As the old saying goes, the best camera is the Canon 7D. But after that it’s the one you have on you. And more often that not that’s your smartphone. Smartphone cameras are getting better and better and are the camera of choice for most uploaders on Flickr. Purists can turn up their noses all they want. Someone will probably take a picture of them doing it and whack it on Instagram.
Fortunately we’ve moved beyond the dark days of the megapixel wars and average camera-savvy consumer knows that you can get amazing images with a good lens. But what if you want to extend your photographic horizons and take slightly more varied shots – from far away or up close and personal. Well there’s a new system for expanding your photographic palate on the iPhone from Vtec.
There have already been a number of attempts to bring various lens to the iPhone, most notably the 3-in-1 OlioClip which I’ve lusted after for some months but have been unable to muster up the courage to order online. Unlike the OlioClip which daintly pops on the edge of an iPhone, Vtec’s lenses go all out with a built in case and screw in lenses.
The CAM-1209 Aluminium Telephoto Lens offers 12x zoom quality without image distortion. The Telephoto Lens has a manual focus ring and comes with its own tripod, which attaches to the lens to steady the phone when capturing shots.
For bargain hunters, the Wide-Angle and Macro Lens come as one kit, with the Wide-Angle screwing onto the front of the macro lens. Just to hip you to some knowledge as the kids never say, wide-angle lenses increase the angel of view by 45%, whilst a macro lens enables you to get up close and personal with subjects – being a petal, insect or in my case a ruptured tea bag.
The Fish-Eye Lens offers circular 180° fish eye magnification, giving effect to any image taken. This lens is great for fun, quirky shots and also gives each image a circular black border.
The image quality of the lens we played with (Wide-Angle and Macro Lens) was pretty great for the price and it opened up a lot more photographic options. However there were one or two drawbacks. For one the case didn’t play nicely with the flash, leaving the screen bathed in light. And the cash made it hard to use the iPhone with my second-favourite photography accessory – the Glif, although you could sort of jam it in if you are daring. But if you want to have one up on your Instagram buddies, or just fancy getting a bit more creative with your smartphone photography then the Vtec lens add-ons are pretty amazing.
Vtec website – www.vtec.co.uk.
CAM-1209 12x Telephoto lens: SRP £34.99.
Wide-Angle & Macro Lens: SRP £24.99.
Fisheye Lens: SRP £24.99.