Two iPhone lens accessory manufacturers have figured out a way to bring a GoPro like ultra-wide angle field of view to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
They do a pretty nice job of approximating the look and feel, if not the 100% results of the tiny point of view camera.
Of course you won’t be attaching your iPhone to a bicycle, swimming with the sharks or sky-diving with a camera on your body, like you would with a GoPro. But if you’ve got the iPhone in your pocket already and forgot to bring the GoPro–or maybe you want to use the simple smartphone camera for some wide-angle shots and beam them up instantly to your favorite social network–now you have a way to do it.
You’ll just have to remember to leave the house with these accessory mobile lenses from Olloclip and Moondog Labs, which are tiny, and also fit in the pocket. The Olloclip Active lens sells for $99, while the Moondog Anamorphic lens is $175. Both clip onto the front of the iPhone, over the camera lens. Moondog is iPhone only, while Olloclip has two previous lenses for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5.
This Olloclip Active lens gives you two lenses in one to fit on an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. There’s an ultra wide that captures 155 degrees of wide-angle beauty, as well as a telephoto to bring you closer to the action. The new Olloclip lens is the latest in a series of Olloclip lenses that have come out in the last few years, and this is the widest view they’ve had to date.
Meanwhile the Moondog Labs anamorphic lens gives you a similar same wide view, without some of the distortion that we’ve come to see from other lenses. It’s aimed at pro filmmakers. Anamorphic is the term for presenting a complete wide-angle view within a standard 35mm film, and you’ve probably seen it on the big screen with black bars on the top and bottom of the screen. Moondog replicates that on your iPhone.
The lens was used on two new high-end iPhone projects: the new ad for Bentley cars and the indy feature film Tangerine, a recent Sundance Festival hit. Both were shot on an iPhone.
The only catch: you won’t be able to get that look with the lens and your native camera app on the iPhone without “de-squeezing” the images afterwards to get the anamorphic look. You’ll need a third party app like FilmicPro for video, or Instasize for photos.
Of the two lenses, the Moondog anamorphic is the most dramatic and cool, but the Olloclip media is easier to handle for everyday photos and videos.
In our tests, the wide on both lenses looked pretty terrific, while the telephoto on the Olloclip was just a little soft. Still, it got you closer to the action, something your current iPhone can’t do now.
With so many accessories available for smartphones, and our tendency to carry these phones everywhere, lenses like this really expand our view and what we can do with smartphoneography. If you’re serious about bringing your smartphone shots to the next level, and wowing your friends with a different look to your images, you can’t go wrong with investing in either of these lenses.