Up close with 4 of the best macro lenses for your phone

    Smartphone cameras have telephoto lenses, wide-angle lenses, lenses made for low-light circumstances, and even monochrome lenses; however what do you do if macro pictures are your factor? Most telephones can get near a topic, simply not likely shut. To do that, you’ll want to purchase a particular lens attachment, getting you proper up shut and private for tremendous detailed macro footage.

    Whilst you’re not caught for selection, there’s a appreciable variation in worth, from an inexpensive $20 as much as a much less inexpensive $100 or extra. Is there a distinction, and does spending extra imply higher macro images? We’ve hooked up 4 macro lenses spanning this worth vary to the iPhone X to seek out out, and listed below are the outcomes.

    The lenses

    The 2 most cost-effective macro lenses come from Aukey, a well-liked smartphone accent maker with a large array of merchandise accessible on Amazon. The $20 Aukey PL-WD07 is the most cost effective, and has a 10x macro lens attachment. The $30 Aukey PL-WD06 has a 15x macro lens. Each these kits additionally include wide-angle lenses, which we didn’t check on this comparability.

    The $42 Black Eye HD Macro lens has a 15x macro magnification, however doesn’t include every other lenses at this worth. Lastly, the brand new $100 Olloclip Connect X system includes of a 15x macro lens, together with a fisheye and super-wide angle lens, all linked up in a particular attachment specially-made for the iPhone X. We’ve taken a take a look at the complete Olloclip package here. The three different lenses are hooked up utilizing a spring-loaded clip, and are suitable with all kinds of telephones.

    It’s value noting that the Aukey lenses aren’t actually designed for telephones with dual-lens cameras, however we didn’t expertise main points utilizing them on the iPhone X — which we used for comparability’s sake, because of the Olloclip’s exclusivity — other than the occasional little bit of light-leak in sure lighting circumstances. The Black Eye lens is extra compact, and it simply suits over the iPhone X’s digicam; it not affected by exterior gentle. All 4 lenses require any case on the telephone to be eliminated, though it’s potential to purchase instances which are suitable with the Olloclip system.

    Magnification claims

    Three of the 4 lenses right here declare to have a 15x macro magnification, but all ship very totally different images. The Olloclip’s macro lens requires you to get so near the topic earlier than it focuses, and inventive makes use of are drastically restricted. The Aukey and Black Eye lenses are extra versatile, regardless of having the identical magnification because the Olloclip. You’ll see in our instance images how this impacts the images we took.

    Distinction in focal distance

    For instance how a lot variation there may be within the distance between lens and topic throughout the 4 lenses, right here is a photograph taken at a set distance, beginning out with the iPhone X’s digicam and not using a lens, then the 10x Aukey lens, the 15x Aukey lens, the Black Eye lens, and eventually the Olloclip lens. It’s the Aukey PL-WD07, which prices $20, which takes the perfect photograph right here with it’s 10x macro lens. The 15x macro WD06 manages to focus, however from precisely the identical distance, the Black Eye and Olloclip can’t focus in any respect. This provides you an concept of simply how shut that you must get earlier than these two lenses will deal with a topic.

    Whereas this implies you get far more element close-up pictures, it does make getting the suitable image extra of a problem, because the lens may be nearly touching the topic. Not straightforward if it’s a shifting object, or a dwelling creature more likely to scurry away.

    Tom Ford case

    For this image (and every subsequent one from right here) we moved nearer to the topic till the digicam and lens centered. This exhibits simply how shut the Olloclip and Black Eye lenses can get, and the quantity of element every one can reveal. First, a photograph from the iPhone X and not using a lens attachment.

    The WD07, with the 10x macro, suffers from some gentle leakage right here, nevertheless it nonetheless focuses on the Tom Ford brand. There’s much less gentle leakage on the WD06, and the macro impact is bigger. The Black Eye lens will get so shut that it’s unattainable to suit your entire brand within the body, however you begin to see extra tiny particulars within the picture. The Olloclip, nevertheless, will get proper all the way down to particulars within the case’s fibers.

    Observe that in all the pictures, there’s appreciable vignetting (blurring across the central point of interest), which solely turns into extra apparent as you progress by way of the totally different lenses. The impact is at its most dramatic on the Olloclip, because of the large magnification, and may be fairly distracting relying on the topic.

