Review: Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPad Air + iPad mini
Having developed lens systems for several iPhone generations, Olloclip has decided to take the next logical step by releasing the 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPad ($70). With support for the iPad Air and both versions of the iPad mini, the slide-on lens kit offers four different options: fisheye, wide-angle, 10x macro, and 15x macro. It's very similar to what we've seen from the company before, including the lenses that screw onto the base, the plastic lens caps, and the drawstring travel bag. Because we've covered the accessory and its incarnations a number of times in the past, we'll keep this review brief.
Other than size, there are really few differences between this lens kit and the iPhone 5/5s version. Because the iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad mini with Retina display are all within 0.01” of each other in terms of depth, the plastic clip is able to fit on any of the tablets with no problem. On one side is the 10x lens; you flip it around to use the 15x magnifier. The wide-angle and fisheye lenses, respectively, screw on over those lenses. Instead of the multiple color options Olloclip has offered before, only silver lenses are available for the iPad, but you can get a black or white clip.
Olloclip’s previous 4-in-1 was a nice upgrade to the 3-in-1 in terms of image quality, and the iPad version benefits from those improvements. All four lenses produce centrally sharp pictures with impressive color contrast, and we’re particularly impressed by the macro lenses. You’ll find the previously-expected softness and distortion at the edges of the wide-angle and fisheye lenses, but it’s better than Olloclip’s pre-4-in-1 models. With the macro lenses, you can get some truly impressive shots, although you have to be right up next to the subject, which can be even more awkward with an iPad than an iPhone.
As it’s so similar to the iPhone version, 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPad earns the same general recommendation. It’s a good product that if used properly can take very cool photos. Despite disclaimers about the social acceptability of iPad photography, there’s something particularly fun about using the larger screen of the iPad to compose these shots. The build quality is solid, as we’ve come to expect, and the ease of use is incomparable. Unfortunately, case compatibility is an issue—Olloclip has yet to release a case for tablets as it has for phones. While it’s not for everyone, the lens kit does its job well.