Showing posts with label iPhone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label iPhone. Show all posts

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Olloclip Phone Lens Kit Review

Ramshorn Snail Shell - Olloclip Macro Lens
Up until this year, I had not done any photography with my cell phone cameras.  When my laptop died a while back, I had to rely on an older iPhone to take the photos for my online blogs, reviews, and social media posts.  That necessitated the discovery and use of a few key photo apps and, just recently, the use of clip-on smartphone lenses.  In the ongoing process of learning as much as possible about iPhone photography, I came across several references to the Olloclip macro, wide angle, and fisheye lens kit.  Today, I am reviewing my initial impression of these lenses (which are available for many different brands and models of phones).

When I purchased my Olloclip lens kit, I was mainly interested in the two macro lenses (magnification times 10 and 15).  I wanted to take some really up close and personal photographs (think flowers, butterflies, bees, dew drops, etc.).  Macro is also great when I need photos of the jewelry I sell online.  The wide angle lens will be used primarily for landscape photography (can't wait to try it out at the Great Sand Dunes).  It is also perfect for group shots, selfies, and videos.  The fisheye lens will be fun for the animal photography—like those cute nose shots—I do to help shelter dogs get adopted.  It is also wonderful for lighthouse photography (spiral staircases especially).

Rescue Dog Finn - Olloclip Fisheye Lens
As I have been getting into macro photography, I have found it helpful to start indoors, since it takes some patient practice to learn how close to be to the subject, how to get the focus right, how to stage the object for an interesting photo, and, perhaps most importantly of all, how to handle the lighting.  I don't have to deal with the wind indoors, either.  That is a huge plus.

Flexible Tripod, Olloclip 10X Lens, iPhone
Yesterday, I was experimenting with some shells I had found on the beach.  I used natural lighting by a window.  With macro, a tripod is essential, as is a remote shutter release (or the use of your phone's shutter timer).  I set up some black foam boards and a tiny easel covered in a sheet of black felt for my backgrounds.  With the Olloclip 10X macro lens, I was able to get incredibly close to my subject (just a few millimeters away).  Not much will be sharply in focus with ultra macro photography (but the right kind of blur is the appeal), so the trickiest part is moving the mini tripod around until you find the special effect, and point of focus, that expresses your unique point of view.  It's all about the angle.

Ramshorn Snail Shell Without Macro Lens
You can see just how small the snail shell actually is in the photo above using a regular camera lens without macro (about half an inch).  

Ramshorn Snail Shell - 10X Magnification
This is the same shell photographed with the Olloclip 10X macro lens.  I used the free Snapseed photo app for cropping and minor adjustments.  

Sundial Shell Without Macro Lens

Next, I experimented with a Sundial shell I found on Padre Island.  Two photos are provided for comparison.  The photograph above was taken with my Nikon D200 with a zoom lens.  The photo below was taken with an iPhone 5s (ancient compared to the latest iPhones) and an Olloclip 10X macro lens.

Sundial Shell - Olloclip 10X Macro Lens
Today, it was time to get outdoors and test the wide angle lens.  I'm sure most of you can relate to the frustration of not being able to get all of your subject into the photo frame.  First, I snapped a regular shot of this historic truss bridge with my iPhone (the Lobato Bridge over the Rio Grande in southern Colorado).  As you can see below, the right side of the bridge was cut off.

The Lobato Bridge - Built in 1892
The photo below was taken with the Olloclip wide angle lens.  I was able to get all of the double-span bridge in the photograph even when standing much closer to the bridge than in the first shot.  There was plenty of extra margin for cropping.

Bridge Photographed Using Olloclip Wide Angle Lens
One thing I did notice is that this wide angle shot is a bit fuzzy near the edges of the photograph.  I'm told Olloclip has a free app for making image adjustments.  I will check that out and update you.

It's not what you look at that matters,
it's what you see.  ~Thoreau
I was lying on the forest floor while pointing the Olloclip fisheye lens directly skyward when I created this photo.  This image reminds me of an eye, with the trees forming the iris.  In a forest devastated by wildfire, I was looking at the emergent green undergrowth and seeing how to embody the Phoenix.

