The secret booth that only the lucky found at CES 2014

Sections: Accessories, Accessories, Apple, CES, CES 2014, Communications, Imaging, Smartphones, Trade Shows

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CES is an absolute beast to chew through, especially if you’re dedicated to get up close and see as much as you can before the week is over. It’s not just that there are a bunch (i.e. thousands) of booths, but the small ones tend to be especially easy to miss.

CES 2014 Shaquille

That’s right! I snapped a “close-up” of Shaquille O’Neal at CES 2014

But what do you do when there is a secret booth that was never announced? And how do you find it if it has no booth number and never stays in one spot for very long?

It took me a day and a half to pinpoint and figure out this hidden booth showcasing a unique product. Luck had nothing to do with it whatsoever. How, you ask? Well, it’s because the elusive exhibitor happened to be me.

Telephoto Zoom Lens

Size compared to a SD flash card

Wherever I went, I had inquisitive looks and probing questions with regards to the zoom lens attached to my Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

From exhibitors to press to company CEOs, the ones fortunate enough to see and stop me asked about it. And, of course, I explained the details and even gave a live product demonstration right there.

Prior to setting out for CES 2014, I knew that my Galaxy Note 2 alone wouldn’t cut it for many photo opportunities – at least when compared to a compact digital camera with a high optical zoom.

Telephoto Zoom Lens Case

Notice the chipped edges

But a piece of equipment like that just wasn’t affordable. A bit of hunting found me an acceptable solution.

This 12x zoom lens comes packaged with a snap case, rubber lens covers, mounting ring, and an aluminum tripod. The snap case itself is rather cheap, as parts of the left side have chipped off. But everything else is made very well, surprisingly.

The lens is a straight 12x optical zoom lens, and it screws into the threads on the back of the case. You can perform minor focus adjustments, but that’s all. The benefit of using the lens is that it lets me snap off photos as if I were about 8 yards closer to the subject.

Using this lens takes some practice, since hand shake begets blurry pictures. You have to shoot like a sniper; exhale, hold, click. Although the edges tend to have some blur, the main subjects of focus have come out very well.

Telephoto Zoom Lens Front

Lens attached to the case

Here’s the kicker. It only cost me ~$20 off Amazon to get this 12x zoom lens case combo. The common responses consisted of, “Wow! Even if were junk, it’s not like you’d be losing out.” When asked about who makes it, I only had a shrug. It’s not really a branded product, and different vendors sell the same thing.

There are a number of these types of zoom lens case combos available on Amazon. There’s one one available for the Samsung Galaxy S3, and for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and for the Samsung Galaxy S4. You can even get them for the Apple iPhone 4 and Apple iPhone 5 as well.

So if you’re on a budget and want some zoom, there you have it.

Telephoto Zoom Lens shot

Photos without and then with the lens attached

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