I’m sure by now y’all know about iPhone lenses. You can usually buy them for dirt cheap on eBay… and they’re not actually all that impressive. Photojojo recently released some but they’re way, way more awesome than anything I’ve ever seen before. They were kind enough to send over a set for me to review and I am super excited to share with you a little bit about them!
First a little run down on the Iris Lens Series…
▴ They are compatible with the iPhone 6/6s, 6/6s plus, as well as the Samsung S5 and S6.
▴ There are three different lenses. 10x macro for all your close up needs, 100 degree wide for groupshots, awesome landscapes, and interiors, and 180 degree fisheye for unique portraits.
▴ You can use them with or without a case on your phone.
▴ The three lens set (macro, wide, and fisheye) is $99 currently or you can purchase individual lenses for $69.
It’s super easy to assemble, if “assemble” is even the correct word for this scenario. The kit comes with very simple directions and if you’re still having trouble Photojojo has videos on how to put everything together that you can find right here. If you have a case, which I always do, it’ll attach to the small peg shown below. It’s a thin piece of plastic that fits under your case and can be left in at all times. Then the lens mount is secured by a bungee thing-a-majig that’s basically just like a heavy duty hair tie. Now you’re ready to shoot. Easy peasy!
My first impression getting the lenses out of the box was that they’re heavy! I mean they’re not going to weigh you down or anything but I was surprised how much weight they have to them. Unlike cheaper alternatives these lenses aren’t made from plastic. The glass inside is synthesized by the same factory as Leica, Canon, and Nikon. If there’s one thing I’ve learned buying lenses for my DSLR it’s that good glass is heavy.
Below I have a photo example from each of the lenses. I took each photo from the same spot, just with and without the Iris lens attached. If you’re looking for more photo examples Photojojo has a micro-site for the lenses with a handful of examples.
After a month of use, color me impressed! All three lens performed beyond my expectations. Although it’s probably the one I’ll use the least – that macro kicks some serious butt. It’s not that easy to see from the small photo shared above but it’s shaaaaarp (and not just because it’s a cactus. Ha!)
There were only two small things I found frustrating with these lenses. One – The lens can be kind of tricky to switch while the mount is attached to your camera, especially if you put them in wrong. I know you’re thinking “well, obviously Kaylah…” What I mean is that both the mount and the lens are circles but have a flat portion, and that’s where you’re supposed to line them up. The thing is that it’s easy to forget to do that because the lens still fits even if you don’t line up the flat spots. Even when you do have it in correctly it’s a little bit difficult and I have yet do it super easily. It’s always kind of a struggle.
Number two – finger prints and smudges! It’s basically impossible to not touch the glass while switching lens or attaching the mount. It’s not a huge deal but you have to be aware of it. Having smudge free glass makes all the difference between a good photo and a bad photo! I’ve been carrying around a lens cleaning cloth with me.
I’m honestly not all that huge on taking photos with my phone. A recent example of this would be Anji asking me to take a photo of a bouquet for her. I’m sitting there playing on my phone but my first response was “With what? I don’t have my camera today.” I feel like these tiny little lenses are kind of going to change everything for me though. I’ve already found them making me want to use my phone for photos more often. I think the wide lens and I are going to be real good friends! I give these lenses two thumbs way up!
If you have any questions about the Iris Lens series feel free to leave a comment, read the Iris FAQ, or reach out to someone over at Photojojo (they’re the nicest people, I swear!)
Full disclosure: Photojojo provided me the kit free of charge in return for an honest review, and that’s just what you’re reading!