One of five finalists in our first-annual Insert Coin: New Challengers competition, the Snapzoom is an adapter that lets you connect a smartphone to a telescope or a pair of binoculars for some long-range snapshots. We gave you a brief look at the product earlier in our contest, but we went hands-on with the Snapzoom ahead of Engadget Expand -- with the San Francisco Bay serving as our test subject, no less.

The Snapzoom isn't the only product of its kind, but it stands out for being universal. Though we tested the adapter with an iPhone 5, it will work with virtually every smartphone, thanks to adjustable clamps. Connecting the handset (in its case) to a set of binoculars was seamless: we just attached the device via the self-centering clamps and tightened it into place. It's easy to get excited when the setup brings you up close and personal with Alcatraz, but Snapzoom basically assumes you have some stunning imagery to shoot. We'll have to wait and see how our elite panel of Insert Coin judges thinks this contestant stacks up. In the meantime, check out the video demo past the break.

Insert Coin semifinalist: Snapzoom hands-on

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Zach Honig contributed to this report.

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Insert Coin finalist: Snapzoom scope smartphone adapter hands-on