olloclip4in1iphone100691494orig

Olloclip 4-In-1 Lens review: A mighty mite iPhone lens still performs well in its price class

This article is part of our roundup of iPhone camera lenses.

Olloclip has the deepest history of any iPhone add-on lens system, and we previously tested the same lenses with a different attachment. We wanted to stack up an old favorite against newer systems, and it still comes out well in its quality-to-price ratio, while also scoring some unique features.

The 4-In-1 ($80 on Amazon) has both a 10x and 15x macro lens permanently built into a clip, and screw-on fisheye and wide-angle lens. If you want to take a lot of close-close shots, it’s actually fairly stellar, especially when cropped square. Olloclip notes the optimal distances are about .75 inch with the 10x and .5 inch with the 15x for focus, and you can see the difference and detail in the accompanying photos.

The wide-angle lens has a lot of distortion, bending objects even when they’re close to the center of the lens. There’s surprisingly modest, but still noticeable aberration around the edges. Again, cropping square removes many defects.

I don’t recommend fisheye lenses for most purposes, because they’re a gimmick and typically don’t produce an interesting photo. However, the Olloclip uniquely works with both the rear-facing iSight and front-facing FaceTime cameras on an iPhone, and the fisheye can be useful in capturing an otherwise impossible group shot.

Olloclip

The macro magnification labels appear on the outer fisheye and wide-angle lens rings, so if you unscrew both, you’re left testing to figure out which macro lens is which. The macro lens are fixed in place such that it’s extremely difficult to clean them.

I tested a version that’s designed to snap into Otterbox’s Universe case system. The case is rigid and perfectly fine, but its intent is to work with many kinds of accessories and customizations. The Olloclip snaps firmly into place, providing a better attachment than its stand-alone 4-in-1 version. It also allows easy reversal and placement to use with the front-facing camera.

The Olloclip has hard plastic lens covers, and snaps into one of two included protective holders (each a different color), which work with a keyring or lanyard that are part of the kit. There’s a microfiber drawstring bag to hold the lense as well.

Bottom line

If you want a compact, versatile solution for images you upload to social media and Instagram, especially of super-close shots of plants, insects, and human artifacts, the Olloclip 4-In-1 fits the bill.

IDG Insider

PREVIOUS ARTICLE

« After a decade, open source Java is still controversial

NEXT ARTICLE

iPhone camera lenses: How we tested, lens categories, and lab notes »
author_image
IDG News Service

The IDG News Service is the world's leading daily source of global IT news, commentary and editorial resources. The News Service distributes content to IDG's more than 300 IT publications in more than 60 countries.

  • Mail

Recommended for You

International Women's Day: We've come a long way, but there's still an awfully long way to go

Charlotte Trueman takes a diverse look at today’s tech landscape.

Trump's trade war and the FANG bubble: Good news for Latin America?

Lewis Page gets down to business across global tech

20 Red-Hot, Pre-IPO companies to watch in 2019 B2B tech - Part 1

Martin Veitch's inside track on today’s tech trends

Poll

Do you think your smartphone is making you a workaholic?