Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens

When I hike, it’s typically an experience in immersion, as I try to breath in my surroundings more so than capture them for reminiscing at a later time. This is a product of a few factors, but one of those factors is my reticence to carry too many devices, and that includes a camera in addition to my mobile communication device. Now, we all know the limitations (although improving) of our phone cameras: grainy zoom, fixed flash distance, jumpy focus points, etc. So do the makers of the Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens, and they are trying to enhance that picture taking range for those of us who want to travel light but still collect great images.

Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens
Taken with the Olloclip Marco lens

The device is a plastic slip-over that has two lenses threaded onto either side. The four options are: a fisheye lens, a wide angle lens, a 10x macro and a 15x macro. The fisheye provides view range that edges close to 180 degrees. The wide angle appears to add at least 40% to the field of view. The macro lenses have focus distances of 18 and 12 millimeters, respectively, according to the Olloclip marketing, and I found that to be close to true. The best part is that the device is shorter than a spark plug and weighs in at about 3.5 ounces (these are real glass lenses so you have to accept a little weight penalty).

Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens
Taken with the Olloclip Fisheye lens

In theory, these are all excellent little additions for capturing anything from distant vistas to zooming in on the little details that show up on the forest floor, and I think some of these images will support that. In practice, however, there are a few drawbacks. The fisheye lens needs careful hand placement to make sure that you don’t capture a wayward pinkie or thumb of yours that stuck out too far during the picture taking process. The macro lenses can be challenging to hold steady to acquire just the right focal point that you are looking for. The most glaring drawback for me, however, is that the lens cannot be used with any protective case on your phone. I had to un-protect my iPhone for every set of shots I wanted to take. The alternative is to bring your phone outdoors with no protection at all, but that is a guaranteed drop/scrape/submersion in the making.

Bottom Line:

While the ease of use (outside of case removal) and neat little shots that I was able to grab seem to make this a worthwhile purchase, I’m just not comfortable enough in offering up my phone to the element roulette game, so I have a hard time advising its use for backcountry activity.

Tech Specs:

MSRP: $69.99

Weight: 22.68 grams

Colors: Silver/black, red/black, dark grey/black, silver/white, gold/white

Availability: Available now

Lenses: Fisheye, Wide-Angle, 10x Marco, 15x Marco

Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens

$69.99
Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens
8.125

Ease of intended use

5/10

    Packability

    10/10

      Quality

      9/10

        Utility

        9/10

          Pros

          • Easy to attach/alternate between lens choices
          • Perfectly sized for backpacking
          • Really expands your range of shots available

          Cons

          • Can't be used with a protective phone case
          • Need a little practice to maximize utility of fisheye and macros
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