The most prolific iPhone photographers have a secret – snap on lenses from a company named olloclip that let them get super creative with their pictures.
It’s easy to understand why the iPhone is the most popular camera in the world – so many people have one in their pocket all day long.
The camera on the iPhone is pretty spectacular, but the biggest enthusiasts are extending its capability with a set of snap on lenses from a Huntington Beach company named olloclip.
The company was started by Patrick O’Neil, who is a self-proclaimed Steve Jobs fanatic. At their offices, I spotted all things Apple, including a vintage Apple II computer, framed photos of Jobs and Apple products everywhere.
O’Neil says as soon as he saw the iPhone, he wanted to attach a lens to it. Then, he worked for the next few years figuring out how. The question he constantly asked himself? If Steve Jobs himself saw this lens, would he approve of it?
It took a while before O’Neil settled on a design, but the first olloclip was born in 2011 and it was a simple lens set that could do fish eye, wide angle and macro for $45. O’Neil put his creation on Kickstarter, and the rest, as they say, is history. The gadget was an instant success and soon after, the Apple Store started stocking them.
Today, olloclip continues to innovate with its lenses. Their design has adapted as the iPhone has changed over the years. The newest lens series use a “connect” system. There’s a standard clip that snaps on to an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus that accommodates two lenses at a time. You can choose from Fisheye, Macro, Telephoto, Super-Wide and Ultra-Wide Lenses. The lenses work equally well on both the front or back cameras.
The genius of the system is that the lenses automatically line up with the iPhone camera lens as long as you hear them snap on properly. Olloclip lenses work with screen protectors but don’t snap on over an iPhone case, which could cause some issues since you don’t want to remove your case every time you want to take a creative photo. Olloclip is solving this dilemma with a new line of cases that allow their lenses to snap right onto them.
I’ve been using olloclip lenses since the original and they can really up your iPhone photo game. For instance, the selfie camera on the iPhone can’t necessarily fit all of your friends or family in the frame very easily because it doesn’t have a very wide angle of view. Snap on a wider olloclip lens and you’ll be able to fit many more friends into the frame.
Same goes for the rest of the lenses – they just extend the usability of the iPhone’s camera. We shoot many of our Facebook product demo videos using a wide angle olloclip lens since we are able to fit more into the frame and it just looks better.
The biggest downside of olloclip lenses is the time it takes to set up and actually use them. It doesn’t take long, but we’re so used to pulling our phone out of our pocket and hitting that shutter button instantly. It takes a few more seconds to snap on an olloclip lens, but you’ll be happy you did. Olloclip lenses start at $50.
olloclip Filmer’s Kit (exclusive to Apple Store)