Monday, December 05, 2016

Limelens Takes Your Phone Photography to the Next Level #HGG2016 {review}

I've been in purge mode lately, as I scour through my house tossing, selling, or donating so many things that we no longer use or need. And one thing I've discovered is that I have a possibly embarrassingly large number of cameras. I love photography, whether taking carefully lit and balanced images with my DSLR, or quickly capturing memories of fun with my smart phone. And before phone cameras got so good, I had a series of film and digital point and shoot cameras that I used regularly. But not any more. My phone pictures are just as good as, or even better than, the ones I can get with those older cameras. Plus, my phone is always with me, and super easy to grab when that perfect shot comes into view.

Of course, there are effects you can only get with a special lens, which has not been an option with smart phones until very recently. I've been having fun checking out a new set of lenses, made especially for smart phones, from Limelens.

These lenses attach to your phone, over its existing camera lens, and boost the camera's native capabilities. I have the Limelens introductory set which includes 2 lenses, the clips needed to attach them to your phone, and a sturdy protective case. The Thinker is a dual macro/wide lens, providing a 10x Macro perspective or 0.67x wide-angle view.  The Captain is a 190 degree fisheye lens, which is super for wide landscape shots or group shots. The set comes with 3 Limeclip attachments that fit over 40 devices including leading smartphones and tablet brands. Instructions for which Limeclip to use, and how to position it on your phone are included. The clip is designed so it won't cover your flash, when you use the correct one.
This image, from the Limelens website gives a good close-up of the case. It doesn't show the lens covers though, which will keep your lenses scratch-free. The case itself is small and sturdy, fitting easily into my purse so I can always have the lenses with me.

It doesn't hurt of course that this is all in my favourite colour - lime!

Here are three comparison shots. Please excuse the poor lighting! I was focusing on how much of the scene each lens would take in. All three shots were taken with me standing in the same position, and holding my phone roughly at the same angle and distance from the bowl of fruit each time.

From left to right - my Samsung S7 camera on its own; Macro/wide-angle lens; fisheye lens. Cool, hey?

Here is the Thinker lens on my phone. I'm looking forward to using this as a macro lens next summer for my floral and insect shots in the garden. This image also shows how the Limeclip sits on your phone back. You can see that it is raised, especially where you secure the lens by twisting it in. (That is a really easy half turn, btw.) The Limeclip attaches with an adhesive strip, and it stays on your phone. This will of course impact the type of case you can choose for your phone, so be prepared. Limelens has a handy guide on their site, including options of cases that fit over your Limeclip, and others to which you can attach the Limeclip. 

The Limelens Set retails for $99.99 US, but is currently on sale for $49.99. They do ship to Canada, at reasonable rates. This would be a great gift for the tech enthusiast on your list, or any teen who takes lots of photos with their phone. It's unique and a definite conversation starter!

Disclosure: I received complimentary product for review purposes. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.

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