When we started this iPhone photography podcast, the first thing I wanted to do is to buy and review the telephoto lens from Photojojo.com. The day we went live with the show is the day I put in my $35 order. I will talk more about this on the Tiny Shutter podcast, but for now here is my review:
The box is cool. It’s just like getting an iPhone box, only black. Inside it’s not as elegantly arranged like the iPhone, but it’s still a far cry better than what I expected. It’s rather clever. The lens is pretty solid for something made of plastic. It doesn’t feel cheap. It comes with a case that is used to attach the lens. The case is okay, too. It’s much better than some other cases out there.
It also comes with a grip that will allow you to attach the iPhone to a tripod. Heck it also comes with a mini tripod.
Lens + Case + Tripod Attachment + Mini Tripod = $35
That alone is a pretty sweet deal.
That being said, this is not something that is easy to use.
I’ve read that this lens is equivalent to a 500mm lens. I have my doubts about that, but think about aiming with 500mm. The slightest movement can throw your aim off. That’s what’s happening here. You have to be pretty steady with this set-up. Using a tripod is almost a must if your lighting is off.
Focusing is a little difficult, too. The lens has it’s own focusing ring, and that works great. But if your sunlight is harsh, it’s really hard to look at your screen for measuring detail, retina display or not…
Also, in many shots there was blurring around the corners. In some there was some serious vignetting.
But I didn’t buy this lens because I’m going to photograph a wedding with it. I bought it for fun, and it is still a lot of fun. I can edit through some of the blur and prepare a little better when shooting now that I know what to expect. Oh sure, I got some people staring, but this little thing is a lot of fun to use. The fact that it’s not easy makes it feel like a challenge. I was still happy with some of my shots.
Had I paid more for this, the review would be much harsher. But the whole thing came to $35 (minus the shipping). That’s pretty good for something made to be fun. I really do recommend people get this.
I give this a 3 and a half out of 5 lenses.
Here are my samples that I shot with the lens. The ones that are square are clearly edited. Some with Snapseed and some with Instagram. The rectangular photos are untouched and that’s to display the blurring and the vignetting. Enjoy: