Quick review: Apexel 8mm fisheye lens for smartphones
Fixed focal length lenses are one of the key limitations of smartphone cameras. So it's no surprise that add-on lenses, which allow you to vary the focal length, are among the most popular smartphone accessories.
We have had the chance to test one of the more extreme variants, the Apexel 8mm fisheye lens, which provides a whopping 238-degree field-of-view. The lens comes with a clip that makes it very easy and quick to attach to most mobile devices – Apexel claims it is compatible with 98% of all smartphones – but we've found it to work best with the latest generation Apple iPhones, as the back of the lens slots onto the iPhone's lens protrusion, where it is firmly held in place. On other devices, without a protruding camera-module, things can get a little more difficult and you might have to optimize the position of the lens by moving it around very slightly until you find a position that gives the best image quality.
|The provided clip makes lens attachment very easy and quick.||Lens construction features six elements in five groups.|
The lens construction features six elements in five groups and a multi-layer coating. The glass is housed in an aluminum body and the clip is made from very robust ABS plastic. Apart from the lens and clip you'll find a lens cap, storage case and lanyard in the box.
Image quality does of course vary depending on the smartphone camera you are using, and can be a little hit and miss. We tested the lens on the iPhone 6s Plus and the Lenovo Moto Z Force. On the iPhone, the lens clips neatly onto the protrusion of the phone camera but still, many images are very soft across the frame. During our testing the iPhone's AF system clearly found it more difficult than usual to find a lock and, so it seems, sometimes simply did not focus correctly before the shutter was triggered. Other images are relatively sharp at the center of the frame and only show softness around the edges.
In general, sharpness was better on the Moto Z Force but you'll have to make sure the lens lines up perfectly with the smartphone camera. That said, even in a best case scenario vignetting is much more pronounced than on the iPhone - in sunny conditions lens flare is visible and again the AF occasionally takes much longer to lock than without the clip-on lens. With the Apexel's extreme angle of view it can also be difficult to keep fingers and other body parts out of the frame, so check the preview image carefully before pulling the trigger.
Of course, the lens also works in video mode. The sample below was recorded in the Lenovo Moto Z Force's 1080p video mode. It shows most of the same imperfections as the still images but thanks to the lower video resolution they are not quite as intrusive.
The Apexel 8mm fisheye lens for smartphones is a nicely made accessory lens that is very easy to clip onto most phones (as long as you don't use a case). The fisheye effect is extreme and can be an interesting additional weapon in your creative mobile imaging arsenal. However, image quality purists won't be happy with the strong softness, vignetting and some lens flare we've seen in our sample pictures. Not that we were expecting Zeiss quality from a smartphone accessory lens, but the Apexel is generally quite a bit softer than we'd like.
That said, the lens can be fun to use and capture image results that are different from your usual smartphone pictures. The Apexel 8mm Fisheye is currently available for approximately $44 on Amazon.com*.
- Extremely wide angle-of-view
- Nice fisheye effect
- Solid build quality
- Easy and quick attachment
- Compatible with most smartphones (although works best with iPhone 6/6s generations)
- Strong image softness
- Varying degrees of vignetting (depending on smartphone camera)
- Some lens flare in sunny conditions
- Slows down camera AF
- Exposed front element prone to scratching and fingerprints
- Clip not compatible with many phone cases
|The Lone Photographer by ed rader|
from My Best Photo of the Week
|Neighbourhood Watch by Stevie Boy Blue|
from Zoo trip ~ Cute...
Voigtlander-Cosina has announced its eighth lens designed specifically for Sony's E-mount system. The 21mm F3.5 lens is due out October 2018.
Sony has taken the wraps off of its new 24mm F1.4 GM full-frame lens, which the company claims is the lightest in its class. Despite its fast aperture, the 24mm F1.4 is remarkably light, weighing just 445 grams (15.7 ounces). The lens will set you back $1400 when it ships next month.
