- Editor Rating
- Rated 3.5 stars
- Very Good
- Olloclip 4-In-1 Lens For iPhone 6 & 6 Plus
- Reviewed by:
- Published on:
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- Cosmetic AppealEditor: 70%
- Design & Build QualityEditor: 60%
- FeaturesEditor: 80%
- FunctionEditor: 70%
- Value For The PriceEditor: 70%
Olloclip's 4-in-1 Lens brings new life to the iPhone 6 & 6 Plus camera.
In today's world of mobile devices, the traditional point-and-shoot style camera is quickly becoming obsolete due to the ever-improving cameras integrated within modern smartphones. Apple's latest flagship iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models offers a DSLR-like sensor that is capable of producing both stunning images and video, but it has its limits primarily due to the fixed lens assembly.
Olloclip's 4-in-1 Lens vows to solve this problem by offering four different add-on lenses that mount to the body of an iPhone 6/6 Plus and each offers a different angle of view. Priced at $79.99, the Olloclip for iPhone 6/6 Plus is sold in multiple color combinations though our manufacturer provided review sample sports a black base with silver lenses.
Design & Build Quality
This is a 4-in-1 design meaning that the Olloclip harnesses four different lens options within the same single element. They were able to achieve this by integrating a 10x and 15x macro lens on each side of the plastic chassis then relying on two separate lenses that screw over the macro elements to create individual wide-angle and fish-eye options.
From a build quality standpoint, the removable wide-angle and fish-eye lenses are of a high quality in both materials and construction. The Olloclip's chassis is however less impressive though it is surprisingly durable and rigid despite being made of plastic. I would have liked to have seen the interior of the Olloclip coated with an anti-slip material for added stability and less friction.
My issue with the design comes from the Olloclip's fit when attached to my iPhone 6 Plus. Similar to previous Olloclip generations, this accessory only works with a bare iPhone 6 or 6 Plus so anyone using a case (regardless of how bulky it may be) will need to remove it in order to use. On the inside of the chassis there is a small plastic spacer that comes stock with the iPhone 6 version installed, but included a separate iPhone 6 Plus variant inside the box that will need to be swapped in should you own the larger device.
With the 6 Plus spacer installed, the resulting fit is wobbly and feels somewhat odd. While it is said to be a better fit on the iPhone 6 (I don't have one on hand to test), you need to be careful to line-up the Olloclip with either the front or back camera before taking photos or video as it doesn't naturally accurately cover both of the 6 Plus cameras simultaneously thus leaving a “normal” yet awkward gap on one end.
If you are not familiar with previous generations of Olloclip, I want to clarify that the lens assembly is not meant to be attached to your phone on a 24/7 basis like an iPhone case. Instead, it is to be slid on the top of your device when you're ready to capture photos or video then removed and stored on the included keychain pendants (three color options) when not in use. Olloclip was also kind enough to include a branded lanyard that attaches to the pendant for added convenience.
The Olloclip for iPhone 6/6 Plus takes an already stellar smartphone camera and brings it to new heights. I wouldn't consider myself the target market for this type of product as I already own several DSLR and Mirrorless cameras that are capable of shooting high-quality video and images with ease so a product like this isn't something I'd require the need for often.
However, those who don't have the budget or need for this type of investment can benefit from the Olloclip's capabilities especially for Instagram or Facebook photos. Since it is a two-way design, each of the four lens options can be taken advantage of when using the front or the rear camera.
As I stated earlier, this generation of Olloclip offers a 4-in-1 design offering the following capabilities:
10x Macro: provides 10x magnification of your subject for close-up shots of flowers, fabrics, or anything you want to get vivid details of yet are too small for close-ups using the standard iPhone 6/6 Plus camera
15x Macro: same as the previous 10x Macro yet this extends the magnification range by 50% more thus bringing you closer to the subject and giving you the potential for “extreme” close-ups.
Fish-Eye: achieve the coveted fish-eye effect with this screw-on lens attachment that distorts your subject and adds some serious circular vignetting to the edges of the image.
Wide-Angle: Adding this screw-on lens will extend the angle of viewing on your traditional iPhone 6/6 Plus cameras thus letting you capture more of a subject or subjects from the same distance for both the front and rear cameras.
There is an Olloclip companion application within the iOS App Store, but I found it too confusing and cumbersome to use on a regular basis. It occasionally shows Olloclip advertisements, kind of an odd decision as it discredits the user experience, and I don't know why you'd download the Olloclip app if you did not already own one. The distortion correction tool is the most useful aspect found within it, but the app as a whole was just not intuitive enough to replace the stock iOS camera application for my needs.
Testing out the Olloclip was an enjoyable task as I've never had the opportunity to shoot things like macro, wide-angle, or fish-eye shots using my iPhone 6 Plus. Each lens performs rather well in their own regard although they all suffer from noticeable chromatic aberration (purple fringing) in certain shooting circumstances.
As expected, the fish-eye lens has some serious distortion and vignetting whereas the wide-angle has significantly less vignetting, and the degree of distortion depending on how close your subject is to the lens. The middle elements of shots with these lenses will be sharp, but some softness will start to creep into the corners as you move about the frame.
The macros both work well for use with a smartphone camera, but there are two troublesome aspects. The depth of field is very shallow, an aspect that can make for an awesome shot yet makes for tougher shooting conditions since you can lose your intended subject's focus easily and the image is more susceptible to camera shake. For best results when working with these macro lenses, I suggest using a tripod, utilizing the build-in iOS burst shooting mode, or using your Apple Earpods as a remote shutter release.
The second issue I had with the macro is the maximum focusing distance required the lens to be extremely close to your subject, something drastically different than a DSLR macro lens. If you tried to shoot a standard portrait with the macro lens attached, the subject would remain out of focus until you got within 11-15mm. This makes it difficult to use this in a real world setting unless your subject is stationary so shooting bugs, animals or other moving subjects is near impossible.
In order to better showcase, the different lens options and their capabilities, I decided to shoot the sample subject with the standard iPhone 6 Plus camera then with each of the four lenses. The first three (non-macro) shots below were all taken with my iPhone 6 Plus mounted to a tripod in the exact same position, the only variable that changed was the Olloclip being attached and change of lenses. In the case of the two macro shots, I had to re-adjust the tripod because of the maximum focus distance limitations.
Native iPhone 6 Plus Camera
Olloclip Fish-Eye Lens on iPhone 6 Plus
Olloclip Wide-Angle Lens on iPhone 6 Plus
Olloclip Macro 10x on iPhone 6 Plus
Olloclip Macro 15x on iPhone 6 Plus
My experience with the Olloclip for iPhone 6/6 Plus was positive overall though it does suffer from a few disappointing aspects. The single design for both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus results in an awkward fit on the iPhone 6 Plus thus being a less than ideal experience in terms of stability and function. Each of the four lenses brings new capabilities to the native Apple cameras though you can't expect the quality of a DSLR lens in regards to sharpness, distortion, chromatic aberration, or vignetting.
All in all, the Olloclip for iPhone 6/6 Plus is a reasonable buy for anyone looking to get more out of their native smartphone camera or anyone wants to start learning basic photography without a budget to afford a more suitable entry-level DSLR. If you're an avid Instagram user or you like to share photos of family, food, travel, or other elements on other social media outlets then the Olloclip may just be the right product for your needs.