Attaching the HiLO Lens

The HiLO Lens sticks to the back of the iPhone using a tacky adhesive backing, which works well just as long as the sticky part of it is flat and completely in contact with the back of the phone. The first version I tested was an early-run prototype that had a few problems with the adhesive backing’s stickiness, but HiLO’s Mark Hampton sent me a finalized version of the product that had no issues whatsoever. It stuck nicely to the back of the phone and peeled right off when I wanted it to.

Lining it up correctly with the lens requires good eyesight: You have to look into the wide-angle opening of the attachment and make sure the phone's lens isn’t obscured by the HiLO’s tacky surface. To check, you look at the phone’s screen before you press the HiLO’s sticky backing down firmly. If your view is clear, you can go ahead and press it down. If it’s not perfectly lined up, you’ll see some vignetting in your photos and your camera may take a bit longer to autofocus.

Keep in mind that you need to attach the lens directly to the back of your phone, which means you’ll need to remove your phone from its case if you use one. HiLO does sell a 3D-printed iPhone 5 case that lets you use the lens without removing your phone’s protective layer, but it’s sold separately for $15.

You can position the HiLO a number of different ways. It always shoots at a perpendicular angle to the way your phone's lens is facing.

I didn’t have any problems with lens gunk after a couple of weeks of using the HiLO, but if it builds up, it can affect the sticky backing. A simple cleaning process with a wet microfiber cloth and some dish soap cleans the tacky grip and makes it sticky again.