    Tea leaves

    Transferring onto a topic that favors the lenses that wish to get actually shut, this picture exhibits some tea leaves, focusing in on a cherry blossom leaf. The distinction is startling, and the Olloclip isolates the leaf in gorgeous element, blurring out the background to the purpose the place it’s tough to inform what you’re really seeing. The Aukey lenses keep away from this, creating an image that’s each close-up, and effectively composed.  The Black Eye lens combines the perfect of each, with a way more intimate take a look at the leaf, whereas preserving sufficient background element to grasp the setting.

    The Aukey lenses take footage you’ll be able to share immediately, standing out on their very own; however they don’t work as effectively once you zoom in additional. Zoom in even nearer on the Black Eye and the Olloclip pictures, and the Black Eye comes out on high once more, because of the Olloclip’s very slender focusing level.


    Macro images works very well when analyzing small, pure objects we hardly ever get a really shut take a look at. This single blossom is a superb instance, and the image reveals how delicate the Olloclip’s lens is to its topic. The Aukey footage each look nice, though the tight point of interest means there are components of the blossom that aren’t in focus, regardless of being nearer to the digicam lens. The Black Eye lens has the identical situation, however nonetheless creates an amazing photograph.

    The Olloclip wanted to be so shut that each one sense of what you’re seeing is misplaced. Gentle can also be minimize down, that means the ultimate image suffers tremendously. There’s a higher image in there, which modifying does assist carry out; however the success of the ultimate picture tremendously will depend on whether or not the digicam managed to focus correctly within the first place, which isn’t all the time straightforward when working in such shut proximity and with such a slender focal distance.

    Dandelion clock

    A well-recognized sight in springtime, the Dandelion clock is a piece of pure artwork, and it’s all the time tempting to get a better look. Right here you’ll be able to see the vignetting in motion on the Aukey and the Black Eye lens, nevertheless it doesn’t smash the image. Zoom in on all three and also you’ll see a substantial quantity of element.

    The Olloclip stands aside in that you simply’re transported contained in the clock itself, enveloped by the seeds and their fluffy parachutes. Unrecognizable until you’re advised what it’s, the image borders on the summary. It’s proof that with the suitable topic and in the suitable lighting circumstances, the Olloclip generally is a very creatively thrilling addition to the iPhone X — however you’ll want extra photographic ability to acknowledge and exploit its expertise.


    This image exhibits how artistic you will get with macro images even with on a regular basis objects. That is really the highest of a wood stake. All 4 digicam lenses take good images, exterior of some annoying vignetting, with the Black Eye taking our favourite. What this photograph does is play to the Olloclip’s strengths. It operates greatest when instantly excessive of its topic, and when it doesn’t transfer.

    Stone and needles

    Our remaining image additionally presents the Olloclip with a stationary topic which may be photographed overhead. It’s very selective with the place it would focus too, blurring out the whole lot besides one part, which we’d anticipate to occur with a high-magnification macro lens. The opposite three lenses are extra versatile, with the Aukey WD06 producing an amazing picture that works even higher when cropped down. Bear in mind, the WD06 prices $30.


    You merely don’t must spend $100 to take nice macro pictures together with your telephone. Whereas spending $20 will get strong outcomes, you’ll be able to’t get fairly shut sufficient to essentially take an excellent macro image; but when that’s your funds you then received’t be as upset with the outcomes.

    Our advice is both the $30 Aukey WD06 or the $42 Black Eye Macro lens. The Aukey WD06 is superb worth contemplating you additionally get a wide-angle lens, the macro pictures don’t go mad with the vignetting, and might nonetheless be cropped for better affect. The Black Eye lens is just for macro pictures, and will get in nearer than the Aukey lenses, however not ridiculously so just like the Olloclip. It’s the only option for those who’re solely on the lookout for a macro lens, and don’t thoughts spending slightly extra.

    The Olloclip, which is the latest and costliest lens on check right here has its advantages. The fitment is superb, it has a fish-eye and wide-angle lens included within the worth, and the lenses are very top quality. However for macro images, you’re going to want ability and persistence to get an amazing shot. If you wish to take a shareable, eye-catching photograph rapidly and simply, it’ll show irritating.

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