Olloclip Connect X Lens System

by Volker Weber

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For many years I have been shooting everything with an iPhone. Before the iPhone 7 I also relied on the Olloclip lenses for telephoto and superwide shots. My favorite lens was the Active Lens and you can see its case hanging around my neck in many shots, like the superwide selfie shot on the iPhone 6S Plus more than three years ago.

Things started to get complicated with the advent of the dual cameras in the 7 Plus and I did not use any Olloclip lenses going forward. But then the designers figured out a solution for the iPhone X. It's bulkier and it does not feel as solid, but it's more flexible.

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Lenses are now mounted to an oval base that itself clicks into a clip that fits nicely around the camera bump. Both mechanisms are spring loaded. You press a button to remove the clip from the phone, and press another button if you want to change lenses. The design lets you put a lens in front of either one of the main cameras and also in front of the selfie camera.

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The pendant that holds the clip can also be be used as a makeshift tripod but I don't trust this at all beyond the photo I took for this review.

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This kit comes with three lenses: a super-wide that doubles the field of view, a fisheye which captures almost 180 degrees, and a 15x macro lens behind that fisheye.

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These lenses let you capture photos that are not possible with the iPhone camera. Sometimes you cannot step back far enough to get everything into the frame, or you cannot get close enough to capture a detail.

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Life is difficult for companies that want to create accessories that need a perfect fit. This clip matches the iPhone X, but not the iPhone Xs or Xs Max. Apple has enlarged the size of the camera bump ever so slightly. Olloclip now needs to make a new clip which holds the lenses centered in front of the Xs camera lenses. It should not be too expensive, since you can keep all your lenses, but it's only going to become available in a couple of weeks.

While I generally like the idea and lenses work quite well, the whole kit has become a bit unwieldy. While the Active Lens was solid as a rock, the pendant, the clip and the spring loaded mechanism feel rather cheap. It's just clicky plastic. The clip won't work with any case besides Olloclip's own. When you try to use it on the go, you have a lot of moving parts: phone, case, mount, lenses, lens hoods. Chances are you are going to drop something.

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The Olloclip designers are smart people. They figured out a new multi-device clip, that will work with any camera close enough to the edge. It should also work with cases up to 12mm in combined thickness. That clip will work with all Connect X lenses and it should be available in a few weeks.

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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