Playing with phone lenses!

Playing with iPhone lenses!If you're anything like me (Sarah), when you got your smart phone, you were like, "Where have you been all my life!?" I love my DSLR and beautiful lenses as much as anyone, but there's something really special about always having a good camera in your pocket to grab things you might have otherwise missed if you're not into toting around your camera bag everywhere you go. I've been hearing about phone lenses for awhile, and I was curious to see just how much these lenses could up my iPhoneography game. I just thought I would share some of my favorite things about these portable little lenses and how they can completely change your smart phone imagery! Playing with iPhone lenses! There are plenty of options when you're searching for phone lenses, so I opted to get both the cheapest pack I could find (a wide angle/macro lens and a fisheye lens by VicTsing for $9.39 here) and the pricier Photojojo lenses ($20 each for the wide angle/macro lens and the telephoto lens, purchased here).Playing with iPhone lenses!  The only step in using these lenses is to attach the magnet ring around your camera. This will work with any smart phone camera as long as you can fit a ring around it! The lenses are magnetic and will stick to the ring (although they can be knocked off—they're just held on by magnets, after all). The lenses work best if they are centered over the phone camera. (The notch in the magnetic ring is to allow your flash some space if your phone's flash is too close to your camera.) And side note—the rings have a very strong adhesive. My ring has been on my phone for about two weeks now and has not budged at all!

Here are a few photos I took around the studio so you can see photos from each lens!Playing with iPhone lenses!     The photo above was taken with the iPhone camera—no lenses are attached.

Playing with iPhone lenses!        I really think the Photojojo and the VicTsing wide angle lenses are very similar! The only differences I see are really subtle—the distortion (the edges are darker on the VicTsing lens) and the color balance is a little different between the two photos, but it's barely noticeable. This wide angle lens would be great for group photos, landscapes, and home tour photos. It allows a lot more details on the edges into the photo. Playing with iPhone lenses!    As you can see, the fisheye lens is pretty nuts! The distortion is extra, extra wide. It's not a very sharp lens, but this look is definitely more for fun—you're not going to be using any of these photos seriously anyway! I can see this lens being used a lot for extreme fun photos—summer vacation photos, Slip ’n Slide, skate parks, and those close-up photos of puppies with huge eyes. You know what I mean?

The Photojojo telephoto lens is a 2x zoom effect. There's a little distortion around the edges, but it's a great lens if you want a little extra zoom on your photo. I think it would work really nicely for portraits. Here's another example of how you can use the telephoto lens:Playing with iPhone lenses!       This telephoto lens is probably as close to a DSLR look you can get with a smart phone camera—the strawberry looks sharp and the book and the floor behind it are starting to blur out. You'll still see a little distortion on the edges, but if you're in the habit of cropping photos to a square, you'll have no problem cropping it out!Playing with iPhone lenses!      The macro lenses are EXTRA fun to play with! With both brands, you just take the wide angle lens and unscrew the top off, and the bottom half becomes your macro lens. The focus is really specific and sharp on the most tiny details! Just a fair warning: don't try to aim this macro lens at your fingernails… especially if you're a nail biter like me. Horrifying! 🙂 Playing with iPhone lenses!   I loved getting to play around with both brands of lenses, and I love that there are several different price points for these—and even the cheapest ones worked really well! There are a lot more phone lenses out there than we have even heard of. Do you have any that are your favorites? Please share! 

Credits:// Author: Sarah Rhodes, Photography: Laura Gummerman and Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Photoshop actions.

  • I’m very happy with my Photojojo lenses, I bought the Sampler Pack and it contained the perfect set of lenses.

  • I’ve always wondered about those! I too wish I had an amazing camera right in my pocket…and those seem like the perfect solution (instead of lugging around a DSLR of course).

    Thanks for showing the different effects with the different lenses. I just might have to purchase these!