Phoenix Rising: Self-Portrait
All of these photos are first attempts.  Once I experiment, and perhaps invest in a newer smartphone with a more advanced camera, I'm sure my photographs will evolve.  You have to start somewhere and learn by trial and error.  In this case, I don't really care if the photos aren't perfect.  For me, photography is a reflective practice.  I photograph things that move me, and I practice photography to learn how to see more clearly, to learn how to pay deep attention, and to immerse myself in beauty and wonder.  

If you enjoy pushing your creative boundaries, you really can't go wrong with Olloclip products.  They offer good quality, affordable tools for the smartphone photography enthusiast.  There are more expensive options, but for just getting started, I suspect most of us like to keep costs reasonable.  This is a good budget choice.  I feel I got my money's worth.






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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Pop Holders for Phones - Another Gadget that's Popping off the Shelves

Popsocket HERE - Available in Other Design Styles
How do I know another gadget is off and running? My gadget loving son who is very much up on all 'this stuff' has one.

I noticed this funny looking door knob thingy attached to the back of his mobile phone and asked, what the heck is that?

He couldn't wait to show me the purpose of yet another little gizmo.

Honestly, I was prepared to give it an eye-roll, but after his explanation and demonstration, I thought, hmmmm, I could use one.

It's a Way to Hold Your Cell Phone, Tablet or eReader Securely, or to Stand it Up

You can attach one or two of these gizmos on the back of your Mobile Device, Tablet or eReader as a way to secure it for standing or as a way to securely hold it between your fingers. You can also use it to wrap your earbuds around (simple storage).

It literally pops open when you want to use it and closes flush against your device when not needed.

It's also the kind of gizmo you can 'play with', popping your Popsocket open and closed open and closed open and closed .... I watched my son do this most of the night. It's one of those little habits that will keep your hands busy and also drive your mother crazy! But since it serves a useful purpose, I'll let the popping go. Actually, I couldn't hear it - I could see him fidgeting with the gadget, which prompted my original question 'what the heck is that' in the first place.

Securing Popsockets to Your Device

If your device or cases are made of silicone, leather or have a waterproof coating, Popsockets may have trouble securing to them. However, for most cases and devices they'll go on without a hitch.

If you're wondering how often a Popsocket can be opened and closed, it does have an estimated life span of approximately 12,000 pops, but hey, for the price that'll take you a long way.

Watch this helpful Animated Video on Popsockets


By the way, they come in a number of cool colors and designs as well.





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Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Camera for Everyone

In today's world most everyone has a camera!  Camera's come in all sizes, shapes and price ranges.  A week or so ago I wrote a lens inviting people to review their favorite camera Review Your Favorite Camera .  On this page I listed 50 different popular cameras and challenged people to write a review on one of the ones I had listed or if their favorite camera was not listed to write a review on it. 

I was delighted to see all the great reviews.  There were a wide variety of reviews on many different cameras.  I read reviews on point and shoots, iphones, SLR's and a wonderful review on an inexpensive film camera.  The reviews below show some of the wide variety of "favorite cameras" that were reviewed.
  • In this lens, Debs tells us why she enjoys using a Holga.  It is an inexpensive film camera.  Discover Lo Fi Slow Photography with a Holga
  • Grammeio loves her Canon point and shoot camera because it is easy to take with your everywhere.  She tells you why it is her favorite in this review One Great Little Camera
  • Paullenton had a favorite Christmas camera this year and reviewed it in this lens Nikon coolpix 1820
My two favorite cameras right now are a Canon Powershot sx40 and a Sony A57 .  My Canon is a great point and shoot that can be used in both automatic and manual modes.  It also has a 35 times zoom that makes it great for trips when I want the ease of a lightweight camera but with the versatility of a zoom lens. 

My Sony is my workhorse that I use when I am out photographing lighthouses.  Here is a photo I took with it this past summer.


One of the fun features on my Sony is the wonderful picture effects that I can get on some of its automatic settings.  Here is a favorite that I took of our Christmas tree this year setting it on the black and white with a red pop setting.

You can read about some of the other picture effects on this page Camera Picture Effects.


I now have Photo Bug pages on Pinterest.  I hope you will join me there to share ideas about photography.

If you haven't written a review on your favorite camera yet, I'd love to see one from you.  Be sure to tell us what features you enjoy on the camera and why that particular camera is the best one for you.  And of course, be sure to share some of the photos you took with the camera.

Happy Shooting!







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