There is no denying how much the iPhone is changing the face of photography. Heck, all anyone has to do is look on Flickr to see that this device is one of the most popular cameras on their site. Let’s face it, the iPhone travels easily, comes with more apps than any one person will ever utilize, and is just plain fun to shoot with. In fact, it is so popular that there is a budding market for third party lenses.
One company taking a big advantage of this new accessory market is the makers of the Olloclip. Patrick O’Neill is the inventor and Chong Pak is the designer for this device. What they came up with is a set of three lenses (macro, wide angle, fisheye) that fits over the iPhone 4/4s camera and brings a broader range of options to it. All three lenses fit onto one device and all anyone needs to do is rotate the Olloclip to make use of one of the three lenses. It is brilliant, small, and immensely useful.
What is most impressive is that the Olloclip came into existence thanks to a Kickstarter campaign. For those that don’t know what Kickstarter is, it’s a website where people, and companies, go to try to secure funding for their latest project. These people reward their project backers with various incentives while trying to raise a set amount of money within a specific amount of time. This crowd funding idea is growing in popularity while helping many inventors and artists of all sorts get off the ground.
While the Olloclip provides iPhone photographers, more versatility in what they can shoot, it does have two small drawbacks. The first is that because this clips right onto the phone, removal of any protective casing is necessary. That means anyone with something like an Otterbox is going to spend a few minutes pulling the phone out and then putting it away. So keep this in mind before ordering one.
The second issue is the image quality is very hit or miss. I spent some time looking through the Flickr images and some were very impressive, while others left me questioning what went wrong. Anyone considering adding this to their bag of tricks should take some time and look at just what this combination has to offer.
Overall, it is awesome to see something so simple provide a host of great tools for iPhoneographers. I applaud the community for backing these people in their Kickstarter campaign and am excited to try this out for myself. Have fun with your photography!