The standout descriptor of the Olloclip Telephoto Lens is simply utility, which it brings in abundance to the singularly functional iPhone 4/4s and 5 camera. At a tempting $100, it’s more than worth the look.

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Your iPhone is more than just a cell phone. If you decide to maximize your device’s utility, it suddenly becomes a banking terminal, newsstand, social media hub, personal DJ, and handheld gaming system. As well, it functions as a multitool by the means of included and downloadable apps such as a calculator, compass, flashlight, level, voice recorder and, of course, a camera.

Not only is it a camera but, because of the universal nature of iPhones, sometimes it is the camera. The old point-and-shoot that used to capture birthday candle blow-outs and that hilarious face your dog makes, in many cases, has been replaced by the ever-in-pocket device. Not everyone carries with them a professional photographer so, despite the miraculous nature of the technology in your pocket, you may find yourself tragically limited by a pixelated digital zoom, unbalanced colours, and reflective glare effects. Thanks to the Olloclip Telephoto Lens, control is in your hands and function is no longer so restrictive.

Mounted on a compact plastic bracket  – which is a snug grip on the corner of your iPhone – are front and back facing lenses of anodized aluminum, easily reversible to swap between functions. You have the Circular Polarizing Lens (CPL) and Telephoto Lens (TL). The CPL is detachable from its mount on the front of the bracket, and can then be attached and used in conjunction with the Telephoto Lens mount on the back. The whole package folds neatly into a pair of grey drawstring bags which offer a touch of fashion to go along with protective function.

Easy to manage storage solution

The Telephoto Lens offers an immediate functional preference for photography junkies: a 2x glass lens magnification that replaces the iPhone’s standard digital zoom. Digital magnification is notorious for pixelating images, and blending and dulling colours. Considering the fact that this feature will function in video as well opens up a world of quality potential for recording your favourite live band, sports event or any YouTube-worthy occurrence you happen to come across.

Optical zoom compared with the standard digital zoom

The Circular Polarizing Lens also works to separate ordinary from professional-looking images. With a smooth and industrial turning manual focus for cleaning up the inconsistent colours your iPhone will otherwise bleed in, and exceptional glare and mirror reduction, the iPhone camera is suddenly able to shoot through sunny windows and capture macro images of water and nature. Combine the CPL with the TL, and your iPhone can capture even more. Sharp, cool, colourful, and light controlled at a distance is suddenly something your iPhone can claim of its photos, and you of your spur-of-the-moment photography.

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Circular Polarizing Lens compared with no lens

 

The one obvious drawback of Olloclip’s brilliant little Telephoto Lens is the fact that its mount fits with approximately zero percent of the iPhone cases on the market. The act of removing your iPhone’s protective case at each juncture you see fit to snap a picture is at times an annoyance – close to prohibitive. Expecting, however, to catch a few shots, leaving the case off and lens on will likely be the solution used by avid shooters. My own phone, personally, went nude for a few days at a time to allow easy lens access, and some of the shots I nailed made the de- and re-casing absolutely worth it. A series of cases specifically designed for or functional with the Olloclip Lens would be more than welcome, and would fix this one minor issue.

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Final Thoughts

 

The Olloclip Telephoto Lens is a gorgeous little mount of sleek black aluminum lenses. It’s a compact and hassle-free toy to bring along wherever you go. Easy and smooth to alternate functions, the multi-functional versatility of the accessory is fantastic. While a little bit more ability to operate with mainstream iPhone cases on the market, this accessory could be a sure-fire winner, and a must-have for lovers of photography on the go.