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iPhone 8x Optical Telephoto Lens Review

Daniel Bell goes out shooting with the iPhone Telephoto Lens, offering a fixed 8x optical zoom.

| Interchangeable Lenses
Features and Handling

iPhone 8x Optical Telephoto Lens Review:

If you are keen on using your iPhone to take images and are frustrated by only having 5x digital zoom available then this funny looking device may be the answer. This lens, designed for iPhone 3G/3GS and iPhone 4, gives a fixed 8x optical zoom.

iPhone Telephoto Lens: Features and Handling

To attach the lens to your iPhone it comes with a case which fits onto the back of the phone and the lens simply twists on, as easily as a cap on a bottle. When not using the lens the case can remain on the iPhone. When turning it tight the lens would slip off the thread and it was impossible to get the lens on tight while showing the focus range display at an easy to read angle.

The iPhone 4 is rumoured to be a 35mm equivalent of a 29.4mm lens, so this lens will boost the length to 235.2mm, couple with the iPhone 4's digital zoom this will extend to a 35mm equivalent of 1176mm. This lens is fixed, therefore it will not zoom in or out. There is a manual focus ring which needs to be twisted to make the images sharp.

To aid image sharpeness, the lens comes with a mini tripod which will prove extremely useful when shooting in low-light. To connect the tripod there is a seperate attachment that grips the iphone and screws into the tripod. The tripod attachment is also the correct size to attach it to any regular tripod. As well as the case and mini-tripod there is also a cleaning cloth supplied.

iPhone 8x Optical Telephoto Lens Review:

iPhone Telephoto Lens: Performance

When testing the lens the first thing that was noticeable was vignetting on some of the photos. This was more apparent when shooting at objects very far away, such as images which included the sky. Fortunately this can be cropped out in Photoshop or another image editing program. It is also worth noting that you can't use the lens with the flash as it shines right into it, so remember to turn it off.

The images produced using the lens are commendable and will be ideal for those who enjoy sharing images on social networking sites. If you like to reproduce large prints then this is where quality issues will be noticed. Detail is OK, but is better towards the centre of the images with detail becoming blurry around the edges. Combining the lens with the 5x digital zoom offered by the iPhone 4, images are clearly pixelated when viewed at full size, but again, when sized for the web are perfectly suitable.

Minimum focus distance (3m)
iPhone 8x Optical Telephoto Lens Review: iPhone 8x Optical Telephoto Lens Review: iPhone 8x Optical Telephoto Lens Review:
No lens or zoom With lens, no digital zoom (8x) With lens and digital zoom (40x)
Maximum focus distance (infinity)
iPhone 8x Optical Telephoto Lens Review: iPhone 8x Optical Telephoto Lens Review: iPhone 8x Optical Telephoto Lens Review:
No lens or zoom With lens, no digital zoom (8x) With lens and digital zoom (40x)

If you haven't got an iPhone then it is still possible to use the iPhone Telephoto Lens. Below is an example with the lens held against the 12 megapixel Nokia N8 which has a 35mm equivalent 28mm lens.

iPhone 8x Optical Telephoto Lens Review:   iPhone 8x Optical Telephoto Lens Review:
Nokia N8 without lens (35mm equiv: 28mm).   Nokia N8 with lens (35mm equiv: 224mm).

iPhone Telephoto Lens: Verdict

When considering that this lens can be purchased for less than £30 it is difficult to complain about the results. No, the images aren't going to be as good as a digital compact camera with 8x optical zoom, such as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS37, but the lens gives the iPhone photo extra possibilities when out shooting.

iPhone Telephoto Lens: Pros

Offers extra versatility to the iPhone photographer
Takes good images for use on the web
Comes with a mini-tripod

iPhone Telephoto Lens: Cons

Images lose detail around the edges


iPhone Telephoto Lens: Specification

Price $35 (around £21)
Minimum focus distance 3m
Magnification 8x optical zoom
Field of view 246m
Angle of view 16°
Aperture f/1.1
Size 30 x 70mm
Weight 40g (lens only)
In the box Universal holder
Mini tripod
Cleaning Cloth

The iPhone Telephoto Lens is available for $35 (around £21) from Photojojo here:

iPhone Telephoto Lens
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mediaman 13 14 Scotland
4 May 2011 7:41PM
A usefull accessory for some...
User_Removed 13 34 4 United Kingdom
22 May 2011 6:03PM
Cheapest lense I have ever seen!

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