In this episode of DPReview TV we take a look at Sony's brand new 24mm F1.4 GM lens, a desirable focal length for many photographers. How does it perform? Chris and Jordan give us their first impressions.
We've had a little time to shoot with Sony's new wide/fast prime, both close to home and on the water in San Francisco. Check out our initial sample images.
Fujifilm released a firmware upgrade for its X-T3 mirrorless camera that addresses issues with distortion compensation and the mechanical lock on SD cards.
The app's algorithms have been trained using using 200 million cropping data points from real photographers.
Thanks to a software update, the Loupedeck+ editing console can now be used for video editing.
British photographic engineer MTF Services is claiming the world’s first third-party lens adapters for the new Nikon Z system with a collection of four units designed to allow cinema lenses to be mounted on the mirrorless full frame bodies.
Think Tank Photo has updated its line of heavy-duty rain covers and introduced a new, compact version for emergency situations.
The X-T3 is our first opportunity to analyze what's likely to be Fujifilm's next generation image sensor. Take a look at how it performs next to the competition in our studio test scene.
Canon's new normal is seriously sharp wide open. After shooting with it for a few days, we've prepared a gallery of real-world sample images.
Nikon will cease offering Brazil-based customer service and technical support, though the company stresses that it will still offer technical assistance and warranty repairs for valid warranties.
Two years ago, CatLABS of JP announced a plan to save Packfilm from the dead. Now, it's announced it's giving up its efforts to better focus its resources elsewhere.
The GoPro Fusion is designed to make it easy to capture 360-degree video and stills. We took it out recently on a typically hot Seattle summer day to see what it can do.
We've got our hands on a full-production Nikon Z7 camera and have updated our gallery with additional samples.
A new Kickstarter campaign seeks funding for Chroma Chrono, a programmable RGB camera flash that emits multiple colors during long exposures.
Think Tank Photo has launched a new lineup of six dual-access, water-resistant protective lens cases it calls Lens Case Duo.
Canon and Nikon finally entered the full-frame mirrorless market this summer with the brand-new RF and Z mounts. Now that we've had some time with the cameras, we wanted to revisit our earlier predictions and take stock.
The devices' camera specs look pretty much identical to last year's iPhone X but under the hood a number of important improvements have been made.
Blackmagic Design has announced the public beta of its new Blackmagic RAW video codec. The company says the new format combines the benefits of shooting Raw video with the ease of use and smaller file sizes usually associated with non-Raw video files.
Serif, the company behind the Affinity suite, has announced the latest update for its mobile Photoshop competitor Affinity Photo for iPad.
The Atomos Ninja V external video recorder and monitor will be ready to ship at the end of this month. The 5.2in Ninja V is designed to provide a smaller option, while still offering many of the features of the larger 7-inch models.
Having shot with the camera, spoken to Canon and read the tea leaves, here's what DPR Technical Editor Richard Butler thinks the EOS R tells us about Canon and the RF's mount's future.
After last week's teaser, lighting manufacturer Profoto has announced its 'small big' new product. The B10 is designed to be used as studio flash head but in a very small body, and has a powerful continuous light source for videographers as well.
Konseen has launched Photo Studio, a new light box tent large enough to photograph people, as well as objects.
Seagate has introduced new high-capacity hard drives for Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices: the 14TB IronWolf and 14TB IronWolf Pro HDDs.
The case was first announced earlier this year as a Kickstarter campaign and comes with a range of features aimed at iPhone photographers.
Manfrotto has introduced a new two-in-one tripod to its Befree lineup. Called the Befree 2N1, this new addition is both a tripod and monopod in one and is available with both of Manfrotto's locking mechanisms.
The Everyday Sling might just be the perfect pack for not carrying too much gear, combining comfort with Peak Design's signature modern style.
This new high dynamic range editing software comes with an AI-powered Quantum HDR Engine for improved photo merging.