Photography News Issue 46

Photography News | Issue 38 |


First tests

Accessories First tests

We get our hands on the latest kit and share our first impressions – so you know whether or not to add it to your wish list

Reviews by Will Cheung, Kingsley Singleton and Daisy Dickinson

PNY4-in-1 LensKit £24.99

It is probably stating the obvious, but more pictures are taken on camera phones than any other image recording device and we’re talking millions, probably billions every single day. For many people, a phone is their main image capture device. This lens kit from PNY is a neat idea. Basically, it is a clip to which the lens is attached, and then this clip holds the lens in front of the phone’s lens. It is very simple, it works and means you don’t need a special case or screw-in thread on the phone to hold the auxiliary lens in position. The clip is like a tightly sprung clothes peg and at the end on both legs there is a simple slip-in lens mount. The lens just slides into the mount and positively clicks into place. In my test, I never had a lens slip off the clip and the beauty of this system is that you can have two lenses in place and swapping between them just means removing the clip, reversing it and putting it back into position. Three of the four lenses give a wide view while the fourth one is a macro. There is no telephoto option but PNY could easily add such options to the system in due course. The 180° fisheye and the 0.4x super wide-angle are the two larger lenses, which I found easier to handle. The macro and the 0.65x wide-angle are both much smaller and more fiddly to use as a consequence. The last two have to be used in tandem to achieve the wide effect, ie. the macro is fixed onto the clip and the 0.65x just screws into the macro’s front thread. The other two lenses are used on their own. I used the lenses on an iPhone 5C. The iPhone’s protective case/cover was not a problem with the PNY clip systemand its designmeans the lenses can be probably used on the fattest phone/case combination. I also tried the lens kit on a couple of tablets: an iPad Mini and an Amazon Fire HD 10. Theyworked fine on the former and not very well on the latter. The clip does have a good grip but on the phone’s very smooth surface it


Price £24.99

Kit includes: Super wide-angle, fisheye, wide- angle, macro, reversible clip, storage pouch, cleaning cloth. Contact

Original iPhone lens

0.65x wide


0.4x super wide angle

Fisheye lens

Pros Good solution, fits many phones/tablets Cons Fiddly, needs correct positioning, no telephoto option, image quality The PNY 4-in-1 Lens Kit is certainly fun, versatile and delivers what it says on the tin. In use it’s a tad fiddly and optically the results don’t impress hugely if you want high sharpness but they do the job and at a nice price. The lenses do increase the versatility of your camera phone without being a burden. I have my set in my workbag so when I am not armed with my ‘real’ camera, I use this set of PNY lenses to expand my phone’s potential.

Above These shots were taken on an iPhone 5C from the same spot.

can slip or slide under its own weight. You soon learn to get around that by resting the clip’s arm on the phone casing itself to stop this. Correct positioning is of course crucial, so with the camera active, you just slide the clip around to ensure you get a clear, unvignetted view. At this price, you’re probably not expecting too much in the optical quality department, which is just as well.Thelensesdosignificantlyimpact on the optical performance of themain lens, so expect less good sharpness, contrast loss, chromatic aberration and field curvature. All three wide

attachments varying degrees from those issues, with the wide being the best and the fisheye the least good, an order you probably won’t be surprised by. The macro lens lets you get to around 1cm from your subject, so that gives a good degree of magnification but does mean the phone’s shadow is liable to fall across the subject, so you need to watch for this. Although the optical quality of these phone lenses is not great, they do give your images a ‘toy’ feel which is an attraction of its own: andwhat do you expect for the price? WC suffer to

Three of the four lenses give a wide view, while the fourth one is a macro

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