The Good: The Telephoto lens does a great job of improving long-distance photos, while the CPL gets rid of reflections & glare exceptionally well.
The Bad: A little pricey, and it could have a more snug fit to the iPhone.
The Bottom Line: Good build quality, an easy to use design and excellent performance earns the Olloclip Telephoto & CPL lens a recommendation from me.
Earlier this year olloclip announced yet another addition to their range of lenses for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the Telephoto & CPL (Circular Polarising) Lens. Unlike the dynamic 4-in-1 lens which includes Wide-Angle, Fisheye and two Macro lenses, this product has two core functions: the Telephoto lens lets you take photos of far-away objects with its 2x magnification optical lens, and the CPL reduces reflections and glare.
As with the entire range of olloclip lenses, the £89.99 Telephoto & CPL lens is crafted out of aircraft-grade aluminium and precision-ground coated glass optics, giving it a very durable feel. The lenses themselves are attached onto a thick plastic clip which latches onto your iPhone 6 (or 6 Plus).
Accessories that comes with the olloclip Telephoto & CPL lens.
Olloclip throw in a range of accessories with the Telephoto & CPL lens too, including a lanyard, 3 different clips that attach to the main lens clip, an iPhone 6 Plus insert and a couple of carrying pouches.
Setting It Up
Getting the lens into place is incredibly simple; you just have to latch the olloclip’s plastic base onto the top of your iPhone (overlapping the iPhone’s lens).
As with the 4-in-1 lens, the Telephoto & CPL lens tends to bobble slightly when you touch it which can be slightly annoying, but it’s hardly anything that will affect performance, and you certainly don’t have to worry about it falling off the phone either.
Get closer with the Telephoto lens
The Telephoto lens (left) gives you a 2x zoom.
If you’ve tried taking zoomed-in photos with the iPhone’s camera — especially of distant objects — you’ll know how bad they can turn out. Objects look blurry and the entire photo will lack any definition whatsoever.
Olloclip’s Telephoto lens however gives you a fixed, 2x zoom without losing any clarity. Check out some of the photos I took with it:
The Telephoto lens creates a blur around the edge of the photo, but it also allows you to capture closer shots of distant objects.
Now the first thing you’ll notice of course is just how much closer you’re able to get to the object. In both photos I stood in the same place and focused on the blue garage at the back of my garden, and the Telephoto lens allowed me to take a much closer photo from the same range.
Unlike the iPhone’s shot which captures the whole scene with a crisp photo, the Telephoto lens applies a greater depth of field which creates a blur around the edge of photos. It’s great in situations where you want the object you’re taking a photo of to stand out, but if you just want the Telephoto lens to pull off a long-range shot without the blur you’re out of luck.
CPL cuts out glare & reflections
By simply twisting the lens from side to side — much like you’d do with a DSLR camera — the Circular Polarising Lens allows you to adjust the amount of light that’s allowed to reflect off a surface like glass, water or anything else that causes glare.
I made the short video clip of my Koi pond below for a real-time example of how this filter works; pay attention to the way the reflections change:
The photos you see below were taken in my kitchen, and it’s quite easy to see the differences between the two images. The first image (taken with iPhone 6) has strong reflections on the glossy marble surface and glass jar, whereas the image below (with olloclip) has a less reflective surface and much richer colours — particularly the red from the roses.
Olloclip’s CPL lens reduces glare and richens colours.
The CPL is pretty dynamic; you can use it on its own (with the iPhone’s camera), or attached to any of olloclip’s other lenses like the Fisheye, Wide-Angle or Telephoto lenses.
Olloclip Telephoto & CPL Lens: Verdict
I can’t even count the amount of times I wished my iPhone’s zoom worked better — especially when I’m away on holiday taking snaps of cool architecture! With the olloclip Telephoto lens that’s a problem of the past, and with the CPL which is compatible across all other olloclip lenses, I no longer have to deal with annoying reflections and glare either!
While the 4-in-1 lens undoubtedly packs a lot more value for money (and a stronger recommendation from me), this one is a great addition for the photographer who will actually benefit from the long-range and glare-reducing functionality it offers.