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Olloclip for iPhone 5 review: simple, clip-on camera lens

Olloclip is a camera lens that perches on a corner of an iPhone or iPod touch. It can alter the focus in three ways: for macro close-up shots, for fish-eye barrelled lens effects and to produce wide-angle photos. Switching between them takes seconds. The clip-on lens was previously available for iPhone 4; here's our review of the Olloclip camera attachment for iPhone 5.

The Olloclip lens fits snugly on to the iPhone’s upper edge, so you can hop around snapping the action without fear of it coming loose. When not in use, however, it’s best stashed in its accompanying soft drawstring sack so the lens doesn’t get dust on it.

The device is actually an established product – a version for the iPhone 4/4S also exists. The iPhone 5 version fits its slightly thinner frame. There’s also a £10 adapter for the iPod touch, if you’d like to use it with that too. It’s an excellent idea to have one clip-on lens perform several tasks and means the Olloclip seems reasonable value. Stick-on dual lens kits are available for a third of the price but get poor reviews for their functionality.

To switch lenses you reverse the Olloclip so the fish-eye rather than the wide-angle lens is against the iPhone’s camera lens. The macro lens, meanwhile, is hidden beneath the wide-angle lens. Unscrew this to reveal it. It can be a little fiddly on particularly cold days.

The wide-angle lens’ effectiveness is clear: you get approximately a third wider field of vision. However, macro mode is more subtle. The iPhone can’t properly focus less than 10cm or so from an object, but the Olloclip’s macro lens as able to resolve detail and light at between 2cm and 5cm from objects. We were impressed.

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