REVIEWED: Olloclip 4-in-1 lens kit for iPhone 5/5s

Highly portable – and easily lose-able – clip-on phoneography lens for a wider field of view perfect for travelling light

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The power of the zoom lens means that D-SLR cameras are still carted around the world, and will be for some time yet, but what about the humble compact camera? Gathering dust in drawers at home, compacts have been over-taken by smartphones, whose optics continue to increase in quality at a staggering rate. Cue the Olloclip 4-in-1 lens kit, which tries to give an iPhone 5/5s that little something extra.

Clip-on camera

Logic says that the main problem with a smartphone is a lack of zoom, but that applies to compacts, too. No, the real issue we have with smartphones is the narrow angle of the lens, which so often takes the gloss off landscape photos. If you think you can’t capture what you’re seeing in front of you with a smartphone and do it justice, you’re probably right, but the Olloclip does help by proving an instant blast of wide-angle lens goodness.

Twice the angle

When its clipped into place over the corner of an iPhone 5/5s, the Olloclip 4-in-1 lens kit provides about twice the width of the iPhone’s built-in camera. There’s more, but it’s mainly fluff. Switch it around and you get a fish-eye lens that gives a 180° field-of-view, while both lenses can be twisted off to reveal macro lenses that can take ultra close-ups from 12mm and 18mm.

Fouls protective layers

The Olloclip 4-in-1 in designed for a bare, unprotected iPhone 5/5s. That might suit the majority, but if you’ve got a protective film stuck to the front of your smartphone, know that the Olloclip 4-in-1 will foul it. We had to skilfully cut-out the top corner of fouled-up film and remove it; our phone is hence unprotected in the top corner, but that’s a small price to pay for better photos. Other downsides are the lack of any kind of general use zoom lens, and – despite its small grey drawstring bag – the Olloclip is so small that it’s so very easy to lose.

New era of phonography

Ideal for photographing landscapes and the perfect lightweight gadget for hikers, walkers and wild camping, the small and easy to carry Olloclip 4-in-1 lens kit weighs only 23g.Best carried in a shirt pocket, this hard-wearing anodized aluminium clip – available in black and red – is one of the best space-saving ways to embrace the new era of phoneography.

Price as reviewed: £60

Buy the Olloclip 4-in-1 lens kit for iPhone 5/5s