I have been on a new mission: to learn how to get better photos out of my iPhone. As those of you who visit my blog often have undoubtedly seen, this led to getting addicted to the Tintype-like settings in Hipstamatic followed by a shooting spree of many of the same landmarks I’ve already shot far too many times before.
Well, now I have a new toy. So, I’m on a whole new spree. I succumbed to the temptation of taking a simple, no-need-to-carry-anything-extra device for photography, and added stuff that complicates it and requires carrying more stuff. However, this is the stuff:
Perhaps it’s not obvious from this image, but the size of these little lenses are about the diameter of a quarter. One acts like a 2x teleconverter for the iPhone (or any smart phone) camera lens, making images appear 2x closer than they appear through the phone lens by itself. A second provides both wide angle views and (by unscrewing part of it) macro capabilities. The third creates a fisheye effect.
I have often wanted to try a fisheye lens. There are just times when fisheye looks so darn cool. However, no matter how much I wanted to give it a try, with prices ranging from $600-$1600, I just felt like it was more than I wanted to spend for something I wasn’t likely to use all that frequently.
In contrast, the fisheye attachment for the iPhone would have been $20 if I’d bought it by itself and was closer to $15 because I bought the 3-lens kit. Now, of course, I’m not going to get the same quality of images shooting with an iPhone with a $15 attachment stuck over the lens, but playing with what fisheye will do allows me to find out whether it is something I will use regularly or not with very little expense.
The lens attaches to the phone by sticking a magnetized washer that fits around the built-in lens. Once the magnet is adhered, the lens itself sticks to the magnet. Or, it could be the other way around–the magnet might be in the lens. In any case, it’s a simple but not foolproof way to attach the lens. The magnet is not strong enough to keep the lens from moving around when bumped. Because the screen is hard to see in bright sunlight, it’s hard to tell if the lens is no longer properly centered. Other than that, it’s a pretty ingenious system.
I am really digging how much of the foreground and background can be fit into a single image with the fisheye effect. I love being able to put Tisen in the foreground (at the end of a 4 ft leash) and still have the skyline in the background. The only problem with the extreme wide angle of fisheye is the tendency to end up with your feet in the image.