Gear Review and Giveaway: olloclip iPhone Lens for the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5/5S for Better Phone Photography

The OlloClip for the iPhone 5C, including lens caps and bag.
Short of bringing a professional photographer along on my adventures and investing in expensive photography equipment, I'm always looking for ways to up my outdoor photography game. I've used Canon point-and-shoot cameras and a Canon DSLR on trips, but given I always have my smartphone with me, sometimes it's easier to leave the cameras at home. However, there are specific shots I'd like to take that my iPhone just isn't equipped to handle.

Olloclip makes a variety of lens options for a variety of devices, including iPhones, iPads, and the Samsung Galaxy. They're neat little devices that, once attached to your phone, give you the option to take photos using different types of effects. Read on for the review and scroll to the bottom of this article to enter the giveaway!

The olloclip 3-in-1 lens for the iPhone 5C gives you three different ways to maximize photo-taking opportunities via fish eye, macro and wide angle effects, but there's a 4-in-1 lens available for some devices as as well as a telephoto, selfie (yep), and macro lens. I took the olloclip 3-in-1 lens for my iPhone 5c to a few of my favorite local destinations to see it helped me take better photos than I can with my phone alone.

Editing and taking photos in the OlloClip app.
I found the olloclip itself sturdy, solid, and easy to install. I have to take the case off of my iPhone 5C to attach the lens, but once the case is off, I just slide the phone into the olloclip and start snapping photos. There's an olloclip app that provides additional features like a mesh editor, macro mode, slo-mo video.

To switch between the macro, fish eye and wide-angle effects, simply unscrew the lenses and/or re-orient the olloclip. I found myself grateful for the fact that each component of the lens attachment is labeled. The fish eye and macro lenses unscrew easily from the phone attachment, but they're tiny. I dropped the lenses a few times, but luckily, I didn't drop them anywhere I couldn't find them. The olloclip also comes with a small black bag to hold the pieces and it's great for wiping fingerprints off of the lenses.

But really, does using the olloclip allow you to take better pictures?

In short, yes. The fish eye lens is a nice-to-have, given fish eye photos seem to be all the rage these days, but the real benefits to the olloclip are the macro and wide-angle lenses. I love the wide angle lens for landscape photos; I can get so much more of what my eyes can see into my pictures. Given the fact that the majority of the pictures I take on my phone are outdoors, it's a huge plus.

This photo was taken with my iPhone 5C, no lens attached.

This photos was taken with the olloclip wide angle lens. I got so much more land in the photo!
The iPhone 5C has an 8-megapixel camera, and as great as that is, it's wonderful to be able to capture small details .It took me a while to figure out how close to get to my subject with macro lens and found within an inch is just about right. I did find using the app helped to get the best macro photos, and I have a feeling this lens will be great when the snowflakes finally start to fall in Philadelphia.

Taken from within an inch of one of the OlloClip lenses. The type is about 1/4" tall. Pretty darn clear!

Taken from exactly the same distance away as the photo above. Not so clear.

Despite the fact that I love lenses, there are a few downsides to the iPhone 5C version of the olloclip. First, I don't like having to take the case off of my phone. The lens itself doesn't clip on to my phone at all, and carrying the caseless phone around with the lens attached isn't ideal. It's an extra step and gives me one more thing to drop. Olloclip does make a case that the lens can attach to as well as a package that includes both, but the case is only made for the iPhone 5/5S and 4/4S.  Second, using the flash isn't an option with the olloclip I tested because the attachment covers it up. Finally, though the options for photo taking are expanded with the olloclip, I found the lens addition made some of the fish eye and wide angle pictures a little blurry. Overall, the olloclip is a great little gadget, and though it has some limitations, it's still a ton of fun to use.

Win an olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens + Case or a 3-in-1 Photo Lens!

We have one olloclip4-in-1 Photo Lens + Case package for the iPhone 5/5S and one olloclip 3-in-1 Photo Lens for the iPhone 5C, the one reviewed here, up for grabs. The olloclips up for grabs here are specific to different types of iPhones, so be sure enter the correct giveaway using the correct widget below. Please also please be sure to leave some method of contact so we can get in touch if you win. Good luck! (Open to United States residents only.) And a huge thanks to olloclip for providing the lenses as giveaway items!

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway


Matthew Wells said…
This is a great little review. Have you had a chance to take it hiking? How does the durability of the lenses and the clip look for those kind of outdoor adventures?
Katie L said…
Thanks for the kudos on the review, Matthew! Overall, I've dropped the attachment and the lenses a few times and so far, they're holding up just fine. Of course, just like a regular camera lens, if you drop it, there's the potential to scratch it. I'm always careful to keep the extra pieces in the little black bag to keep that from happening.
David Sandel said…
This looks pretty awesome. After the death of my DSLR, I haven't had the funds to replace it, and this could fill the void in my less-than-amateur photography soul. However, I tried to enter and unchecked the apps' access to my email address, and now it won't let me enter. Is there a way to enter without giving the app access to my info?
Katie L said…
Dave, I totally understand your concern about sharing contact information. I know I certainly wouldn't share what you enter in the giveaway, and it's only used to contact you if you win. Do you have a fake email address you could use? If you enter with any of the Twitter options, I can use that information to contact you if you win!
David Sandel said…
Well, I definitely trust YOU with my info, but I hate giving apps access to my stuff. I'll see if I can toss in my anonymous craigslist email, but I don't think I can. I think the app only uses the email linked in your Facebook. Orrrrrr, I'll try the twitter route.
David Sandel said…
Ok, I got it all figured out. Entered and waiting!
Katie L said…
Awesome, good luck!!
Amelia Mayer said…
Oh I want this to work for my iPhone!! I use that mostly to take photos on adventures because I am maxed out on how much more I can carry :) I would love the wide angle lens!
Heidi Henry said…
Been eyeing these for awhile and wondered if they were 'worth' it. Would be rad to give it a try, especially the macro lens. I used to haul my DSLR but have recently gotten into the habit of just using my plain ol' iphone.
Jillian Bejtlich said…
Would love to get one of these. My iPhone already takes great pictures, but it would be nice to match my DSLR quality and abilities a bit more!
Katie BouĂ© said…
I would love, love the wide angle lens! It would absolutely take my iPhone climbing photos to the next level, which I am in dire need of doing. :)
Katie L said…
I have the same problem, Amelia! I love the idea of not having to carry another piece of equipment and usually have my phone with me. Thanks for commenting and good luck with the giveaway!
Katie L said…
You take such amazing pictures, Heidi, I have no doubt you'd make good use of this :) Good luck!
Katie L said…
The iPhone cameras are definitely great alone, that's for sure! The lenses just give you a little bit more flexibility. Thanks for entering, Jillian!
Katie L said…
Dude, the wide angle would be PERFECT for climbing photos! Good luck :)