iPhonetography: Macro Photography with the Olloclip iPhone Lens Clip-On System

Hey there point-of-viewers! My name is Erik and I’m an employee here at Point Of View Camera. I love everything to do with photography and videography and will be writing a weekly column about iPhone photography, or as I like to call it, iPhonetography. As we all know, whether you like it or not, the iPhone has revolutionized the mobile phone world; and with the advent of the iPhone 4 and 4s, it has also revolutionized the photography world as well. No longer are we forced to carry around a point and shoot camera to compensate for our mobile phone’s sub-par camera; we now have phone cameras with high megapixel counts, larger sensors, quality glass, and all sorts of other optical enhancing goodness. Inevitably, due to the iPhone’s (deserved) popularity, and its awesome camera, there are now a bevy of products out there to enhance the already stellar pictures you can take with it.

Today I am going to talk about macro photography with the iPhone. There are several products that offer external lens systems for the iPhone, but my favorite is the Olloclip. It’s an extremely clever 3-in-1 lens system that clips on to the corner of the iPhone 4 or 4s. It has a wide angle, fisheye, and macro lens all in one little device. The largest lens is the fisheye, flip it around and you have an awesome wide angle lens (approximately double the field-of-view of the standard iPhone camera). The macro lens is actually part of the wide angle lens assembly. Simply unscrew the wide angle lens in the direction of the arrow on the lens barrel. The macro lens is set perfectly within the olloclip and will be flush with the clip when the Wide Angle lens is removed. Place the olloclip back on your iPhone and move right in on the subject. It is extremely compact, you barely even notice it in your pocket; therefore it’s possible, and recommended, to bring it everywhere your iPhone goes (which is likely everywhere you go as well).

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The macro lens is pretty much awesome, it can get some seriously up-close shots. When I said "move right in on your subject" I meant it, literally, only a centimeter or so away. This results in some spectacular close-up images. There is a little bit of a learning curve when first using the macro lens, but once you get to used to it, it’s pretty amazing. At first I couldn’t believe how close you have to get to your subject in order to focus - it’s seriously close - however, the end results are larger-than-life images from a perspective the naked eye just can’t capture.

This is a true macro. You may have seen macro lenses described as 1:1 and wondered what that means, as at first it seems like things are much larger than 1:1 when using a macro lens. What this actually means is that things captured by a macro lens are as large on the image sensor of the camera as they are in real life. So if you had a fly sitting on your image sensor, a true 1:1 macro photo would result in that fly taking up just as much room in the image as it did on the physical sensor (pretty much the whole sensor, on smaller sensors like phone cameras have); meaning that you’d have a heck of a lot of detail. This macro lens is at least a 1:1, likely much more.

I took the Olloclip out on a hike a few days ago and got some seriously awesome images. The pictures come out very sharp and detailed, I was certainly wowed. There is definitely a little barrel distortion and some sharpness fall-off as you get away from the center, but that’s to be expected. Below are some of the macro shots I took with the Olloclip (click for a larger version). Enjoy! I’ll be back next week with some photos taken with the fantastic fisheye lens.

Here’s a macro of some multi-colored lichen I found on a rock while climbing dangereously close to a 60m cliff!
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Everyday moss turns in to alien coral when viewed through the Olloclip’s macro lens.
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Here’s a shot of the moss with the wide angle lens to show just how close the macro lens can get.
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A close up of 50 year old rust.
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Heli Skiing With The ContourRoam In BC

Untitled from marko solo on Vimeo.

Our buddy Mark Sissons is featured on the home page of Huffingtonpost’s travel section. He talks about his wild time taking a heli skiing course in BC’s Cariboo mountains. Where heli skiiing used the be for rich extreme sports fans. These new courses are bringing a measure of safety and accessibility to advanced skiers who want to try their hand at heli skiing. He took one of our ContourRoam cameras with him and you can check out the footage above.
Mark tells us.

Helicopter assisted skiing and snowboarding in Western Canadian mountain ranges like the Cariboos, Selkirks and Bugaboos is hard to beat if you’re looking for massive amounts of varied terrain and unmatched snow conditions.

Now almost every skier can live their wildest downhill dream of riding in helicopters, dropping into a cloud encrusted virgin peak, drive through wide areas untouched by anyone else’s tracks. It’s like living your own Warren Miller movie, sliding between tree tips half buried in pristine, glistening white powder.

Check out our Contour Canada cameras section for more info on the Contour Roam.


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Mobislyder-Smartphone Camera Dolly For iPhone, Android and GoPros

iphone camera dolly mobislyder Mobislyder with iPhone. android camera dolly mobislyder-point and shoot dolly Mobislyder with point and shoot mount.

As we at Pointofviewcameras are expanding our product offerings to service the burgeoning smartphone and dslr videographers, we scour the web for interesting products that our customers would be interested in. We often will buy a demo unit to try out. After testing in the field, some make it to our shortlist and we end up stocking them or they fail our criteria and they are forgotten.

The Mobislyder is one product that has come onto our radar that we think will be a good addition to our product portfolio. It meets our criterias for what we think smartphone videographers are looking for.

For the most part we have discovered smartphone gadgets for portable videographers must be the following:

  • low cost: with smartphones either being free or $100 to $200 for a high end phone on contract; users do not want to spend several hundred dollars on a photo accessory
  • portable: well, duh, the whole idea of using a smartphone for photos and video is the convenience factor so the accessories must be small and light as well
  • sexy: the iPhone and Droids are high tech looking devices; nobody wants to put their fancy phone on a gadget that looks like it was cobbled together in a basement

The Mobislyder meets most of our criteria. We would prefer the device was less than $100 but it looks well designed and has multiple attachments so hopefully the build will justify the cost. For a track and camera dolly system it certainly is the most portable we have seen. It should be able to fit in a backpack or messenger bag. The round feet and rail system looks pretty high tech so it fits the “sexy” criteria.

The Mobislyder comes with several mounts:
-an articulated mount so it can be turned on an angle
-mobile device mount to fit the iPhone, Android and other smartphones; you can even use it with your camera case on
-1/4” standard mount for point and shoot cameras
-adhesive ball mount
-1/4” ball mount
For those Contour and Gopro camera fanatics among you who think this would be great for tracking shots in sports, yes, the 1/4” mount will work with those cameras.
We hope to order one in for testing and review very soon so watch for our upcoming blog post on the Mobislyder.

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