Monday, April 18, 2011

Up close and fishy

I ordered a couple of "toys" from a fish-eye lens and a macro/wide-angle lens for my cellphone camera.
The lenses come with rubber covers, a strong magnetic backing with tether, and a sticky-backed magnetic ring you attach to and leave on your phone lens.

So far I've been happier with the fish-eye lens than the macro. You saw some examples of fish-eye shots in previous posts (here and here). It's good for group shots, too, because you can fit a lot of people in!

Here's a regular shot of grape hyacinth. Kinda fuzzy but it'll do:
And here's the same shot with the fish-eye lens.
The fish-eye lens is almost too wide to fit on my dinosaur LG phone, whose stubby antena gets in the way a little. But it works.
I am less impressed with the combined macro/wide angle lens (it's two lenses that screw together). The wide angle isn't very wide, and the macro, which I really wanted, requires that you shoot from half an inch away from the subject.

Again, here's the normal shot:
And here's the wide-angle:

And this shows how close you have to hold the camera to the subject for a macro shot:
And here's the shot you get:
OK, yeah, that looks cool, but how often are you going to shoot something so tiny with your cellphone? Something that needs to hold quite still, too, as you mash your phone right up to it.

I was really hoping it would be more like the macro setting on my point-and-shoot, which allows a focus within several inches, something my phone camera always fails at (but which I prefer to use sometimes, since I can post pictures online immediately with it).

I'm planning to upgrade to a smartphone one of these days, and the Droid, at least, has a decent macro setting, so I need to find out if I can send back the lens I don't like. But I recommend the fish-eye lens. It's fun! And something you can't get with any regular phone setting.


  1. You took those pictures with your PHONE?? Is it a 2 megapixel? I ask because my old LG (a 1.3 megapixel) is getting old and beat-up, and I thought about upgrading to a new one. I'm happy with a non-smart phone.

    Amazing pictures - really!

  2. Lots of times I forget my camera and end up taking photos on my phone. I always wish it had a better lens, a flash, etc. Wonder if they make a fish-eye for iphone.... that last photo looks positively otherworldly!

  3. Lauren, it's 1.3 megapixels. My phone is four years old. The pictures showing the lenses and phone were taken with my point-and-shoot. I'm pretty happy with my old LG, but one of these days it's going to bite the dust, and then I'll upgrade.

    JGH, the fish-eye can be used on an iPhone if you have a case for the phone. Apparently the slick glass of the phone doesn't allow the sticky magnetic ring to attach well enough. They also have a telephoto lens for the iPhone, which looks pretty cool.

  4. Nice effects my phone makes phone calls and sends texts end of story but now I can see why you would want a camera in your phone