Review: Olloclip Macro 3-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 5/5s
Olloclip is keeping its collection of iPhone lens add-ons coming, this time with a set fully dedicated to close-up shots. Macro 3-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 5/5s ($70) uses a multi-lens attachment system similar to previous accessories from the company, including the most recent 4-in-1 kit, but instead of mixing fisheye, wide-angle, or distance options, it's all about close-up macro photography thanks to a set of 7x, 14x, and 21x magnifiers. Included with the lens are frosted plastic hoods, caps, as well as an iPod touch 5G adapter, plus a bag to carry all the parts.
Like previous lenses from Olloclip, the plastic Macro 3-in-1 fits over the iPhone’s top left corner, covering the Sleep/Wake button, camera, and most of the flash. It’s reversible, with a lens on each side. One is the 21x lens, permanently fixed in place, while the other is the 7x magnifier; the 14x lens screws in place atop the 7X. The hood system the three use is somewhat odd. While one is permanently attached to the 14x lens, the other that fits on the 21x is removable. Neither of the hoods fit on the 7x lens.
Considered in totality, the Macro 3-in-1 Photo Lens actually performs quite well. As you can see in the three examples here, all three lenses capture an impressive level of detail at progressively closer ranges. It’s easier to capture shots with the two strong magnifiers, thanks to the hoods, which you can simply place on top of whatever you’re shooting. The 7x is somewhat more difficult, as you need to keep it steady with your hand. There’s a downside to those stronger lenses though, and that’s some distortion, as seen on the vertical and horizontal lines of the $5 bill. It’s rather significant, though not uncommon in add-on lenses.
We continue to like the idea behind Olloclip’s products, and Macro 3-in-1 strikes us as one of the most practical macro solutions for an iPhone we’ve set seen. It captures an impressive level of tiny detail even at the strongest magnification, although the distortion may be somewhat of a problem for situations where accuracy is important; post-processing with a photo editing tool can help flatten out the curves, but won’t fix the blur. If you’re in the market for macro capabilities, this is a good choice overall, worthy of our general recommendation.