Olloclip: Still the best upgrade for your iPhone 6 camera

Olloclip: Still the best upgrade for your iPhone 6 camera

Olloclip’s 3-in-1 Macro lens attachment on an iPhone 6.

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When Apple pulled a fast one on third-party iPhone accessory manufacturers and introduced a completely redesigned iPhone 6 and similarly styled iPhone 6 Plus last year, all those products that fit neatly on the iPhone 5 and 5S’s iconic sharp edges were rendered obsolete.

Among the carnage was Olloclip, the popular add-on lens manufacturer. There was simply no way to retrofit their existing lens attachments for the thinner and curvier iPhone 6. I was crestfallen, because I loved using Olloclip’s wide-angle fish-eye macros and 2x telephoto lens with my iPhone 5S and had to shelve them when I got my iPhone 6.

I have tried other lens attachments, including the expertly designed Moment, but did not appreciate having to, essentially, glue something onto the body of my brand-new iPhone 6. Still, those $99 2x and wide-angle lenses helped me take some beautiful pictures. And they were all I could use with my iPhone 6, at least until Olloclip finally revealed its design solution for Apple’s slimmer smartphone.

Like the 4-in-1 lens Olloclip released last year, the company’s newest lenses ($99.99 for the Telephoto Lens and $69.99 for the Macro 3-in-1 Photo Lens) look, as I expected, nothing like the old corner-mounted Olloclips. It’s clear that the iPhone 6 presented a significant design challenge for Olloclip. The solution is smart, if somewhat imperfect.

All of the new clips slide over the top of the phone and the underside of each lens features a slot to accommodate the iPhone 6’s rear camera protuberance (the lens add-ons all work with the iPhone 6 Plus, as well). These new Olloclip add-ons are, to an extent, imperfect fits for the iPhone. If you want the add-on lenses to sit snugly against the top edge of the iPhone, you have to use these easy-to-lose little slot add-ins. The good news is, once you slide these little guides inside the Olloclip, they never fall out.

Hello New York!

A photo posted by Lance Ulanoff (@lanceulanoff) on

There is one benefit to the new design: Olloclip lenses work for both the front and rear camera at the same time on the iPhone 6. For example, if you have the fish-eye lens on the rear camera and then switch to the FaceTime camera, you’ll find that the wide-angle lens is perfectly positioned to work there as well.

The new design is not quite as compact as the old one, but Olloclip provides a collection of colorful holders that you can attach to a chain and wear around your neck. For the record, I will never wear my Olloclip around my neck.

Quality, quality, quality

Every Olloclip lens is well-built and helps you take excellent pictures. I’ve been using the Telephoto Lens/Circular Polarizing Lens and the Macro 3-in-1 Photo Lens for the last few weeks.

The 2x telephoto lens helped me get twice as close to the action at Microsoft’s recent Windows 10 event and to the Lower Manhattan skyline as I flew back from Seattle (see above).

I also had fun taking 21x macros of newly fallen snow (the macro lens has 14x and 7x options, as well). As before, the macro lens kit includes a little plastic cone that slips over the lens. It’s used to put the lens at exactly the right distance from your subject.

This is just the beginning. #blizzard #juno

A photo posted by Lance Ulanoff (@lanceulanoff) on

The iPhone 6 lens add-ons are still small enough that I could carry all three sets — the original 4-in-1, the 3-in-1 macro and the telephoto — in one side pocket of my backpack.

I think the design could be a bit more polished and intuitive to take on and off the phone, but I got used to it quickly. These lens attachments aren’t cheap, but if you care about photography and don’t want to carry a DSLR, these Olloclips help you get a lot closer to pro-level photography at a smartphone level.

Overall, Olloclip remains the leader in high-quality, easy-to-use, no-commitment (meaning no semi-permanent attachments) iPhone add-on lens photography.

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