  • Do any of these (mentioned or unmentioned) photo lenses work with a cover on the phone? I’d hate to have to take the phone out of the cover to use the lens and then put the cover back on after.
    Anyone here know? Thanks in advance! 🙂

  • just order some of my own for super brand new and very first iphone -ooooh exciting…

  • Oh wow I didn’t even know you could get little lenses for your iphone! The only thing that worries me is that I wouldn’t be able to use my phone case with it and well… I’m extremely clumsy! I may have to buy the fisheye lens though, it looks like it’d be a lot of fun 🙂

  • Hi Shradha! These lenses work with androids as well – they’re not just for iPhones! -Sarah

  • Hi Grace,
    These work with both iPhones and androids! yay! -Sarah

  • Hi Kate! The first couple of photos (for scale and detail) were taken with our DSLRs. All of the photos I took with the phone lenses are labeled. 🙂 xo -Sarah

  • That’s a great question – I’m one of those people who hasn’t gotten around to buying a case yet (shame! right?) so I’ll have to test it out once I get one. I’ve read that you can put the magnetic ring on the case as long as it’s a flat, smooth case, but that you might have some light leaks. -Sarah

  • Hi Tamara! Although I haven’t tried these with android, both sites claim these work with any phone that has a flat back, and even some with a rounded back. As long as there’s a somewhat flat surface for the magnet to stick on to, you should be good!


  • these are so so cute!
    ive never seen them before – think i may lose one though!!
    hope you had a lovely weekend!

    Mollie xoxo
    Would love you to check out my blog 🙂

  • I’ve been wondering about phone lenses for the longest time. I’m glad you made the point about the cheap vs. more expensive ones.

  • thank you! I love this idea and will put it to work! so glad you did some research and I benefit!

  • I had never heard of iphone lenses before! This looks like so much fun! 🙂

  • Oh wow – I never realised that iPhone lenses were so inexpensive! I’ll definitely try this out in the future! 🙂

  • These are great, I can’t afford a dale so these would be a big help for blog photos till I can

  • I have been wondering how these work! So thank you for sharing the results with us!

  • Thank you for sharing this post. I’ve had Photojojo bookmarked for several months, scouting other sites for reviews and I’m happy that I found this review here. Great information and comparison, thanks.

  • These are so fun! I’ve considered buying some lenses, but it’s hard for me to part with money if I don’t know if the product will work for what I want. I love the macro lenses though and I can’t wait to try them out!


  • Looks cool!! 🙂 Gotta try it someday


  • This is super cool! I definately need to purchase some lenses for my phone 🙂

  • Cool!!! I’m so getting some lenses for my phone. Thanks for the review.


  • This looks interesting..

  • i’ve never even heard of these! so cool!


  • Ooooh, I am upgrading my phone soon and would love to play with this! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • So cool! I have been taking most of my photos with my iPhone recently, so these lenses would be extra helpful. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • I love this! All of my blog photos are taken with an iPhone5, it’s fun to play around with angles and lighting… the quality of camera phones these days is pretty amazing!

  • I have some of these lenses.. I never considered using the wide lens for a house tour though. Brilliant, thank you!!

  • Ohhhh! I love my iphone, I take all my photos with it! I´ll buy lenses NOW!
    thanks for share it and have a nice weekend!

  • I got a set of lens for Christmas and you have inspired me to play around with them again! Next antiquing expedition is getting crazier by the minute!

    Thanks for the great examples.

  • This is awesome! Something I have always thought about fleetingly. Loved this breakdown of all the lenses. Just ordered the wide angle/macro lens! So excited to play around with it! xo

  • These look great! I’ve often wondered if these types of lenses were any good! Thanks!

  • holy cow! i had no idea there were attachments for phone cameras! learn something everyday.

  • So cool! I didn’t know you could add a fisheye camera lense to your phone!

  • Fab Idea! Going to have to test this one out! Thank you. Have a lovely day xxx

  • And look what you’ve done. Sold me on all types of new gadgets. Thanks for showing us what they do!

