Awesome Stuff: Lenses For Your Phone

from the camera-advancement dept

Remember back in the day when people thought that having a camera in your phone was a fad, and that no one would ever really use their camera as a phone because the quality sucked? You don't hear that much any more. In fact, it seems that so many people are using their phones as cameras that there's now a market specifically for special lenses for your smartphone. This week's awesome stuff post looks at three crowdfunding projects for smartphone lenses.
  • First up we've got an Anamorphic Adapter Lens for the iPhone. This is mainly designed for amateur or independent filmmakers, looking to create a look and feel that's more "filmlike" with a widescreen shot. The sample videos included in the pitch video below are pretty impressive. We've talked about people filming movies with their smartphones in the past, and a device like this makes it possible to make such a film seem even more professional.
    It appears that plenty of people think it's pretty cool. The project has about a week to go and is nearly double its original $30,000 goal.
  • Next up, we've got the [BRIC+] zoom lens. It's actually much more than just a zoom lens. It also is a protective phone case and an extended battery for the phone. The zoom lens can then snap on magnetically to the case. The lens is a 3.5X optical lens, which isn't huge, but will always give you a higher quality zoom than the purely digital zooms found on most cameras today -- and of course, you can combine the optical zoom with the phone's zoom to go even further.
    The project just launched a few days ago, so still has a ways to go to hit its $65,000 goal. However, it still has well over a month, so it has a decent chance of getting there.
  • Finally, we've got the iZZi Slim, an iPhone case that includes a series of rotating lenses, so you can quickly switch which lens you use on the fly. The iZZi includes a fisheye lens, a 2x telephoto lens, a wideangle lens and a macro lens for closeups (which is built into the wideangle lens -- you just snap off a piece to get to it). To be honest, the quality on these lenses don't look to be that great, but they still let you do more than the basic lens alone.
    With a few days left, this project has already surpassed its $25,000 goal by a little bit, so it appears that plenty of people are interested in having a collection of lenses like these.
That's it for this week. Go take some pictures.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2013 @ 11:12am

    Those are pretty cool. Might have to get one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2013 @ 11:38am

    microscopy with water droplets

    A Waterdrop Microscope
    http://micro.sci-toys.com/waterdrop
    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/compound-eye/2012/0 3/12/transform-your-iphone-into-a-microscope-just-add-water/

    About lenses, good quality lenses are ok, still there are other factors that can greatly improve even the not so good lense, like software correction for distortions and chromatic aberrations, but don't take my word for it.

    http://www.tutorial9.net/tutorials/photography-tutorials/correcting-and-preventing-chromatic-aber ration/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distortion_(optics)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anamorphosis
    ht tp://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/lens-corrections.htm

    Bottom line, those lenses there are awesome, even if they are not "great" they can become great with software.

    Now if your image sensor is bad, that could be a problem though.

    Please someone slap me, I was just going to post about the water microscopy possibilities of cellphones and found a lot of other stuff.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2013 @ 1:36pm

    [BRIC+] zoom lens

    "It's actually much more than just a zoom lens."

    Actually, carefully reading the Kickstarter page, it looks like it isn't even a zoom lens at all, but rather a telephoto lens.

    Marketing. Humph.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2013 @ 2:47pm

    Re: [BRIC+] zoom lens

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2013 @ 5:06pm

    Great. A few more expensive toys for the kids to play with...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2013 @ 7:29am

    Stocking stuffers!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 15th, 2013 @ 7:35pm

    Re: [BRIC+] zoom lens

    Actually, carefully reading the Kickstarter page, it looks like it isn't even a zoom lens at all, but rather a telephoto lens.

    I'm guessing most people don't know the difference between the two.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Ninja (profile), Dec 16th, 2013 @ 1:28am

    Iphone only. Annoying.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2013 @ 6:22am

    My wife's old 3G iphone had a case with a little "macro lense" that slide in place over the camera. While the idea isn't new, these are taking phone lenses to the next level. Great ideas... but I'm also annoyed that they're iphone only. Too bad more manufacturer's don't standardize the placement of the camera, but then you'd also have to deal with phone dimensions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    JBDragon, Dec 16th, 2013 @ 7:36am

    Re:

    What do you expect? Do you expect them to make 10+ different Android versions that will also only work on that years phone because next year they'll change the design just for the hell of it???

    Maybe because the iPhone is nice and FLAT which making adding things like this much simpler, work better then a rounded back phone or a phone where the camera is sticking out the back!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Jake, Dec 16th, 2013 @ 8:49am

    I'm skeptical of this as a concept. If you're serious about film or photography but you're starting from scratch and only have a few hundred bucks for your equipment budget, what are you going to buy? An iPhone and one or more of these accessories or a professional-grade digital camera and a cheap-and-cheerful Android tablet?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 16th, 2013 @ 9:43am

    Re:

    If you're serious about film or photography

    I don't think that's the target market. I think this is for people who don't want to carry around a camera, but want a little more capability than the phone has.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2013 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re:

    I expect an X,Y movable lense system that can adapt to any camera placement on the back of any phone plus adjustable clamps that will hold it in place for any size(tablet or phone)

    Is that too much to ask, is not like is difficult, you can do it with rubber band, vice clamps or whatever else there is in the mechanical engineering tool set of options.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    David, Dec 16th, 2013 @ 12:59pm

    re: iPhone only

    There is a great Kickstarter project that reached funding that is for all phones, and uses Binoculars as lenses. It is called SnapZoom. They just started production, and i am sure will be available soon.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2013 @ 4:55pm

    Re: re: iPhone only

    A binocular camera adapter? Wow! What didn't someone think of that before?

    /s

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Imtiaz Ali, Mar 4th, 2014 @ 5:50am

    Great Lenses for phone...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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