Published on March 22nd, 2012 | by Greg0
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.