  • I have tossed around the idea of iphone lenses for a long time now…As a photographer they really appealed to me but I just wondered if I would be disappointed. You are convincing me that for $10 or $20 they might be worth playing around with. The macro looks like so much fun…

  • I didn’t even know about these!! These are fantastic!
    Thanks for the great review!

  • Ive just placed an order for the marco/wide angle and tee telephoto lens through Photojojo Store. Very excited to recieve them in the post, already counting the days!

  • I love this! I didn´t even know there were lenses for your phone.

  • I’ve seen people using these before but I didn’t think it would make such a difference to the photo quality. Great review, I’ll have to check these out.

  • Do you know of any good lenses for the Android phone? Either way, great post 🙂

    I recently wrote about making DIY Photograph Coasters. It would be great if you could have a read & leave some feedback.

    You can find the post here:

    Keep the great content coming <3

  • Woah. I’d never thought about getting a lens for my iPhone before. What a great idea!

  • Oh I love this! Thanks for this post!

    Verena from
    Bloglovin’ // Facebook

  • Thanks for dragging me into 2014! Ashamed to admit I didn’t even know these lenses existed. Will definitely be hunting some down. 🙂

  • Thanks for this post. I was actually just thinking about investing in one of these today when I was out and happened upon a beautiful tree in full bloom I was taking pictures of. I plan to go back with my DSLR, but it would be great to have something on hand to get some better photos right there. I like using my Iphone for reference photos so I think I will look into that photojojo macro lens.

  • I’ve been wanting to try these lenses out, but I’ve been too chicken to actually buy them because I didn’t know how they’d work! Thank you for posting this!!!

  • I’m new to blogging and photography; I had no idea that you could get lenses for camera phones! I always thought that you had to have a DSLR and good photo editing skills in order to have great photos. Thanks for the share!

  • So great! This would also make an outstanding gift for people who love photography. It makes instagram a whole lot more interesting thats for sure.
    xox Logan

  • officially added to my Amazon shopping cart. thanks for the review!

  • This look so fun! Perfect for those little moments. Thanks for reccomendations.

  • Very very cool! I didn’t even know this was an invention!

  • YESS!! I have seen these around and on pinterest and what not but I’ve been really wanting to try one! Thanks for sharing, I think I’m going to invest in one for sure!

  • I have to say that both the macro and fisheye lenses look like something I would like!
    The Beauty Break

  • Wow! What amazing differences. I thought about getting one of these before I got my DSLR but you’re right hte convenience of having a great camera always handy is a definite bonus.

  • Great post! I got the photojojo super fisheye lens & I love it! ♥
    I’d like to try out the wide angle lens next.

  • Wow I had no idea they even made lenses for iphone cameras! This is very cool, especially for the blogging type! Too many good moments happen before we can grab our nice cameras so this is perfect. Thank you for showing the differences!

  • Hi Sarah, which lens did you use to take the first photo – the ‘selfie’?

  • I have only just started looking for some of these to include in my latest e-book, thanks for the tips! I have to admit only a couple of them tickle my fancy though 🙂

  • I’m a Photo major and I’m obsessed with my DSLR and Film camera but sometimes the hassle of taking it with you everywhere or when you’re not allowed to take you camera somewhere can get frustrating and these are definitely a solution. I’ve been eyeing the olloclip for a little while and I think this post it going to help me take the plunge and purchase it!

  • This makes my heart jump! I love cameras & I love my iPhone. It’s like the best of both worlds having interchangeable lenses!

    Connie | Sponsored by Coffee

  • I love the photojojo lens pack! I blogged about my review here ( But I was so surprised at how well they held up, especially since I was traveling through Ireland, Scotland, and England with them! My favorite is the fish eye.

    If anyone is interested, in my blog link there’s a $5 coupon code for anything on the photojojo website 🙂 ^^

  • What an awesome post!!! Now I really want to get the macro and telephoto lens, so nice! But to be honest~your raw pictures are still reaaalllly good! My iphone is 4S though, so no matter how hard I try my pictures don’t come out that bright and crisp. Maybe the lenses will help 😉

  • I’ve always wanted to try some of these out. I love using my phone for photography so I’m glad you wrote about this. Loving the fisheye and Photojojo Telephoto.


