The folks over at Gizmon were generous enough to try their iCA lenses for the iPhone/iPad. I spent some time with the lenses, and I have to say that overall I’m really impressed with their stuff. I talked at length about the lenses on our podcast. You can find the audio review on iTunes or Stitcher. But I’ll also share it here: Let me break it down.
Before I get into the individual lenses, let me talk about the clipping. Each lens comes with a clip that will allow you to position the lens comfortably over the camera lens. The reason for the clip is to make it possible to use on the iPhone as well as the iPad. At first I wasn’t too keen on the idea of clips. I thought it would move around a lot, bump out of position, etc. But the clips clamp down pretty well without any damage to the device.
CPL Lens: I’ll be honest, this is the one I was most looking forward to. In my search, Gizmon is the first to provide a polarizing filter for the iPhone/iPad. I wanted one so bad for so long. When I got the lenses, naturally I tried this one first. And it’s awesome! It’s a circular polarizer, meaning that you can adjust the intensity by rotating the lens.
The goal for the lens is to reduce the glare in your photo, which bumps up the contrast and color. To show how it reduces the glare, this was the best photo that I took that represented the reduction:
You can click to enlarge the photo, but you see the result.
Fisheye: This is your standard Fisheye lens that seems to be a common attachment to the iPhones. I’m not good at taking proper Fisheye photos. Here is my best attempt:
I will say that it’s a good lens. It’s solid, and sturdy… even when I accidentally stepped on it. Granted I didn’t put my full weight down. I stepped, got alarmed and stumbled. But it survived, and that counts a lot in my book.
Mirage Lens: I have to say that I was at a bit of a loss with this one. what this lens does is break your image into three… ish. I thought I would not find a use for this because I was not into that kind of abstract photography. But then I noticed that it was on the same circular rotation like the polarizing lens. And then it hit me. This is best used for video. For you film makers out there that want a very inexpensive special effect, this is the must have lens. It simulates a knockout punch really, really well. You know what I’m talking about, when you get hit so hard you see double… TRIPLE! This is the lens to have. Sadly, I lost my video file 🙁
Price: I looked on Amazon and you can find the Fisheye Lens for about $35 and the other two for $23. Amazingly low!
Bonus: Don’t like the clip? You can unscrew the lenses to have them fit on Gizmon’s awesome iPhone cases that look like rangefinder cameras.
Final Thoughts: It’s a no brainer. You buy these. Especially the CPL lens. It’s solid, inexpensive and worth every penny.
- CPL Filter: 5 out of 5 stars
- Fisheye: 4 out of 5 stars
- Mirage Lens: 4 out of 5