateway for those who are interested in photography.
There are several different kits on Amazon, or you can purchase this one that LUCRO sent me.
However, I’m actually giving away the kit they sent me for free. All you have to do is share this post or your favorite post from my site onto your Facebook page. Send me a comment below with a link to the shared FB post and your name. I’ll randomly select one winner and will message you directly.
Have a good weekend!