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Any photographer or videographer will tell you that having a good lens is imperative to getting the best shot you can, regardless of what camera you’re using. With advances in technology, this is even true of using a smartphone to take pictures. The right phone camera lens will take your iPhone (or Android) photos to the next level, improving upon the already impressive capabilities these devices have to offer.
Many people don’t even realize that phone camera lenses exist, let alone where to start when looking to start your own collection. It’s important to keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all situation when it comes to lenses—different ones set out to accomplish different tasks, and which lens, or lenses, are best to go with depends entirely on what you hope to accomplish.
To get things started, we’ve checked out the specs and reviews of some of the top-selling phone camera lenses on the market today and rounded up the important details.
The Xenvo Pro Lens Kit makes it easy for even inexperienced photographers to get better-looking photos on the go. It comes with both a wide-angle lens (0.45x) and a macro lens (15x), allowing for better control over your framing and depth of field without too much of a fuss.
The inclusion of a case makes it easy to carry the lenses with you, and a clip-on light provides a little something extra if you aren’t planning to invest in other lighting just yet. The lenses themselves are clip-on style and therefore minimal hassle when it comes time to go from phone mode to camera mode and back.
Few things degrade photo quality more quickly than using your phone camera’s zoom-in option. That’s where telephoto lenses come in. Moment is one of the top brands in phone camera lenses right now, and their 58mm telephoto lens can capture pretty impressive, clean pictures at a distance, and even improve your portrait photography game as well.
The only potential drawback is that Moment lenses require a specific camera case to use. The upside of this is that the attachment feels more secure than all the lenses that simply clip on. Depending on your needs, the trade-off may be worth it, especially if you want to check out some of Moment’s other first-rate lenses, such as the Wide 18mm Lens or the Macro 10x Lens.
Price: $119.99 (usually $149.99)
It can be frustrating to shop for phone camera lenses if you don’t have the hands-on experience to know what you like to work with. In that case, looking for a kit that combines multiple types of lenses at a reasonable price point might make more sense than jumping right to top-notch options.
The Apexel 4K HD Professional 5 in 1 Lens Kit includes a 10x macro lens, 2x telephoto lens, 110° wide angle lens, 170° super wide angle lens for those truly sweeping shots, and a 195° fisheye lens if you want to experiment. These manage to be good quality for the price point, providing a noticeable upgrade from your phone’s built-in camera lens without breaking the bank.
As a bonus, they’re compatible with Apexel’s filter kit for those really looking to try out some new looks, and if you don’t need 4K quality, you can also take a look at the 10-in-1 lens kit at an even lower price.
Price: $49.99 (usually $55.99)
If you plan to mostly use a new phone camera lens for shooting video, it’s worth exploring what the ShiftCam Videography Pro Lens Kit has to offer. While pricier than some of the other options, it includes two lenses key to capturing cinematic video: a 1.33x anamorphic lens and a 60mm telephoto lens.
Additionally, the kit comes with a carrying case that holds both lenses and a universal lens mount, although some users report looking into a different mount option will yield the best results.
Now that the possibility of cinematography has crossed on your mind, it’s worth circling back to Moment’s own anamorphic option. While no phone camera lens is going to recreate a proper Hollywood film look, going for a wide aspect ratio can still do a lot regardless of whether you’re shooting a narrative, documentary, or just for fun.
Achieving a lens flare for that full-on J.J. Abrams look is said to take some effort, but when it works, the blue turns out clean and strong. There’s also an option for a lens that produces a gold lens flare as well.
Price: $99.99 (usually $149.99)