Android Central

Magnetic clip on lenses aren't new. They've been around for a while, often marketed as an accessory for the iPhone. Our buddies over at Windows Phone Central started playing around with some on the new Nokia Lumia 920, but we couldn't sit back and let them have all the fun, could we? 

A quick trip to eBay later and a pair of clip on lenses were on their way. They're a pretty inexpensive accessory, the 2 that I ordered cost me around £10 ($16) for the pair. As with real camera lenses, there seems to be plenty of choice out there over what to get, but I went with a Fisheye and a Wide Angle. I'm planning a week of goofing around with these and my LG Nexus 4, so part 2 of the post will drop next week. This week, a look at the lenses themselves. Next week, the results. Let's take a look.

There's not a lot to them. The lenses attach to the back of the device by way of a magnetic sticker. Stick this around your camera lens, and the lenses then have their mount to attach to. The level of success will depend on the device you have. The camera on the back of the Galaxy Nexus for example due to its shape wasn't the most receptive. The flat back of the Nexus 4 is ideal, though the glass did prove tough to get a proper adhesion to. 

As you'll just about see in the video, there is a noticeable effect with them clipped on. Said effects aren't for everyone, but they're interesting to say the least. And remember, we're not talking serious photography here. At the end of the day it's still a smartphone camera, but we can still have a little fun with it. 

So, I'm going to spend a week with them, and see what kind of shots I can take. Since I'm in the UK, it's dark and rainy most of the time at the minute, so taking pictures isn't the easiest. But, next week, I'll be back, and I'll bring some snaps along with me. 


Reader comments

Playing around with clip on lenses: Part 1


There's some interesting comparison pics in the Rezound forum in the "pictures taken with my Rezound" sticky using some of these lenses for those interested.

looks like both these lenses will effectively block the flash so not much use for indoor low light pics, will be interesting to see the results compared to the sofware alternate solution

I've experimented using tripod mounted binoculars with my phone as a quick and dirty means of getting telephoto shots of wildlife. It's finicky but does work.

I wonder if there are any adapters on the market for such purposes.

I thought after "as a quick and dirty means of getting photos of" you were gonna say. My neighbor undressing after coming home from work.

@Richard Devine: You know that the wide angle lens actually serves as a macro lens too? Just unscrew the top part. ;)

I was going to say just turn it around and poof! I have used that trick on DSLRs to rather surprising success.

offtopic: am i the only one who goes to type a reply only to have the 19th ad load take control away and scroll around the page at random? I am about to completely abandon androidcentral thanks to the fact that the limits of their greed are only match by their incompetence.

Hi, JoeBob. Haven't gotten any other reports, but I'm more than happy to help you track down what's happening if you'd like to e-mail me instead of leaving an off-topic comment. Phil at androidcentral dot com.

Nope, not the only one.

AC should eat their own dogfood, and actually try posting on their site using nothing but android.

Challenge to Phil: For the nex week: Step away from the Mac. Put down that mouse! Keep your hands on the tablet. Work only on 3G/LTE.

I have the same problem. I always thought it was a product of Rockmelt not updating it's Chrome browser fast enough.

Win 7, Rockmelt version

Keep up the good work.

So, this kind of thing isn't available from the store that supports this website? Even though it's accessories for cell phones? Which is what that store does.

More of this, please!

Also, anyone have a recommendation for a tele lens? I think I'd find that more useful than a fish-eye or wide angle, since most phonecam lenses are already pretty wide, and digital zoom is a bad idea.

Neat idea. I take it these accessories wouldn't work with a case on the phone. My Note 2 rarely ever goes around naked anymore.