Surprisingly sharp: Inmacus 18mm HD Wide Angle Kit lens review
Review: Inmacus 18mm HD Wide Angle Kit
Inmacus is a fairly new player in the iPhone add-on lens arena, but its 18mm HD Wide Angle HD Kit shows some promise for expanding your iPhone's creative capabilities. The kit not only includes the advertised wide-angle lens, but also a circular polarizer and a close-up filter. All three attachments screw into a plastic mounting adapter that is specifically designed for use with either the iPhone 6/6s or the larger 6 Plus/6s Plus. Unfortunately, the macro filter and polarizer can only be used directly on the iPhone lens and do not fit onto the wide-angle. The ability to combine them could have been appealing, especially the polarizer.
The adapter does feel a little cheaply made but did not cause any problems in our test. What's more important is the optical quality of the lenses. The wide-angle lens is comprised of two elements, and offers an equivalent focal length of 18mm. It also accepts 30mm screw-in filters. This means you get approximately a 50% wider field of view than with the iPhone's standard lens. This makes the Inmacus an interesting proposition for those who like to shoot landscapes and architectural images. That said, the focal length also works well for the occasional quirky wide-angle portrait.
As you can see in the samples above and below, in terms of image quality the lens does a very good job. It tends to add a touch more contrast to the standard iPhone output but overall hardly any impact on color and tonality is noticeable. The same is true for image detail. The Inmacus lens is sharp almost into the extreme corners and image detail does not noticeably suffer compared to the standard image.
As you would expect from such a wide-angle lens some barrel distortion is noticeable if you have straight lines in your scene but it is well within acceptable limits. The lens' most critical optical problem is very noticeable vignetting. On our test unit it is most pronounced in the bottom right corner and quite intrusive in brighter scenes as you can see in the image below on the right.
If you unscrew the wide angle lens from the adapter you can replace it with the circular polarizer which works in just the same way as you are used to from your DSLR or system camera. The filter reduces reflections and increases contrast which tends to work especially well with blue skies. The effect can be adjusted by turning the filter's front element. Like with the wide-angle lens, there is no noticeable impact on image detail when using the filter as you can see when clicking through to the full-size versions of the samples below.
The third component of the package is a close-up filter that reduces the focusing distance to 5cm. With the iPhone's relatively wide lens this doesn't allow for the kind of macro shots you get from a DSLR and (say) a 100mm macro lens, but it lets you capture shots that otherwise would not have been possible on the iPhone. With such close focus distances depth-of-field can get quite shallow, creating a nice background blur and again image detail is very good. If smartphone macro photography is your thing Inmacus also offers a dedicated set of three macro filters that can be combined for extended magnification and that we hope to test soon as well.
You can see more samples from the lens and both filters in the gallery below.
Whether it makes sense to use add-on lenses on a smartphone camera is almost a philosophical question. If you have no problem with slightly reducing the "always ready to snap" factor of your iPhone and carrying some lightweight extra equipment, the Inmacus 18mm HD Wide Angle Kit for the iPhone 6 and 6s series is a versatile kit that offers very good optical quality across all components.
At a retail price of currently around $60 it provides an affordable way of increasing the creative potential of your Apple device without breaking the bank. Just make sure you can live with some vignetting on the wide-angle lens and be aware that the kit is specific to either the iPhone 6/6s or the respective Plus counterparts, so a future device upgrade might also mean a lens upgrade.
- Wide-angle lens provides very useful 18mm equivalent focal range
- Circular polarizer works efficiently
- Very good optical quality on all three components
- Very lightweight and easy to carry in a provided pouch
- Adapter feels a little flimsy
- Some vignetting on wide-angle lens
- Polarizer cannot be combined with wide angle lens
Nikon says firmware version 1.03 "Fixes an issue that in rare circumstances would delay the shutter release or the start of the autofocus operation."
The Kickstarter campaign for Yashica’s digiFilm Y35 camera has produced a wave of complaints about delays in shipping product as well as cameras that don’t work.
Pixelmator today released Pixelmator Pro 1.2 Quicksilver, a major update to its image editing app for Mac.
Although Raw performance of the EOS R is very similar to the 5D Mark IV, Canon's done some tweaking on the JPEGs - take a look at our studio scene to see for yourself.
If you've backed one of the company's crowdfunding projects, the reward will not arrive and you won't get your money back either as Meyer Optik Görlitz's parent company, Net SE, is completely dead.
The importance of APS-C, a future a7S model in development and why customers want two card slots – read our full interview with Sony's Kenji Tanaka.
Google's Super Res Zoom technology uses pixel-shifting methods to achieve zoom results comparable to some optical solutions. Google has published an in-depth explanation on its AI blog.
CyberLink has release the latest version of its photo editing and design program PhotoDirector.
Toy manufacturer Tomy has launched a no-battery-required smartphone printer that is remarkably like the one Holga has been promoting via a Kickstarter campaign but which is already available for $40/£39.
A handful of Sony users have noticed a particular model of SanDisk SD cards is showing errors when used with Sony a7 III camera.
The Fujifilm X-T3's 4K video more than lives up to its impressive specification, making it one of the most capable video cameras we've ever tested.
VSCO has made it easier to find the right presets for your photos with a few interface changes to its smartphone app.
TinyMOS is back with NANO1, an all-new astrophotography camera that's one-third the size of the TINY1 it announced three years ago.
Huawei's latest flagship device comes with the widest range of focal lengths of all current smartphones.
After shaking up the Lightroom ecosystem with Lightroom CC last year, Adobe has released version 2.0 of the cloud-centric photo organizer and editor. We look at new features like People View, how far Lightroom CC has come in its first year, and where Lightroom is headed.
Today, at Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe previewed Photoshop CC on iPad, a full-featured, desktop-class version of Photoshop for iOS.
The weather and has most definitely taken a turn toward fall here, and our shooting opportunities have followed suit. We brought the Canon RF 35mm F1.8 along to a harvest festival of sorts and a few of our usual haunts.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed House Bill 1346 into effect, which imposes a fine upwards of $300 to drone operators who invade the privacy or harm the physical wellbeing of citizens.
Sigma is a company in flux, but CEO Kazuto Yamaki is undaunted by the upcoming prospect of developing lenses for eight lens mounts. The challenge will be keeping the company's identity along the way.
If you've been meaning to convert all of your old photos, video, and audio to digital formats, but simply lack the time or willpower to get through it all, a new service from Kodak will help you get the job done.
Almost all new cameras include impressive video features, but for the best results you'll often need an off-camera recorder. Chris and Jordan take a look at the brand new Ninja V from Atomos, and explain why it might just be one of the most useful tools you can add to your camera.
Collect allows you to transform 360-degree into a more easily digestible format by transforming it into directed traditional videos.
Sick of using your plain ol' keyboard to edit your photos in Lightroom and Photoshop? TourBox is hoping to expedite your post-production workflow using a clever combination of dials, buttons, and knobs.
Bag and accessory manufacturer Hex has launched two bags as part of its latest collection: the Clamshell Backpack and DSLR Sling.
Crank out instant photos with Holga Digital's new analog printer, currently being funded on Kickstarter.
We got some hands-on time with Leica's new S3 medium format camera, which boasts a new higher-res sensor as well as other improvements.
Luna Display started its life as a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter. Now, it's available to purchase directly online.
We sat down with the Google Pixel camera team to learn about key new camera features on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, and an explanation of the sophisticated software advancements that power them.
A lawsuit filed on Tuesday claims the cameras in Apple's iPhone 7 Plus and newer dual-camera models infringe on a patent that was granted in 2003.