The brand new ExoLens for the iPhone has Optics by ZEISS and promises to deliver professional-quality photos and videos to the iPhone by using the same technology that has been used in high-end DSLR cameras. Here are my thoughts and comments on the quality and potential of the lens.
The lens I’m using is the wide-angled lens which is an 18mm equivalent making it perfect for landscape photography, time-lapses, video and more. To get going all you need to do is slide your iPhone into the bracket and screw the lens on, and you’re set to start shooting.
Right off I’m going to say this is by far the best iPhone lens attachment I’ve seen and used in terms of the quality of the lens system itself and the quality of photos and videos.
The bracket is machined from aluminium and has a soft interior lining the inside which prevents scratches to your iPhone. The design of the bracket does a good job of keeping the lens in place while also providing a cold-shoe mount for lighting and audio attachments plus allows for a tripod to be attached at the bottom. ExoLens offers the ability to turn an iPhone into a serious mobile camera.
At the end of the day it all comes down to the lens itself, it’s important for the quality of the lens to be good because it is going to reflect on the photos and video you take. The lens itself is the largest wide-angled lens I’ve seen, you can just see the quality when you first take it out of the box. The optics have been designed by ZEISS, who have more than 170 years of experience in engineering professional optics and it certainly shows here.
As someone who uses an iPhone to capture just about all my photos I have tried many other wide-angled lens attchments in the past but all have resulted In the edges of the photos being distorted, objects at the edges bent and quite frankly I just stopped using them. It goes without saying, I was very interested to see how the ExoLens performs.
Every photo and video I’ve captured using the ExoLens lives up to the virtually no distortion claim, colour and contrast of the photos is great and this is even before I do any editing. For the first time I felt a “professional iPhone Lens” is indeed a professional iPhone lens easily beating my expectations.
I honestly can’t fault anything with this lens system. If anything I sometimes wish the bracket was actually an entire case so I can just leave it on but that’s just a personal preference. The lens is also so big that yes, it does block the flash but I think that goes to show how big the optics are but as mentioned there is a mount for an external flash so I don’t see that as being a major issue.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be capturing photos with the ExoLens in Switzerland so keep a look out for them. You can find more information about the ExoLens here and where you buy them from Apple – They’re available exclusively at Apple.