The 10 Best Phone Camera Lenses

Updated November 24, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

10 Best Phone Camera Lenses
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 40 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. Today's smartphone cameras boast impressive photographic capabilities, but if you want to take your cellular photography to the next level, check out some of these phone camera lenses. While some are dedicated to specific functions, such as macro for close-ups or wide angle for sweeping panoramas, many of our selections include multiple lenses to allow for even more visual experimentation. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best phone camera lens on Amazon.

10. Aukey Optic PL-A1

The process of securing or removing the Aukey Optic PL-A1 takes barely a second, so you can focus on capturing stunning images. Each of the three attachments in the kit has a soft rubber rim that protects your device as well as its own optical elements.
  • made with high quality coated glass
  • attractive multifaceted clip design
  • some users experience blurry edges
Brand AUKEY
Model PL-A1
Weight 3.5 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Vinsic 3-in-1 007

With the Vinsic 3-in-1 007, you actually get more quality and versatility than you'd expect given its relatively low price point. The macro, wide-angle, and fisheye units are housed in sturdy aluminum rings and are easily interchangeable in its c-clamp bracket.
  • pieces attach magnetically
  • available in black or silver
  • mounting clip isn't the most durable
Brand VINSIC
Model VSAA007
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. QZTelectronic Microscope Magnifier

With the QZTelectronic Microscope Magnifier you can convert your smartphone into a miniature science lab or forensics investigation unit. It offers 30x magnification and works well for not only capturing still images, but also examining the world around you in real time.
  • internal led illuminates subjects
  • great for budding biologists
  • may obstruct part of your screen
Brand QZTELECTRONIC
Model CK056
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Qiaya Telephoto

For the steady of hand, the Qiaya Telephoto will turn your device into a telescope much like the one Galileo first turned toward the heavens in the 17th century. It offers 12x magnification, making it great for nature and sports shots, as well as some amateur astronomy.
  • manual focus ring for added clarity
  • can be used with or without clip
  • tends to distort straight lines
Brand QIAYA
Model pending
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

6. Amir 3-in-1 HD

The Amir 3-in-1 HD works with iPhones, Androids, and most other smartphones thanks to its wide-mouthed clip mount. This set is a fine choice for taking sweeping shots of open landscapes or city skylines, and its fisheye attachment can create amusingly wacky closeups.
  • includes protective lens caps
  • durable aluminum construction
  • macro unit tends to vignette images
Brand AMIR
Model 4331908483
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Olloclip Core Set

For iPhone 7 and 8 owners, the Olloclip Core Set is a great asset to have on hand to capture dynamic images on the go. It's double-sided, meaning it enhances both your front and rear cameras at once, and features interchangeable fisheye, macro, and super-wide attachments.
  • includes a stand for hands-free use
  • 15x macro magnification
  • may scratch jet black phones
Brand olloclip
Model OC-0000213-EU
Weight 7.8 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. VicTsing Clip-On 3-in-1

The VicTsing Clip-On 3-in-1 kit can be mounted on your rear-facing camera or on the forward-facing selfie side, so you can snap compelling photographs of your face all day long. It includes macro, wide-angle, and fisheye attachments.
  • comes with a helpful user manual
  • great value for the price
  • won't fit over most cases
Brand VicTsing
Model VS9-AC023BVT-VD
Weight 3 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Stoon 4-in-1

Unlike sets that require you to screw in and carry around various loose attachments to achieve a range of visual effects, the Stoon 4-in-1 fits four options for optical enhancement onto a single pocket-sized clip. It works well with both dual and single-lens cameras.
  • macro and telephoto zoom
  • padded with soft rubber
  • adjust position to change effects
Brand Stoon
Model 4-in-1-phone-lens
Weight 0.8 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. ZoeTouch Professional

The ZoeTouch Professional attaches securely to your device with a clip that opens wide enough to accommodate even thick phone cases. A layer of soft rubber protects your phone from scratches and damage, while its aluminum and glass construction is durable and reliable.
  • includes wide and macro units
  • pair elements for additional effects
  • backed by a 24-month warranty
Brand ZOETOUCH
Model pending
Weight 3.5 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Moment Wide

Though it's expensive, only comes with one attachment, and requires a special case that must be bought separately, the Moment Wide is worth every penny. It takes gorgeous, wide-angle photographs that'll have people second-guessing whether they were really taken on a phone.
  • also available in telephoto
  • works with dual-lens devices
  • cases are stylish and durable
Brand Moment
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Award-winning Image Quality

One of the most impressive films in to come out of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival was shot almost entirely on an iPhone 5s. That, alone, garnered the film a tremendous amount of attention, especially considering how good the footage looked. When most people hear the claim, they picture the filmmakers holding forth their iPhones like tourists capturing a street performer in Time's Square, and the process couldn't be further from the truth.

