TUAW's staff is made up of a lot of fans of the accessory lens products from Olloclip. They're designed to work perfectly with various models of the iPhone, and are nicely designed and well built. Now the company has announced the Macro 3-in-1 Lens kit (US$69.99 SRP) for the iPhone 5/5s, made specifically for taking those really close-up shots of everything in the world around us.
Things start off with a 7x macro lens, bump up to a 14x lens and then go into the realm of the microscope with a 21x lens. Since it's often difficult, if not downright impossible, to get properly focused on your subject when using macro lenses, Olloclip includes a pair of translucent focusing cups that make it much easier to hold the lenses the correct distance away.
As usual, Olloclip machines the lens casings out of aluminum and uses ground-glass, multi-element lenses. A small bag for the lenses is included, as are lens caps to keep everything dust- and smudge-free.
On one side of the Macro 3-in-1 Lens is the 7x macro, while the other side has the fixed 21x macro. To bump the magnification of the 7x side to 14x, you simply screw on the 14x lens and its included focusing cup if desired.
Rather than talking about how this lens works, I decided to put it to the test taking photos of two objects -- an Icelandic 1000 Kroner note and a euro coin:
In each case, the images are taken first at 7x, then at 14x and finally at 21x. As you can see, the amount of detail that the lenses can pick up at the higher magnifications is nothing short of remarkable. The images are razor-sharp at the center, but do have a tendency to lose focus at the periphery of the photos.
Dedicated iPhone photographers will find a lot to like in Olloclip's Macro 3-in-1 Lens. It's extremely well constructed, includes the novel focusing cups to aid in focusing on subjects and, all in all, works beautifully as a set of three macro lenses.
Reasonable price point, considering the quality of the lenses
Translucent focusing cups are useful in holding the lens at optimum focus point
Includes lens caps for protection
Focus is a little off on the periphery of images
Who is it for?
Anyone who uses the iPhone 5 or 5s as their primary camera and wants to have the ability to take macro shots with the device