Today I’m going to show a comparison with 4-in-1 lens system from 3 different companies/sellers DCkina, SquidCam and Olloclip. The 3 main sources of mobile lenses. What I want to show you how coated glass makes a difference on the quality of photos. Also how it’s important to invest in good glass and not depends on apps to give you lens effects on your photos and make your bad photo pretty. Sometimes getting the expensive lenses don’t always give you the results of what you want in taking mobile photos. All of these lens system have real glass and no plastic lenses.
Here are all the lenses taken apart to show you how these 4-in-1 lens systems work. You unscrew the fisheye or wide angle to get to the macro lens. It’s important you make sure the 15x is with the fisheye and the 10x is with the wide angle. If you don’t match these lenses up properly, your photos will come out blurry. I know because I’ve mixed these lenses up a few times. How I check to make sure they’re screwed on right is I look through the lenses to make sure they don’t look blurry. If they look clear then I matched them up right. You can feel the difference in the macro lenses, by press with your fingers together on the front and back of the macro lens. I do this with my t-shirt it lens cloth to check the difference. I don’t use my bare fingers because that leaves finger prints and smudges. I still look through the lens to make sure I put the right lenses back together. Some of the lenses have a guide to help you put the right lenses back together, like SquidCam with the rings.
I’m going to start with the Fisheye first. I took the photo vertical and horizontal. Vida was my assistant in this test. You will see number at the corner of each of the sets, 1. DCkina, 2. SquidCam 3. Olloclip. This is how the order will go throughout the comparison test.
If you look at both sets of the fisheye none of them have edge to edge sharpness. It doesn’t matter how you coat or acquire good glass quality. You will always have blurred edges because of the size of the lens. Even the expensive iPro Lenses don’t have that quality either. You would have to use DSLR lenses to get that sharpness.
1. DCkina 2. SquidCam 3. Olloclip: Here are some demos of each of the edges for the fisheye test. As you can see SquidCam gives you more vignette than the other two lens systems. DCkina and Olloclip are wider so my fingers get caught in the picture. You have to be careful using a mobile fisheye lens. With SquidCam Fisheye, you might get less photo but the edges are as blurry compared to the other two lens system. Moving onto the wide angles…
The wide angles are numbed the same 1. DCkina, 2. SquidCam 3. Olloclip. You will noticed the DCkina has a green tint to the photos because of the coating. Normally if you were to use this lens alone, you don’t see the color tints from the lenses. I wanted to let you know is green photos are pleasing to the eye and hard to spot in the highlights and sky. You won’t noticed a green tint unless you get a color correction chart and place the photo next to the chart. I’ve been schooled heavily on color correction and worked at a photo lab for many years. Green is the hardest color to spot for corrections. I can see all the other colors (magenta, yellow, blue, red, cyan) but I can’t see green.
What else I noticed is Squidcam’s wide angle is soft and not sharp at all. It even has a bit of a haze to the lens. I even checked for finger prints and nothing was on the lens. I took these photo at 11:30ish during the day, so I had the best light to work with. The other two lenses are pretty sharp. They also have coating on the glass to help with the sharpness, where SquidCam glass isn’t coated at all. Really good lenses will have chemical coating to help with the sharpness of the class and have a polished finish to protect the glass. You can tell DCkina and Olloclip have coating on the glass for clear center sharpness.
It’s the same thing here. You can see it with each of the pictures which brand is what from green tint to vignettes to sharper edges.
1. DCkina 2. SquidCam 3. Olloclip: Here are the edges of each of the lenses, just like the fisheye. Olloclip has the best wide angles because, it has a slight vignette and sharper edges. I use this lens shooting a lot of squares because it’s sharp, no chromatic aberrations and no barrel distortions. Shorting square photos crops out the blurred edges and vignettes.
Now the part everyone been waiting for the macro comparison. These are all macro 15x shots taken with ProCamera 7. I took all square photos because I don’t need sharp edges on a macro shot. What your looking for are clear sharp details. In macro photography all you care about are tiny details and abstract imagery. I. DCkina, 2. SquidCam 3. Olloclip.
You’ve noticed the green tint and sharpness in photo one from DCkina. The subtle natural glow from SquidCam. Last the contrast in the Olloclip lens. All of these macro lenses are going to be based on what type of macro you like to shoot. What’s funny here are when people tell me Olloclip is the best with macro photos. But you see here that it’s not the sharpest out of the 3 lens system, I’ll give it kudos on the contrast for the coating on the lens. I rather shoot with DCkina and color correct my photo than add sharpness. It easier and natural looking to correct color than applying sharpness to the photo. I also feel SquidCam has fair game since their lens is sharper and has natural looking colors in their photos with a glow to them.
The 10x macro is about the same. You have the color tints to natural to contrast. I. DCkina 2. SquidCam 3. Olloclip
Especially here in the tomato stems, you can really see the difference in each other photo. So if you think Olloclip is better, then keep telling yourself that. The proof is in the pudding here and the photos don’t lie.
DCkina Pros: cheaper, sharp macros, universal to most smart phones and future model designs and coated glass, magnet rings can be put on a threaded case
DCkina Cons: green tint, magnet rings (lens has a tendency to move around and stay still), magnet rings come off over time and case really put a lot of cases on or over them
SquidCam Pros: the case protects your iPhone, cheaper than Olloclip, natural color photos, diffused glow on macro photos, it doesn’t scratch up your iPhone when you change lenses, hybrid case for the iPhone 5/5S, creative and clever design case with lens system
SquidCam Cons: lenses aren’t sharp because of no coating on the lenses, you have to replace the system in two years because the lenses aren’t positioned differently on iPhone 4/4s to iPhone 5/5S, the iPhone 4/4s case is rubber so it stretches and may cover the camera’s edge and if not secure properly you can loose your lenses from the case
Olloclip Pros: sharpest wide angles lens, solid build, flip lens ability, durable build, creative design
Olloclip Cons: expensive, can scratch up your iPhone over time from flipping, can fall off the iPhone over time, you have to place the lens system every 2 years from different iPhone models, iPhone only, flip case is cheaply made and expensive for what it does
Overall I feel all these lens systems have their pros and cons. What you have to do is make a list of pros and cones, figure out what type of photography you like to shoot, buy a system that fits your needs and not anyone else’s needs. Ask around fine out from other people, read reviews from experienced users and don’t go by who swears by a certain brand because 9 times out of 10, it’s a bias opinion. I hope this blog post has been helpful in what’s best for you in a lens system. It’s hard not to be bias but I was trying to be as fair as possible with the comparisons. None of these photo were edited with any apps, only taken with ProCamera 7. If you have any questions please leave comments or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great day and see you soon…