The Olloclip Core Lens set for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is a favorite iPhone 7 photography accessory. We’ve recommended it repeatedly and loved every version.
When Apple updated the camera on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, they added a second lens which led to yet another new Olloclip design. Olloclip now offers the new iPhone 7 Plus version of their great lens and we tested it out. However, they now offer a modular design which could mean that future iPhone design changes won’t leave Olloclip’s design totally useless.
How does this new design affect photo quality in images taken using the Olloclip Core Lens set or their other lenses attached to an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus?
What Olloclip Core Lens Set Does for iPhone 7 Photography
The Olloclip Core Lens Set and their other sets attach to the top of an iPhone 7. They cover the iPhone lens affecting the optics of the built-in lens. The same attachment fits both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus.
Olloclip sells a few different lenses in the Olloclip Core Lens kit ($99.99) as listed below. After the list, you’ll find some sample images of each lens:
- Fish-eye lens – super wide-angle lens that shows the scene in a 180-degree spherical look.
- Super Wide lens – shows 120-degree range wide-angle view.
- 15x Macro lens – extreme close up views not possible with the naked lens since the images will look blurry if you hold your iPhone that close to the subject.
The following examples show the difference between the Fish-eye lens, the Super-wide lens and the iPhone 7 Plus naked camera without Olloclip at 1x and then 2X.
The other Olloclip systems include the Active Lens set ($119.99) which includes a 2x telephoto lens and an ultra-wide lens like the Super wide-angle lens listed above, but with a 155-degree range. That puts it between the fish-eye and the super-wide lens in the Olloclip Core Lens Set. The Olloclip Macro-pro lens kit ($79.99) gives users three macro lenses with 7x, 14x and 21x included.
Each kit comes with the lenses and the system to attach it to your iPhone 7 or 7 Plus. It also includes a pendant for attaching to a lanyard to hang around your neck or on a key chain.
The pendant doubles as a stand to hold the iPhone up while viewing your photos or as a stand to keep it from vibrating as you take photos. Half of it flips out to turn it into a V shaped stand. It’s not the best, but it works in a pinch. See the video below to see how this works.
These lenses don’t seem to affect the image quality. However, any time you put something in front of your camera’s lens, it can affect it. Consider that when using the kit. I didn’t see any degradation in my tests.
Each set comes with an attachment for iPhone 7 and for iPhone 7 Plus. The video above shows how to set things up.
The system does work with the built-in telephoto 2X lens on the iPhone 7 Plus. The video above shows how to flip the lens in the attachment. You’ll need a camera app that lets the user select the telephoto lens manually. The built-in app on iOS doesn’t seem to work properly with the Olloclip Core Lens Set.
Olloclip Core Lens Set Image Samples
We’ve got some sample images to show what each of the lenses in the Olloclip Core Lens Set can do for your iPhone photography. First up, these images show off the Fish-eye lens. Click the photos to see a larger view of the shots. I like how I could get every person at the tables of a recent church fellowship even though I stood right next to the tables.
Check out the samples of the Super Wide lens, which takes a photo with a 120-degree range of view. First, here’s a pair of shots of my backyard.
Here’s another pair demonstrating the difference with and without the Olloclip wide-angle lens.
Below you’ll see what the 15x Macro lens does for your photos. You’ll notice that the image with the brown fibers and white stitching is a little blurry. This happens a lot with the macro lens. It’s hard to get that close without some camera shake. Also, it’s difficult to get good light when the phone’s blocking overhead light if you’re shooting from the top. The two water drops on the table look better because I shot them with a side light.
Value and Recommendation
Adding $99.99 to the already expensive price of the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus may seem foolhardy for a lot of users. However, serious iPhone 7 photographers will love the results. A photo of a great landscape with the Super-wide lens looks amazing when you can get the wider range of view. It lets you get closer to the scene. Also, the first time you try to take a photo of a group of friends in your living room or some other cramped room, you’ll wish you had a wider field of view. The Super-wide lens helps you get everyone in the shot.
Some people may not like the look of a Fish-eye lens, especially for close up portraits of people, but I love it in certain situations. It stands out and people will love seeing them. Get a close up of your pets that looks different from any other shot you’ll take. Make your friends or family look funny. Get a great view of half the room.
The Macro lens gives you some really artistic looking shots. Take extreme close-ups of textures and create beautiful backgrounds for your iPhone or computer.
Head over to the Olloclip gallery to see some beautiful examples of shots taken by their users.
It’s important to remember a couple of things when considering the purchase of the Olloclip Core lens set or any Olloclip lens set. You can’t use your current iPhone 7 case with the lenses. You’ll need to take the case off before attaching the lens, unless you buy one of Olloclip’s iPhone 7 ($29.99) or iPhone 7 Plus ($29.99) cases. You have to take the lenses with you, which can get annoying for some. I carry it around in my pocket, but you can attach it to keys with the carabiner that comes with the set. Finally, it might slightly reduce image quality since you’re putting a lens in front of a lens. I didn’t notice any significant degradation, but it can happen.
I love the Olloclip Core Lens set and hope to add the telephoto lens as well. If you’re into artistic photography, the macro lens set might help create some amazing shots. The new modular system means I can quickly swap out lenses, so I hope Olloclip will start selling just the lenses for a lower price to those who already have one set. I don’t need a second phone attachment or pendant stand, just the other lens.