I have just purchased the new vtec wide angle and macro lens attachments for my iPhone 4S. Costing just £24.99 (I bought mine from Amazon) I was keen to extend the capabilities of my already very good iPhone camera. Here is my mini review.
I am at best, an amateur photographer with no pro-kit and no technical knowledge about photography, I just like macro shots and know what looks good to me. The thought of getting even more out of my camera was appealing, and at less than £25 this pack is a steal, but it does come at a price…
I didn’t take many wide angle shots as I’m more interested in the macro lens, as such, I will base my views on this lens.
The pack comes with a new case for your iPhone 4/4S and the lenses screw on to the case, directly over the iPhone lens and flash. This means that the flash is obscured and no longer available for use. This is not a problem in most situations, but if you are planning on using the wide angle lens for indoor shots you need to consider your lighting. Also, the slight ‘neck’ on the vtec case means it doesn’t sit so comfortably in your pocket. The macro screws on to the case first and the wide angle lens is attached over that. The design is great in theory but this is where the unit cost becomes a factor – my only issue is in the build quality. Having only had it for a couple of days, it was very easy to over-tighten the macro lens making it almost impossible to remove. Rather than break it in trying, I have returned mine to Amazon already! It really needs some kind of knurled edge to get hold of.
As you can see, the two lenses don’t protrude too much, and the idea of the case is a good one. I know the olloclip lenses clip over the edge of an (uncased) iPhone, and these come in a bag that doubles as a lens cleaning cloth. Both olloclip and vtec versions are supplied with two lens caps – one for either end to keep the lenses safe whilst in your pocket.
The quality of the macro shots was what really interested me as I like getting up close to photograph textures and objects that I can use in my own artwork. With macro photography, the images themselves are often visually engaging and the vtec macro lens really does enhance the iPhone’s native camera significantly. Without the macro lens, it is difficult to get very close to your subject, maybe 20cm at best. But the macro lens lets you almost pop the lens right next to whatever you are photographing. If you have one of the tripods that are also available for your phone, holding it close is a breeze. The macro shots have a noticeable blur at the edges (like a zoom blur) and this can add some creative potential to your shots. Or, you can “shoot wide and crop” or whatever the saying is amongst those in the know!
Here is a photo of the back of a playing card without and with the macro lens attached.
In summary, I think the lens(es) are excellent and if the macro could be removed easily from the case I would have no hesitation in continuing to use the vtec product. The price really makes the product a bargain and in some ways a no-brainer for anyone with more than a passing interest in snapshots. I’m sure the image quality of the more expensive lenses is better, but for the price you are getting an attachment that gives your iPhone a whole lot more potential as a camera.
Having got a taste for macro shots again, I might just check out the olloclip lenses and review those too.
In the meantime, here’s a selection of macro shots for you to check out:iPhone iPhone, iphonography, vtec lenses for iPhone