The Good: An affordable photography accessory, well constructed and is versatile enough to be used on various smartphones.
The Bad: The image quality could be better, since it leaves a soft focus and lacks the definition of the standard camera lens.
The Bottom Line: For the price, the Aukey would make a nice little photography companion for your smartphone.
Aukey’s Optic Pro is an attachable lens you can clip onto your smartphone to capture wide angle shots.
Why would you need this? Let’s say you’re in front of a cool-looking landscape or building and want to capture all of it, but you can’t go any further back. A wide angle lens like this would effectively allow you to capture the entire shot, whereas your phone’s lens would only capture a smaller portion.
I was glad to see that the Aukey Optic Pro lens has been well crafted. The aluminium-shelled lens feels solid and substantial, while the plastic peg that holds it feels durable enough to last a long time. The peg even has rubber padding on either side to cushion against your phone, which is an essential but nicely executed touch.
For the £26 investment Aukey throw in a microfibre cloth, carrying pouch and iPhone 6s Plus case, made of a black soft-touch plastic. The case easily attracts fingerprints but feels nice in the hand nonetheless. You won’t be getting too much protection from Aukey’s iPhone case since the edges don’t fully wrap around the sides of an iPhone 6s Plus, but in fairness it does its job and this isn’t a case I’d use daily for protection anyway.
How do you use it?
The Optic Pro lens can work in one of two ways. You can either (a) attach it with the provided peg onto your smartphone, or (b) use Aukey’s dedicated iPhone 6s & 6s Plus case.
I really like what Aukey have done with the iPhone case; you simply have to screw the lens onto the case and that’s it — no fuss or complications. It will be perfectly aligned with your iPhone’s lens and ready to take shots. If on the other hand you use the peg, you may be in for a more finnicky experience. It still works, but every time you use it you need to confirm if both lenses are perfectly aligned to get a nicely focused shot. Also, any bit of movement can misalign the lenses, and considering the size of that peg it won’t be hard to do!
If you intend on using this for an iPhone the provided case is your best bet; otherwise, you’re stuck with the peg. What’s nice is that with this versatile design, you can actually share the lens with your friends who don’t use iPhone. Just attach the lens onto the peg and let them use it for a while. It’s a nice touch by Aukey.
The Aukey Optic Pro lens certainly delivers on its promise of a wide angle shot. Taking photos from the same distance, I noticed a significant improvement in range with the lens on. Check out some of these samples below:
Note: none of these photos have been edited; just resized for uploading purposes.
While it delivers on wide angles, it’s not without its downfalls. Aukey’s Optic Pro lens lacks in sharpness and definition in comparison to my iPhone 6S Plus camera lens. Where you can notice a stronger focus when using the iPhone lens, Aukey’s seems to have a much softer focus all around. (Look at the car’s number plate on the street photo, for example.)
For both short and longer range shots, I noticed that photos taken with the Aukey Optic Pro lens attached weren’t quite as bright & vivid as the iPhone counterparts, and there’s a blur around the edges of the photo which can be quite annoying. That’s not to say the image quality was bad, but you can certainly notice the differences.
Ultimately, if you’re just going to be using this lens for casual photography then it’ll perform very well. On a smartphone display for example you can’t notice these faults as much and the photos actually look great. However if you’ll be using this lens as a serious photography tool, forget it. On a larger display these shortcomings are way more noticeable.
Aukey Optic Pro lens: Final thoughts
For the price — just £25.99 at the time of writing — the Aukey Optic Pro packs a lot of value, especially when you factor in the included iPhone case and added accessories. So if you’re looking for a tool to help you take some casual Instagram photos with cool wide angle effects, this little lens by Aukey is great value for money.