  • I have the Photojojos. Thanks for the reminder that I should use them more often 😉 how do you feel about having the ring on all the time. For me it kind of threw the look of the phone but to have easy use of the lenses I guess it’s worth it.

  • I didn’t know these existed! Very cool!! Also I’m wearing a very similar colour nail polish as you right now! That’s not Essie is it?

  • This is a great post — I feel like having a knack for photography is essential for bloggers these days. While I love my DSLR, sometimes it is the iPhone that gets the snap! Cool to see these new accessories coming out for phone cameras 🙂

  • A set of these are on my wishlist now, thanks 🙂
    I had something similar a couple of years ago, but I lost it. Alas, I want….neeed a replacement 😉

    (Dear Thirty)

  • These look really cool! I’m always taking pictures with my iphone when I hike different trails so this will be a cool way to get a higher end look without the price! yay!

  • Lenses for my iPhone camera? – never knew either. Wow! So, the idea is that you have to “disrobe” your iPhone – freeing it from its case first, then stick/on the magnetic ring – right? Then, I’m guessing you cannot put the protective case back on since the ring is in the way. Right?

  • What a great post. I’ve been wondering about the quality of these little lenses. 🙂 You know what I learned the other day… you can use the controls on your Apple headphones as a shutter release for taking selfies! Brilliant!

  • Anyone have experience with these on Android phones? I love the telephoto lens.

  • Someone needs to point out the awesomeness that is that heart shape tile feature. So cute!

  • I have never even heard of these!! Its a whole new world of smart phone photos that I’m SOOOO excited to play with! Can’t wait until mine come in the mail, yay for Prime shipping!

  • Love this review! I’ve been eyeing those Photojojo iPhone lenses for a while now, it’s good to know there are other options that work just as well.

  • this has left me craving for some cool lil’ phone lenses! i wonder if they’d be compatible with my oldish nokia lumia, haha.. xx

  • So true. We couldn’t agree more- thanks for sharing!

    Sunny greetings from Germany:


    Birdy and Bambi

  • Awesome post! I always wondered if there was a way to take better photos with my phone, and had never heard about these lenses until reading about them here! I’m so excited!! I might just have to get these! 🙂

  • I’ve been eyeing iPhone lenses forever… love how affordable these options are and how well they seem to perform! Thanks for the insight!

  • So much fun!
    Have an amazing day 🙂

  • These lens seem so cool and fun to try out!

  • These lenses look ace!

  • I have been wondering whether to invest in these because as you say, it’s nice to have a camera with you where ever you go…that’s small but takes blog worthy photos….Hmm.

  • Wow – thanks for this. I do not have the money to buy a DSLR 🙁 and only have my iphone (which is why my photos don’t turn out great). These little add-on guys are cute and a perfectly cheap way to try and get better photos!

  • I’m obsessed with my photojojo lenses! I took a photo of my own eye with the macro and have since been forced to take photos of all of my friends’ eyes as they demand to see their own eye through the macro when they see mine. Ha.

  • I never knew there were phone lenses. That’s awesome!

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I’m going to get some.

  • I have these from a Groupon deal a few weeks ago! The wide lens is my favorite. Part of my job involves social media upkeep for our college and twenty-somethings ministry, so I love being able to get such a fancy outcome from something so simple.

    Thanks for the tips, ladies!

  • I have an Olloclip, and it’s so much fun to play with! It definitely increases the range of what a little phone camera can do.

  • Suddenly I got the urge to buy lenses for my phone….

  • the 3-in-1 olloclip lens is the BEST! i’ve tried the photojojo lenses, but they can’t compare to the olloclip, especially the macro lens. it’s a little high in price, but the images are so high quality that people don’t believe me when i say it was taken with an iphone. 🙂

  • I LOVE all if the Photojojo lenses! I think the Macro may be my favorite and I really love the Super Fish-eye lens.

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