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USB Fever 2x Telephoto Lens For iPhone

USB Fever 2x Telephoto Lens For iPhone - Double the magnification of your iPhone's camera lens with this 2x telephoto lens.

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USB Fever 2x Telephoto lens for iPhone in Interchangeable Lenses

Features and Handling

2x Telephoto iPhone Lens on iphone
The 2x Telephoto iPhone Lens attached to the back case and in place on an iPhone

Our recent test of the incredible USB Fever 190 degree fisheye lens made us hungry for more so we got hold of the USB Fever 2x telephoto lens. Like the fisheye it's an aluminium cased lens with two element glass optical construction and supplied with an iPhone 4 back cover. The lens screws into the cover in position over the phone's existing camera lens to offer 2x magnification to the existing lens.

USB Fever 2x Telephoto lens: Features and Handling

It's good to see that the packaging of these lenses has improved following our comment on the fisheye lens where we had to tear the pack open. This one has a clip together outer wrapper, which makes it easy to access the lens and case. The graphics no longer look part of the case either so great improvements.  
2x Telephoto iPhone Lens package
2x Telephoto iPhone Lens package.
  attaching 2x Telephoto iPhone Lens to iPhone
Attaching 2x Telephoto iPhone Lens to iPhone.

The lens comes with a case half that the iPhone clips into to cover the whole front of the phone. There's a threaded aperture where the phone's camera lens is and this 2x lens screws into that.

The lens is the now familiar high quality metal build with glass optics. It's a two element to group construction and measure 24.93mm x 15mm, with a weight of just 9.8g. There's a front and rear cap. This time they are both plastic unlike the fisheye which had a superb metal front cap. 

2x Telephoto iPhone Lens caps and case
2x Telephoto iPhone lens, caps and case.

USB Fever 2x Telephoto lens: Performance

The first shot was taken to show the difference in perspective between using the camera without magnification and with the 2x lens attached. You can see the benefit of using a telephoto here. Left is without the lens. Middle is moving closer to the model to gain the effective 2x magnification and right is staying in the same position and adding the 2x lens. Notice how the helmet in the background appears smaller when you move close to gain magnification. In this case using a 2x tele lens gives better perspective with more impact.

Also notice that the image looks good with this lens and there are no signs of any problems. At this point you may feel quite excited about the proposition of this 2x lens... but that's about to change!

2x iphone lens not used
2x iPhone lens not used.
  2x iphone lens off with position changed so same subject size
2x iPhone lens off with position changed so same subject size.
  2x iphone lens on
2x iPhone lens on.

Vases without lens
Vases without lens.
  The next test was to see how the tele lens performed with straight lines. I took these vases backlit by a window covered with a blind. You can look at the blind's slats to see how straight they are recorded with the camera lens. Left is a shot using Camera+ without any lens or internal digital zoom applied. Below left has the USB Fever 2X telephoto attached, notice the harsh vignetting at the edges and curvature on the blinds, also a shift in colour. Below right is with the Camera+ zoom set to 2x. The colour is faithful, the horizontal lines are less curved and there's no vignetting.
Vases with 2x iPhone lens
Vases with 2x iPhone lens.
  Vases with 2x Camera + zoom
Vases with 2x Camera+ zoom.

paper without lens
A newspaper taken with
the Camera+ and no lens
or zoom.
  paper  when using 2x iphone lens
The newspaper in the same position newspaper with the USB Fever 2x lens attached.
  paper with 2x internal Camera+ zoom
The newspaper with the
Camera+ 2x zoom set.

As you can see from this, once again the 2x optical telephoto lens causes vignetting, distortion and isn't as magnified as the Camera+ 2x setting.

Next we tested flare:

No flare when using 2x Camera + zoom
No flare when using 2x Camera+ zoom.
flare when using 2x iphone lens
Flare is visible when using the 2x iPhone lens.

The sun was over to the back left - way out of the angle of the lens so flare should be minimal (ideally absent). The 2x lens introduces flare (right) that was missing on the shot without (left).

USB Fever 2x Telephoto lens: Value for money

If the quality was good it would be extremely good value for money. As it happens the quality is poor and much better results can be gained using the iPhone camera app Camera+ which will cost you just 69p (99cents) and has a 6x zoom.

USB Fever 2x Telephoto lens: Verdict

We loved the USB Fever fisheye lens, but this is nothing in comparison. It's really a waste of money. You get much better results from the Camera+ app at a fraction of the cost and without the inconvenience in having to attach the lens when you want to increase the power. One for iPhone users to avoid.

USB Fever 2x Telephoto lens: Pros

Metal build
Really well made

USB Fever 2x Telephoto lens: Cons

Sharpness poor at edges
Vignettes heavily
Better quality from digital Camera+ zoom
Poor flare control

The 2x Telephoto is available from USB Fever for £14.33.

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CathyT 12 7.3k 18 United Kingdom
2 Dec 2011 9:24AM
What a shame.......I love the Fish eye version and was hoping to add this to my collection.

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