Ol­lo­clip Mo­bile Pho­tog­ra­phy Box Set for iPhone X

Price: £99 from fave.co/2AQJpdL

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS - Dan Masaoka

Ol­lo­clip is known for its iPhone cam­era lenses that eas­ily snap on to the phone, and with its new Con­nect X sys­tem, the com­pany in­tro­duces a new iPhone X lens de­sign that makes at­tach­ment quick and ac­cu­rate. Ev­ery­thing joins to­gether, mak­ing it easy to take with you.

The Con­nect X sys­tem of lenses in Ol­lo­clip’s Mo­bile Pho­tog­ra­phy Box Set looks un­like other lens at­tach­ments for phones. The Box Set in­cludes a mount that works for both the front and rear cam­eras,

a su­per-wide lens, a combo fish­eye and macro lens, and an at­tach­ing stand.

Ol­lo­clip’s cam­era mount was also re­designed for the iPhone X to ac­com­mo­date the rear-fac­ing cam­eras on Ap­ple’s flag­ship phone, which are ver­ti­cal in­stead of hor­i­zon­tal. Ol­lo­clip also says there was an is­sue where the pre­vi­ous mount tended to re­move or scratch lens screen pro­tec­tors – that shouldn’t be a prob­lem with the new de­sign. In­stead of slid­ing on, a but­ton is now pressed on the mount that ex­pands the phone slot. Press the but­ton and the gap closes, re­sult­ing in a snug fit. Be­cause of the rear lens pro­tru­sion of the iPhone X, the mount is able to lock over it, pre­vent­ing any slid­ing.

I had no prob­lem get­ting the mount on or off and it’s a faster way of at­tach­ing a lens over any other iPhone lens sys­tem. If you de­mand a case, Ol­lo­clip has you cov­ered with a new clear back slim case that’s slim. Ol­lo­clip of­fers a wide se­lec­tion of six lenses that can be

pur­chased with Con­nect X mounts or alone as add-ons: Su­per-Wide, Ul­tra-Wide, Fish­eye and Macro combo, Tele­photo, Macro 14x and 7x combo, and a Macro 21x. It’s hard to imag­ine lenses any smaller or lighter than these. Each one has a small plas­tic mount­ing piece that can be flipped around to work on ei­ther the built-in stan­dard and tele­photo lenses of the iPhone X. It’s easy to do, but I’m not en­tirely sure how use­ful a wide lens is on the rear tele­photo cam­era when you can get a much sharper im­age us­ing the rear stan­dard cam­era in­stead.

The Mo­bile Pho­tog­ra­phy Box Set is the only kit with mul­ti­ple lenses; it in­cludes the Su­per-Wide and the Fish­eye and Macro combo. The pre­vi­ous lenses for older iPhones are not com­pat­i­ble with this new model for the iPhone X. Ol­lo­clip’s hope is that the new lenses will work with fu­ture iPhone mod­els though.

An av­er­age wide an­gle

Con­sid­er­ing its size, the Su­per-Wide lens is sur­pris­ingly de­cent. Af­ter test­ing sev­eral other wide-an­gle lenses, the Ol­lo­clip com­fort­ably sits in the mid­dle of the pack. Op­ti­cally, it’s not as good as the pre­mium lenses from Sand­marc we re­viewed last month, but it’s cer­tainly bet­ter than the bud­get wide lenses pop­u­lar on Ama­zon. Ol­lo­clip says it shies away from us­ing 35mm fo­cal equiv­a­lents, and says that the Su­per­wide of­fers a 125-de­gree field of view. This is just a lit­tle bit wider than Mo­ment’s wide an­gle lens.

The Ol­lo­clip Su­per-Wide over­all has a bit more dis­tor­tion than the com­pa­ra­ble, larger pre­mium lenses, likely be­cause of its size and the lim­ited glass el­e­ments in­side. That may be an is­sue if you

tend to shoot ob­jects with a lot of straight lines (like ar­chi­tec­ture), but you should be fine if your pri­mary sub­jects are peo­ple or na­ture. For­tu­nately, I wasn’t able to dis­cern any chro­matic aber­ra­tions but that could equally be the iPhone do­ing some cor­rec­tion.

More of a toy fish­eye

I’m torn on Ol­lo­clip’s Fish­eye be­cause fisheyes can come in two forms, ei­ther full frame or heav­ily vi­gnetted where the im­age is cir­cu­lar in the mid­dle and the edges are black. The Ol­lo­clip Fish­eye is one of the lat­ter, and as some­one who shoots pho­tos and video pro­fes­sion­ally, I’m less in­clined to­wards that style. On the other hand, it cre­ates a fun, very styl­ized look that’s rem­i­nis­cent of toy film cam­eras like the Lo­mog­ra­phy Fish­eye. The de­ci­sion to in­clude this lens in­stead of the Ul­traw­ide (which be­haves more like a full frame fish­eye) in­di­cates that the tar­get au­di­ence isn’t the pro­fes­sional but more the ca­sual pho­tog­ra­pher look­ing to up their game.

As for the im­age qual­ity, no sur­prise, but it’s not very good. It’s not very sharp, and to­wards the edges it gets even worse. The ex­am­ple above shows how the dis­tor­tion maps. Def­i­nitely think of this as a toy lens that can pro­duce images fine for the web but won’t hold up for prints.

The Fish­eye can also be un­screwed to re­veal a 15x macro lens. Macro lenses on the iPhone of­fer a very lim­ited dis­tance in fo­cus that re­stricts the fram­ing op­tions you can re­ally do. With this lens, the com­bi­na­tion of the fo­cus­ing dis­tance and the mag­ni­fi­ca­tion only lets you fo­cus on very tiny ob­jects. For ex­am­ple, I wasn’t able to fo­cus on an en­tire ap­ple blos­som. Com­par­ing this to other macro lenses, this was about twice as close. It’s un­likely that you’ll ever use this lens.

The fi­nal part of the Ol­lo­clip kit is a stand that the mount can clip onto when not in use. It comes with

a cara­biner, mak­ing it easy to at­tach to a back­pack while walk­ing around. It’s a use­ful ad­di­tion and goes to show both the mind­set and tar­get of the sys­tem.

Ver­dict

I’m a fan of Ol­lo­clip’s Con­nect X lens sys­tem. The size of the lenses, the ease of at­tach­ment, and the bonus us­abil­ity of the stand make the whole kit all the more likely you will carry it around.

As the say­ing goes, the best cam­era you have is the one with you. The same goes for lenses. A set of the Ol­lo­clip lenses and an iPhone cer­tainly isn’t a true sub­sti­tute for a dig­i­tal cam­era with in­ter­change­able lenses – or even the other pre­mium iPhone X lenses avail­able. But if you need to pack light or want to carry it around ev­ery­day, then the Ol­lo­clip sys­tem is a great bet.

Ol­lo­clip Wide Lens Tests

With this lens, the com­bi­na­tion of the fo­cus­ing dis­tance and the mag­ni­fi­ca­tion only lets you fo­cus on very tiny ob­jects

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