OlloClip graciously sent me their entire line of lenses for the iPhone 6/6 Plus for testing and I was very keen on trying out the macro 3-in-1 as I had not used it before. I was also curious as to how OlloClip solved the iPhone’s lens now projecting beyond the surface of the phone.
Previously the OlloClip was securely attached ‘snuggly’ to an iPhone, yet I never felt comfortable unless I also had a finger or two touching the older lens system. With the redesigned clip-one version for the iPhone 6/6 Plus, the designers at OlloClip have designed a system that solved the iPhones lens projection, while establishing a very secure connection between the macro lens or any other OlloClip 6/6 Plus lens system.
When you first use your new OlloClip 6/6 Plus system, note that all their new lens systems are sent ready to be used on an iPhone 6, but those with a 6 Plus will need to make one simple and permanent adjustment. You will need to remove a small plastic item that was inserted on the inside base of the attachment clip and replace it with a similar one to make the lens system work with your iPhone 6 Plus. Unfortunately OlloClip did not provide instructions in how best to remove and replace this item for iPhone Plus users.
The 3-in-1 Macro Lens System comes with two lenses, of which one serves a dual purpose 7X, 14X, and one, 21X magnification lens, both of which are clearly marked and utilize OlloClip’s new securer clip design that attaches to the iPhone, along with OlloClip’s new pendent system.
The 3-in-1 macro system comes with two frosted defuser domes but will only fit the 14X and 21X magnification lens. The reason the defuser dome will not work with the 7X, is only because the of lens’ diameter is smaller and therefore will not accommodate the defuser dome, besides the distance between lens and subject matter is greater, rendering the dome ineffective.
I should point out that using any macro system with a mobile device requires at best a steady hand, especially as one increases the lens magnification, so it is preferred but not necessary to use a tripod. However when photographing flat material or very small items that will fit under the defuser dome, then the dome not only serves as a defusing the light source but also as a resting platform between the subject and the iPhone’s lens.
Regardless of the magnification of the macro lens, you will notice that lines in a flat object, like a stamp reveal barrel distortion on the other perimeter of the subject. This is not the fault of OlloClip, rather it is the iPhone lens in combination with the OlloClip that cause the distortion. To clarify, the iPhone lens to begin with is a wide angle lens when compared to a normal 50 mm lens on a 35 mm camera. When shooting the iPhone at 4:3 full frame format, this distortion is noticeable but at 1:1 square format, the distortion is only evident at the edge of the image.
Using the 7X
Between the 7X and 14 or 21X macro lens, the 7X is easier at maneuvering the iPhone to obtain the desired shot, since the area of focus is larger then the two other magnifications, but that is just natural, as the magnification increases, the area of capture drops off significantly.
You will notice that the barrel distortion with the 7X is evident when photographing a flat image as the 1 centesimo Uruguay stamp, but when capturing a three-dimensional object, this effect will not be seen, as the depth of field will now be effected.
Using the 14X
Because OlloClip has provided these two frosted dome defusers for the 14X and 21X lens, it makes photographing a flat object considerable much easier, as the height of the defuser is the required distance between the OlloClip lens and the flat object being photographed. The other benefit for using the defuser is that it also provides a soft and even light source upon the subject, especially when photographing a three-dimensional item that is able to fit under a defuser.
Using the same image as in the previous example, we now observe the lens barrel distortion is still evident, but only on the perimeter of the image and the over-all sharpness of the rider and horse engraving is exceptional.
Using the 21X
The 21X is the only lens that does not serve a dual function and renders the rider and horse engraving beautifully with only a slight drop off in sharpness around the very top/bottom edge and sides due to the barrel distortion that is a little more evident at the corners of the image.
Other examples using the 3-in-1 OlloClip macro lens
First off I like the improved design of the lens system and how it securely attaches to the iPhone 6/6 Plus and the over all simplicity of how the lens handles when one is working with it in the field or at home. The inclusion of two frosted dome defusers is an added benefit to ones experience when using the 3-in-1 macro lens system.
While the lens barrel distortion may be a factor for some, it really should not be, as I already have explained and particularly when working with three-dimensional objects, as it then becomes an issue of depth of field.
Since Apple has chosen to reinvent the wheel every two years, manufactures like OlloClip are forced to adjust and because of this, the life of this lens is between 2-3 years, unless the iPhone and/or lens is handed down to someone else.
Bottom line, while it takes a little getting use to working with a magnification lens to get the best results when using the lens system without the defuser domes, I enjoyed exploring with the 3-in-1 macro lens and cannot wait to actually be shooting with it more, especially doing a video.
I rate the macro 3-in-1 lens at 4.75 out of 5 stars and feel that individuals interested in close-up photography should have this lens as part of their extended equipment.
The 3-in-1 macro lens system sells for US $69.99
This lens comes in only BLACK
OlloClip 3-in-1 Macro lens
Technical notes: All images were captures using an iPhone 6 with the PureShot camera application from Jag.gr and no post work to any images other than resizing and adding a small white frame around the images for publication. Light source was natural northern light exposure. When using 14 and 21X lens, a frosted defuser dome was used.
This review first appeared in the preview issue of iPhotographer Magazine available for free at iTunes by clicking here.
All photographs taken with an iPhone 6 by
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