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Published on March 22nd, 2012 | by Greg


Schneider Optics iPro: Amazing Upgrade To Your iPhone 4 or 4S

iPhone users don’t fool around when it comes to pho­tog­ra­phy. It’s not mis­take that some of the most pop­u­lar apps are ones like In­sta­gram and Hip­sta­mat­ic, and it on­ly should come as a mild sur­prise that the most pop­u­lar cam­era in the world- of any kind as mea­sured by Flickr up­loads at press time- is the iPhone 4. De­spite the lim­i­ta­tions- the small lens, mediocre flash, lack of sta­bil­i­ty or zoom- there is no doubt that hav­ing a handy, app-en­abled, easy-to-up­load de­cent-enough cam­era has made a lot of peo­ple’s lives sim­pler and eas­i­er.

The Schnei­der Op­tics iPro Lens Sys­tem for iPhone 4/4S takes one of the core fea­tures of the phone, sheer porta­bil­i­ty, and takes steps to­wards negat­ing it. But the trade­off is vast­ly im­proved op­tions with some se­ri­ous lens­es. Grant­ed, you’ll still end up mak­ing use of the orig­i­nal lens on the phone, as scratched or dirty as it may be. And an even big­ger is­sue for some peo­ple is the ne­ces­si­ty to use the spe­cial case. The in­clud­ed case is ac­tu­al­ly pret­ty nifty, of­fer­ing a de­tach­able han­dle that al­so serves as a place to store the spare lens­es, plus a tri­pod mount, but is def­i­nite­ly awk­ward when not be­ing ac­tive­ly used for pho­tog­ra­phy and isn’t all that pro­tec­tive.

The re­al beau­ties of this sys­tem are the lens­es. You get a fish­eye and a wide an­gle lens, with bay­o­net mounts for se­cure fas­ten­ing, and the rock-sol­id op­tics that Schnei­der is known for. Both lens­es of­fer a much wider field of view- though both will block the flash when in use. Pack­ag­ing is sexy, in­struc­tions are sim­ple, and the glass and han­dle (if not the case) feels durable and well-made. In our tests, shots were sharp, with lit­tle dis­tor­tion. Fish­eye im­ages do vi­gnette on the cor­ners, of course, though it’s not vis­i­ble for video. We had some trou­ble fig­ur­ing out how to keep our hands and fin­gers out of shots, but with some prac­tice, re­al­ly en­joyed the ad­di­tion­al artis­tic flex­i­bil­i­ty.

Per­fect for se­ri­ous am­a­teurs, or even pros who ap­pre­ci­ate good glass but still want to use their iPhones, on­ly the price tag gave us pause. $190 or so might seem a bit high for those used to deal­ing with iPhone ac­ces­sories- but for those who have tried to pur­chase lens­es for DSLRs be­fore, it looks far more rea­son­able. It’s an in­ter­est­ing sys­tem, that does come with some com­pro­mis­es. We’ve heard com­ments about them ex­pand­ing it fur­ther though, even of­fer­ing a 2x tele­scop­ic lens. We look for­ward to a vast fu­ture with ev­er im­prov­ing iPhone pho­tog­ra­phy.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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