The film, Tangerine, was, in fact, shot on an iPhone, but the iPhone in question was tricked out with a fancy app, a steadycam for fluidity in movement, and a rather expensive experimental 1.33 anamorphic lens adapter. The filmmaker, Sean Baker, even said of the lens, "To tell you the truth, I wouldn't have even made the movie without it."

If you really want to take your cell phone photography to the next level, to get cinematic quality video, gallery quality images, and astronomically beautiful pictures from space, among other things, you need to augment the lens at the back of your phone with more than just a pinch zoom.

The lenses on our list attach to your camera with the greatest of ease, simply snapping into their spots like a paper clip. Once in position, they'll bend the light heading into your phone's camera just before it gets there, giving you either a wider field of view (labelled wide-angle or fisheye) a tremendous amount of zoom (labelled as telephoto, or with a magnification multiplier), or occasionally the ability to get unbelievably close to your subject without it going out of focus (labelled macro).

The best part about these lenses is that competition to come up with the best, least expensive technology has driven the quality way up and the costs way down. Adapters that cost close to $100 for a single lens just a few years ago now come as one in a set of three for under $30.

Zooming Toward A Choice

When you pinch to zoom with a cell phone camera, you're using something called digital zoom. You may remember seeing both optical zoom and digital zoom specs listed on the last digital camera you bought before our phones stole the entire market. Optical zoom refers to the actual movement of lens elements to bend and magnify the light before it hits your sensor. Digital zoom essentially just crops in on whatever resolution the sensor has already captured, reducing the quality of your images as you pinch.

Any of the telephoto lenses on our list, including the telescopic and microscopic lenses, are optical enhancers, so the resolution of your image remains at its highest constant. The wide-angle lenses also maintain complete resolution, but there wasn't a threat to your image from going wider in the first place.

Choosing from among these sets will have everything to do with how you want to affect your image and what you want to shoot. I wouldn't recommend the microscope attachment for your next selfie, for example.

Most casual camera phone shooters would do well with any of the triptych clip-on lens adapters, the sets of three that include a fisheye, macro, and telephoto enhancement. These sets ought to satisfy the needs of anyone looking for a little enhancement without spending too much money.

The more specific the tasks you need tackled by some of these attachments, the more you're liable to spend on them, and the more limited their usage outside that task will be. The telescopic attachment is great for astronomical photography or for spying on your neighbors, but it's useless on anything that isn't a minimum distance from your camera. The microscopic attachment is probably the coolest thing on our list, and it would be a wonderful addition to any science classroom, but it wouldn't do to Instagram your brunch with it.

Old Glass, New Class

Lenses predate the invention of the camera by millennia. As long as there has been the written word, there have been stones carved and polished to allow readers with aging eyes to magnify and decipher smaller text. These lenses also proved useful in starting fires when they concentrated beams of sunlight onto a small pile of kindling.

It was these single-element lenses that adorned the first cameras developed in the 19th century. Crude as they were, the lenses produced a lot of artifacts, as well as a significant amount of field distortion. By the late 1800s, however, photographers and lens manufacturers had begun to combine lens elements to cut down on distortion and to create clearer images that allowed more light to pass onto the exposure surface.

Fast forward another century, and the cell phone age is in full swing. Right there alongside it, the digital photography revolution roils on, and before long the two worlds collide, as several phone manufacturers integrate simple cameras into their cell phone bodies. It starts out seeming like a novelty, but by the time the first iPhones hit shelves in 2007, phone cameras begin to look like serious contenders among casual photographers.

The camera industry responded by trying to make everything about their systems smaller, going so far as to do away with the reflex mirror in their most expensive and prestigious models, with Canon and Nikon notably holding out against the tide. They'll come around, eventually, but by then everybody will have a good phone and a better set of lenses like these for it.



Statistics and Editorial Log

0
Paid Placements
4
Editors
40
Hours
119,098
Users
25
Revisions

Wiki Granular Update & Revision Log


help support our research


Patreonlogoorange psj5g7Wiki ezvid low poly earth xdypeb

Last updated on November 24, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.


Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For our full ranking methodology, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.