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Hands On: Olloclip 4-in-1 iPhone lens review

Step up your game on Instagram and beyond

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Our Early Verdict

A fun enhancement for Instagram addicts

For

  • Fun
  • Easy to use
  • Moderately priced

Against

  • Macro focus is tricky
  • Blocks the lock button

Believe it or not, there's a world of iPhone photography beyond food, cats and one's own face. The iPhone 5 has a shockingly capable camera, and since the iPhone 5S can shoot 120fps for quality slow motion, so there's potential for real visual drama.

But if you wan't an extreme close up you're still stuck with digital zoom in all it's grainy glory. And forget about anything beyond the standard horizontal, portrait and Instagram square shot.

Olloclip 4-in-1 iPhone lens review

That's where the Olloclip 4-in-1 lens comes in. It's really lenses plural, offering a fisheye, a wide-angle plus 10x and 15x macro lenses.

Slide on, slide off

Provided you're not using a case or any sort of plastic film protector, the 4-in-1 slides easily right onto the corner of an iPhone 5 or 5s. Olloclip also sells a case of its own, which gives you easy access to the volume-as-shutter-button.

The 4-in-1 goes for $70 (£59.99), $100 with the case included - sorry, I couldn't find British pricing for the bundle, but the case alone is $39.99 (£44.99).

Olloclip 4-in-1 iPhone lens review
The case is helpful, but not necessary

Once in place it blocks the lock button. A slight bummer but the Olloclip isn't the kind of thing you should keep on your phone once you've put it away.

There's a separate 4-in-1 for the 5C, available in all five colors, of course.

Olloclip 4-in-1 iPhone lens review
For the 5C's difference format factor, and fashion sense

The 4-in-1 also covers the flash, so you'll be brightening up your photos in post, if need be.

About face

The Olloclip gets four lenses in one with a reversible design. To go from fisheye to wide angle you just take it off, turn it around and put it back on.

Olloclip 4-in-1 iPhone lens review

These lenses also unscrew to reveal the macros. You're then holding a somewhat delicate lens in your hand; luckily your Olloclip kit contains both lens caps and soft little cinch bag.

iPhone photography, upgraded

It's a handful of kit to keep track of, but the effect seems worth it. The fisheye lens is fun in a DIY Terry Gilliam sort of way.

Olloclip 4-in-1 iPhone lens review

The wide-angle is more subtle. You really need a side by side comparison to tell the difference.

Olloclip 4-in-1 iPhone lens review

Olloclip 4-in-1 iPhone lens review

The macros are fun and effective as well, but rather difficult to focus. Olloclip also sells a dedicated set of macro only lenses, complete with glass cups that keep your subject at a perfect focal length. It's a pity these aren't included with the 4-in-1.

Olloclip 4-in-1 iPhone lens review

Olloclip 4-in-1 iPhone lens review

Olloclip 4-in-1 iPhone lens review

Early verdict

While they are a bit of a bother, the effect of the Olloclip 4-in-1 will tickled Instagram junkies. I'm keen to compare this $70 setup with the much more expensive $229 iPro Lens for iPhone 5/5S.

We'll see if the Olloclip should be the go to for stepping up your iPhone photography game, or just the budget option. Stay tuned for a full review, coming soon, with video samples as well.