iPhone Telephoto Lens – Another Unsolicited Review

Yesterday I chatted about the faboo macro/wide glass lens kit I purchased from the good people at Photojojo.

While I sort of dig that little macro lens, I’m absolutely stunningly in love with the item I want to talk about today.

It’s an 8x telephoto lens for the iPhone.

If being able to get clear close up shots on the iPhone is a pet peeve of mine, then the lack of a real zoom puts me right over the edge.

The iPhone camera purports to have a zoom feature, but it’s really just a crop and zoom on the image, not an actual lens feature. So when the zoom is used on the iPhone camera, what you get is a crappy, noisy photo. This makes me cranky.

When I saw a random Tweet about this telephoto lens for the iPhone, I knew I had to have it.

It’s an 8x fixed length zoom. When using the lens you get 8x and that’s it. The lens comes with a focus ring, but that’s about it as far as bells and whistles are concerned.

Here’s the box the whole kit arrives in. Clearly they are striving for that Apple look and feel:

Here’s the kit that comes in the box. You get the lens, a case that the lens screws into for a perfect mounting and fit, a spring loaded tripod mounting device, and a small tripod (you’ll need the tripod, it’s really hard to hold this thing still as the lens throws off the balance):

Here’s a closer shot of the lens itself. Those cute little focal length numbers on there are just for show and not useful in any way.

And here’s a view of the lens itself. Pretty sweet:

Here’s a good shot of how the kit looks when it is all put together. I was having trouble getting a decent photo to show the whole assembled kit, so I found one from a review on the ePHOTOzine site:

Photo credit: ePHOTOzine

This isn’t a high end lens for high end photographers, but it’s sure a heck of a lot of fun. I really get a kick out of playing around just to see what I can get. I really think that the realm of iPhoneography is growing fast. I’ve seen some amazing work already. Crazy how fast that phone in your pocket became more than just a phone.

Here are some sample shots I took a few weeks ago. These shots were taken from the balcony of a seventh floor room at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. I love the depth of field I was able to achieve using this fun little plastic lens. There is no way the iPhone itself would have taken these kind of photos.

The first two I took using the Hipstamatic app. The third I used the Camera+ app to take the photos.

So upside of this little toy lens…it’s fun, it works as described, and at $35 from the Photojojo store, it doesn’t break the bank.

The downside, on some photos you can see the edges of the lens in the photo, but I was able to either crop or Photoshop that out in most cases (in the third sample photo above, I used the clone and stamp tool to remove, easy peasy).

Like the iPhone camera alone, the lens needs lots of light to help it along.

The kit can be a little cumbersome to assemble, as the case I normally have on the phone has to come off to accommodate the case that the lens threads into. That case isn’t really an everyday case, so that swapping around that can be kind of bothersome.

This lens won’t replace the zoom feature on any point and shoot with an 8x optical zoom, but it’s not supposed to. This little fun plastic lens is meant to be another tool to explore the bounds of the iPhone camera to see what you can create.

And for me, I’m rather head over heels in love with this little ingenious telephoto lens.

The first lens I bought arrived with some pieces of black plastic rolling around inside. I contacted Photojojo and they apologized profusely and sent a new one to me immediately. The didn’t require me to send back the old one either. Excellent customer service!

The good people at Photojojo simply impressed me so much with their products and customer service that I chose to write this review. They didn’t ask me to or pay me for my opinions. Just passing along a good thing.

Except as noted, all photos by Karen Fayeth and subject to the Creative Commons license in the right hand column of this page.

Off To A Slow Start

Here we are at Monday again and I’m making a rather slow moving entrée back into the world after a rock-star fun sort of weekend.

I imbibed just about one too many San Francisco Cable Car drinks at the Fairmont hotel and felt very retro with martini glass in hand. A Cable Car is the sort of beverage that tastes so good and then drops you on your arse.

Meaning, I loved every bit of that ride.

Since I’ve most certainly streamlined a few brain cells right on out of the ol’ noggin, I’ll use my friends at Unconscious Mutterings as a place to start this blogging week off right.

Without further ado, this week’s list of free association words:


  1. Trumpet ::
  2. That reminds me of that old joke blues musicians tell….

    “What’s the range on a trumpet?”
    “Oh, about two hundred yards.
    “Two hundred yards? What are you talking about?!”
    “You know, when I throw it over the piano, past the accordion, through the banjo…”

  3. Love ::
  4. What I felt for the world after I’d drained my second Cable Car beverage.

  5. Routine ::
  6. It was nice to break up my dull work-a-day routine (that has me worn down to a nub) for a weekend of jolly debauchery.

    It was much needed.

  7. Infringe ::
  8. I may have infringed on The Good Man’s personal space when sleeping off both a wine tasting and a Fairmont cocktail party. I do tend to snore…and spread out, whilst in my cups.

    Thankfully he was doing much the same. It was all good.

  9. Misgivings ::
  10. Ah misgivings. What I had the next morning upon remembering that my middle aged self can’t rebound like I used to. The sun screamed in the windows, the reflux shouted in my esophagus, and I found a bruise on my arm that I can’t recall how I obtained.

    So I was a bit low the next day. At breakfast, with my hair falling down in my eyes, as Roger Miller would say, I was unsure I was gonna make it through the day. Two eggs over easy with sausage and a pot of coffee and suddenly the day started looking a lot better.

    Then I took a nap.

  11. Establish ::
  12. And so, upon leaving the Fairmont, I had to establish just what a classy broad I am by setting my brand new glass “environmentally friendly” water bottle on the floor while I fiddled with my bag. I accidentally nudged the bottle, knocking it over. Once it hit the polished marble floor it shattered.

    Reeeeal classy.

  13. Stupefy ::
  14. Like liquefy. Only stupider. Or something.

  15. Constipate ::
  16. Not even going to touch this one with a ten foot pole.

  17. Conjure ::
  18. And so after the most fun I’ve had in a good long while, this morning I had to conjure up the ability to go back to work. It was all gray cubicle walls and “did you get that cost savings report done yet?”

    I sat at my nondescript desk with no Cable Car in hand and sighed the sigh of the responsible grownup I am for forty (plus) hours a week, planning my next adventure.

  19. Miscellaneous ::
  20. And thus ends the latest of my miscellaneous posts about miscellany.

(Isn’t that lovely? I yearn like a lovesick schoolgirl just looking at it.)

I wasn’t the only one having way too much fun at the Fairmont…this greeted me in the restroom off the lobby. Hell even I wasn’t having this much fun….

Photos by Karen Fayeth, taken with iPhone4 and the Hipstamatic app.

Happy Gobble Gobble Day

To celebrate the holiday, I present to you a doodle from my marker board at work.

I was on a *really* long conference call. It was boring. I got distracted.

May you and yours have a fabulous, gluttonous day!

Photo taken by Karen Fayeth with an iPhone 4 and the Hipstamatic app.