In May, olloclip announced their latest mobile photography lens accessory for the iPhone X. Much like the olloclip lenses of the past, the new iPhone X lenses offer iPhone-ographers a new set of tools to get even more out of the iPhone’s dual camera system. We recently had the opportunity to try out the iPhone X paired with olloclip’s Connect X Lens system for the iPhone X – a Super-Wide angle lens, Macro 15x lens, and Fisheye lens; below are some quick thoughts on the olloclip lens system.
Lens Provided and Specs from olloclip
- Super-Wide: Four-element lens with more than 120° visibility.
- Fisheye + Macro 15x: Unique 180° wide-angle spherical effect + 15x increased magnification.
Ergonomics & Set-Up
One of the first things that jump out at you is the olloclip’s new expanding lens mount that allows you to squeeze the lens joint and slide onto your phone even if you’re using a case or screen protector (it’s $1k phone that’s glass on both sides, you probably should). It’s a nice touch considering that we borrowed an iPhone X for this review and we really didn’t want to be responsible should it take an unnecessary tumble.
Olloclip uses a new Connect X lens swapping system similar to the Lens Connect system in the iPhone 8/7 (Plus) that allows you to swap lens either with the clip on or off your phone. Olloclip says it’s to allow for dynamic changes to your photography as the situation changes but if you have meaty fingers, it takes some getting used to. While we were able to swap out lenses on the fly, often times it felt a little hazardous doing so without having a sturdy surface to place the lenses. In our regular walks around the neighborhood, we found ourselves moving a little bit slower than normal – always mindful when changing out lenses. Another downside we came across was that you can’t use the phone’s flash with the lenses on – so while the Super Wide might be perfect for that Happy Hour group shot, don’t expect to use that flash with it on.
Overall, the Connect X lens system works as advertised but with all the important connecting bits being made out of plastic – clip and lens mount – we always felt a little uncomfortable when hearing the mount click into place.
One of the biggest concerns when using any kind of mobile phone lens attachments is degradation of image quality. While having the ability to shoot a wider image or video may be appealing on its face, doing so at the cost of a usable image isn’t – at least not you absolutely must capture the moment. With that in mind, the olloclip lenses definitely don’t suffer in this respect. When shooting with the Super Wide and Fish Eye, we didn’t see any noticeable color fringing or soft edges once you moved away from the center of the frame. The Macro 15x lens did have some notice drop from sharp to mush as you pull away from the center. Also, we found that the iPhone X would hunt for focus more when using the Macro lens.
Who’s It For
If you abide by the photography adage, “the best camera is the one that’s always with you,” then the olloclip gives your phone a significant creative expansion outside of buying an entire camera system. While macro photography is not my thing, the Mobile Photography Box set that we tested did give me a chance to experiment and try something new. If you’ve been looking for a vlogging camera, slapping on one these lenses might be a good way to get your feet wet without breaking the bank. One of the most frequent questions we get asked is, “what’s the best travel camera?” More often than not, it’s your phone; if you currently have an iPhone X and have been considering splurging on a DSLR for an upcoming trip, we recommend you consider the olloclip Connect X lens system first. For a fraction of the cost of a new camera, you can give your iPhone a significant upgrade. Best of all, you won’t feel guilty if these lenses sit around until your next Summer road trip. The olloclip Connect X lenses start at $59.99 for a single lens (all except the Telephoto lens) and the Mobile Photography Box set (includes the Super Wide, Fisheye, and Macro 15x with Lens mount/clip, and pendant case) can be had for $99.99 and are available from olloclip or at your local Apple Store.
Thank you Kathy V for letting us use your iPhone X to get part of this review done.