A photography accessory is a lot like a morning coffee. We may not always necessarily need it but it certainly makes us feel good having it; largely in part to the notion that we can potentially accomplish a lot more with it. I usually don’t like to make such a big deal about gear.
I hardly write about it although I do appreciate reading through other people’s anecdotes on what they own and how they utilize it. If I happen to own the same product, I generally nod in agreement with their opinions on it which eliminates the need to distill my take on it since it’s likely to seem like a replication of what’s already been said.
But today is different. At the moment, I’m currently more than 33,222ft up in the air in route to Ontario California for a 3-day work related training. Rather than indulge on the customary entertainment from the in-sit monitor in front of me, I avoid it because I refuse to pay $7 for films that on my opinion should be complimentary. Instead I’m between reading a book and tinkering with the iPhone 4 who clipped over its camera has a small accessory which in a short time has found a well deserved spot in my pocket.
This small aluminum add-on has added a new significance to capturing photographs on a device which I seem to treat more as a camera than a phone lately. It’s extremely well designed, it’s light weight, it’s drawn people’s attention in a good way and quite frankly, it’ll probably even revamp the iPhone to a level that is acceptable enough for some people to overlook the purchase of a standalone point and shoot. It surely won’t replace my affection towards my 5DMII but I entrust the combination of both the iPhone and the Olloclip enough to replace the dSLR in those instances that begs for the urgency to take a quick shot. All this assuming you don’t have intentions to print what’ve you’ve shot anything large than 11x14.
Had I been smart, I should have Backed the project with a pledge of $45 while it was it still on Kickstarter but I stalled simply because I was unaware of how much use I would make of a lens accessory that requires one to use the iPhone without a case. Something I rarely ever do. Instead, I had to pay the $70 price tag for the Olloclip which may not sit well with an occasional iPhone shooter but it may seem like a bargain to most photo enthusiast like myself.
The device is as straightforward as can be. In fact, so much so that I was borderline finding it pointless to even write about it other than to say I own one and I enjoy it. Prior to the Olloclip, I had not tried any of the other equivalent aftermarket lenses for comparison but I opted for what was most popular, affordable, convenient to use and buy.
The lens alone on the iPhone does a fantastic job for a mobile device but as someone who’s accustom to having options of switching between varying angles with mountable lenses, I was interested in exploring ways to replicate a similar experience with the iPhone.
Out of the 3 lenses the Olloclip packs, the wide-angle and the hidden macro lens are by far the most often used. As always, the utility of a fisheye depends on the situation and your fondness for the conventional dramatic effect and unescapable vignetting that accompanies it. You honestly don’t need me to publish sample photographs of what the end result is of using each of the lenses because there’s a slew of people who’ve willingly done the work already.
I’m not sure if what I’m writing even qualifies to be called a review. Perhaps more as a declaration that I’m the proud owner of an Ollocliop, that does exactly what it says, that it’s worth the investment if you’re an avid iPhone shooter, that the fisheye lens is a bit too much for me at times, that I wish having the Olloclip on wouldn’t completely conceal the power button or the flash, that the nifty micro-fiber carrying sack is very handy and that if you have plans for acquiring one, I recommend the red color because it’s pretty bad-ass.
I haven’t abandoned using the PhoneSuit Battery case since it’s been extremely useful on days when I’ve gone a bit overboard Instagramming but I have been lugging it around in my pocket lately to make room for the Olloclip.
This pretty much encapsulates my impression on the Olloclip partly since I don’t have much else to share but more importantly because the flight attendant just made the announcement of our descent to Ontario, California.