Turtleback’s iPhone Lens Dial (available through Photojojo for $249.00) offers three lenses in one package that we found worth a closer look. To test out the capabilities of the case, I took the iPhone Lens Dial out for a day in Yosemite National Park in California.
I reviewed the iPhone 4S version of the iPhone Lens Dial — this version has a x.33 Fisheye, x1.5 teleconverter and x.7 wide angle. The iPhone 5 version (available for the same price) also includes a macro lens.
The overall feel of the case is solid, but is also little cumbersome. It’s “aircraft-grade” aluminum body is very heavy. At 10 ounces, it's more than twice as heavy as the iPhone 4S that I put inside it. Additionally, the lens dial made it way too bulky for everyday use. I went on a short, 5-mile hike with the case in my jacket pocket and I was definitely aware of its weight the whole time.
If you’re spending $249.00 on the iPhone Lens Dial, odds are that you are concerned about the optics, maybe even more than the overall functionality of the gadget as a case. Made out of coated glass, the lenses on the iPhone Lens Dial are nice, but you'll have to deal with all the shortcomings you would expect from this type of accessory - extreme corner softness, heavy vignetting and distortion on all three lenses, not just the fisheye-variant. Essentially, the Olloclip which is $179 less than the Lens Dial, offers similar optics at a much cheaper rate.
That said, I did not take a single photo and look back thinking, “oh man, that dial really messed up my image.” On the contrary, the iPhone Lens Dial allowed me to take some great shots that I would have never been able to take without it.
The case allows for access to most major button except for one glaring omission: the iPhone Lens Dial makes it almost impossible to touch the hold button on the top of the device. My mobile photography routine relies heavily on stopping what I’m doing in my phone by pressing the hold button and opening my camera from the lock page. By doing this, I keep my current app open and active while quickly taking a photo. After I press the hold button once more and slide to open, I’m back where I left off. The iPhone Lens Dial made it really hard for me to do this — even my tiny fingers could not easily reach.
Home button access aside, the iPhone Lens Dial is a good option for folks who want a solid case with multiple lens options. It’s a lot easier to switch lenses than the twisty-turny Olloclip and it will protect your phone while providing access to the dock connector port and side buttons. However, the premium price tag won't get you any better quality optics than the Olloclip or even cheaper similar accessories.
What we like: The iPhone Lens Dial provide three different perspectives that add a unique look to iPhone images. The wide-angle lens does a great job of including more information in the scene without overly distorting subjects.
What we don't like: If it were made of a lighter material, I would figure out a way to carry around the iPhone lens dial all the time, but because it is so heavy, I can't see it as an everyday accessory. And while most buttons and ports are available, the hold button is way too hard to press. The distortion and vignetting -- and $249 price tag -- may be a deal-breaker for some photographers.
Apr 7, 2016
Apr 6, 2016
Apr 8, 2016
Apr 6, 2016
|Nectar Dancing by Lensmate|
from A Big Year - birds
|Sad clown by PEB|
|Mtl Gen X 2015 DP by MarioSS|
from - Gen X - (In Full Colours+ Border)
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has a the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.
It's official. PDN has confirmed with parent company Aurelius that 94-year-old lighting company Bowens is indeed going out of business.
The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the MC-11 converter.
Voyager is a waterproof smart light stick you can control entirely from your phone. The light has already blown past its $300K funding goal on Indiegogo.
2018 is the last year Photokina will take place during the traditional end-of-September dates. In 2019, Photokina will take place from the 8th to the 11th of May.
The Canon IXUS 50 (known as the SD400 Digital ELPH in North America) was one of a string of high-performing, pocketable PowerShots of the mid-2000s. In this week's throwback Thursday, Barney casts his mind back to 2005.
A close look at the EOS 6D II's Raw files suggest its dynamic range has taken a significant step backwards compared with the company's recent DSLRs. We look at how much difference this might make for your photos.
With a full-production review unit in our hands, we've got over 100 production samples from the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II to share.
Need a break from your day? Kick back and watch the making of a somewhat unconventional mojito filmed on Canon's new EOS 6D Mark II.
The Bonfoton Camera Obscura Room Lens can turn any room into a camera obscura, projecting the view from your window onto the walls of your room.