Things We Love: My Mobile Add-On Lenses

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Here, there, and everywhere… like most people, I tote my cell phone with its integrated camera with me almost everywhere I go. For grabbing snapshots and quick videos to share easily with friends and family, you really can’t beat its convenience. And I love that I can bump up the quality of my mobile photos with my add-on x2 telephoto and x0.6 wide-angle Zeiss Exolenses.

Here are three views of the Sunnyside Rail Yards with the 2x telephoto lens really standing out from the standard phone capture.

Rail Yard w/ x.06 Wide Exolens
Rail Yard iPhone6 Only
Rail Yard w/ x2 Tele Exolens

The Zeiss Exolenses are high-end lenses that screw into an exoskeleton-type bracket, positioning the lens precisely over the phone’s own lens. Alas, Zeiss has discontinued the Exolens line, but you can find similar-quality Moment and Beastgrip lenses here, at B&H Photo. The heft of these lenses indicates that these are not inexpensive clip-ons—they are choice lenses with multiple glass elements, anti-reflective coatings, and minimal distortion. Each brand offers a variety of phone cases or rigs, enabling you, for the most part, to invest in the lenses and simply buy a new case if you update your phone.

Moment Wide Lens
Beastgrip Pro Series 3X Tele Conversion Lens

I reach for the telephoto lens when getting physically closer isn’t possible—at a concert, or for capturing an architectural detail I spot during my commute. Since these lenses are small enough to carry in my day bag, I have them with me any time I’m unable or prefer not to carry my larger and heavier mirrorless camera system.

Hudson Yards #7 Train Mural
NYC Skyline

The wide-angle add-on lenses are perfect for getting a broader field of view—especially when shooting video, eliminating sensor cropping while maintaining your phone’s image stabilization. Use one for travelogues, still landscapes, or to get the entire extended family or gang of friends into that group party photo.

In a slightly mind-bending marriage of a high-end format and a convenient capture method, Beastgrip, Moment, and Moondog Labs all offer anamorphic lenses for taking in that widescreen view. So, get the band back together for your own Star is Born moment, create your own La La Land sequence with your six-year-old’s dance class, or recreate your favorite western’s stampede scene with your Corgi and her buddies at the dog park, all with your phone… and an anamorphic lens.

Check out these splurge-worthy add-on lenses and more mobile phone camera accessories on the B&H Photo website.

The “Things We Love” series articles are written by B&H Photo Video Pro Audio staff to talk about products and items that we love. Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the writers and do not represent product endorsements from B&H Photo Video Pro Audio.

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