Review of the soon to be released OOWA 2.5X Telephoto iPhone lens

Review of Prototype OOWA 2.5X Telephoto iPhone Lens

Photo made with iPhone6.

Photo made with iPhone6

Photo with iPhone6 and OOWA telephoto lens.

Photo with iPhone6 and OOWA telephoto lens.

iPhone photography has come a long way since the introduction of the iPhone but the genre is still limited by the quality and availability of lens technology.

As a photographer and photojournalist who uses his iPhone as a primary work tool for making pictures, I miss the option of switching to a telephoto or wide-angle lens like I can with my digital single lens reflex cameras.

While producing my iPhone photo-a-day project called That Tree in 2012 and 2013, I mastered the art of being a human zoom. In the process I discovered that some compositions were impossible to produce with the built-in iPhone lens alone. There were no ways to overcome these visual and compositional limitations without add-on lenses. Certain perspectives can only be captured photographically with wide-angle or telephoto lenses.

In search of ways to change the lens perspectives with my iPhone, I tested add-on lenses from several prominent manufacturers. I have produced acceptable image quality from some of their wide-angle lens adapters but the telephoto lens options I tried left me disappointed by their limited edge-to-edge sharpness.

I recently had the opportunity to test two different prototype generations of the new OOWA 2.5x telephoto lens developed by DynaOptics. www.oowa.life The OOWA telephoto lens has greatly expanded the creative opportunities available with my iPhone by allowing me to compress near and far objects or shoot from farther away capturing perspectives I could not achieve without it. Throughout this post are several example images made with my iPhone6 alone and with the OOWA Telephoto lens attached.

Photo made with iPhone6.

Photo made with iPhone6.

 Photo made with iPhone6 and OOWA telephoto lens.

Photo made with iPhone6 and OOWA telephoto lens.

Photographers often digitally zoom in on their compositions to improve subject magnification. Unfortunately this causes a significant loss in image quality because digitally zooming in drastically reduces the actual image resolution by capturing their composition on only a small portion of the camera’s chip. This results in technically low quality and low-resolution photographs. By utilizing the OOWA telephoto lens, photographers are able to optically magnify the field of view by a factor of 2.5x resulting in full resolution images captured at a higher magnification level utilizing the iPhone’s entire chip.

Pros:
*2.5x magnification!
*Good edge-to-edge sharpness.
* I like the active and solid engagement of the mounting system and case for attaching the OOWA lens to an iPhone.

Cons:
*The lens produces a warm color shift and a loss of contrast in some shooting situations. (Note: This was correctable in post processing on the iPhone)
*The prototype case is slippery.

Note: I’ve provided my feedback to the team at OOWA and they have said they will be able to address the color and contrast concerns as well as the texture and feel of the case for their upcoming production models.

I look forward to using the final production model.

Photo made with iPhone6.

Photo made with iPhone6.

Photo made with iPhone6 and OOWA telephoto lens.

Photo made with iPhone6 and OOWA telephoto lens.

An Iowa Sunset! Photo made with the iPhone6 alone.

An Iowa Sunset! Photo made with the iPhone6 alone.

Photo made with the iPhone6 and OOWA 2.5x telephoto lens.

Photo made with the iPhone6 and OOWA 2.5x telephoto lens.

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7 comments on “Review of the soon to be released OOWA 2.5X Telephoto iPhone lens”

  1. steve

    Thanks for writing this Mark-I’m ready to expand the iphone’s camera possibilities as well.

    • Mark Hirsch

      Hello Steve, Have you purchased any iPhone lenses yet and if so what did you get?

  2. TS

    Very useful info, Mark. I just backed oowa on Kickstarter so I’m happy to see positive review from someone who has not only had a chance to use the prototype but who also is a professional photographer. They’ve exceeded 50% of goal on Day 3 after launch so I think I’m not the only one who’s excited to try this baby out.

    • Mark Hirsch

      Have you received your OOWA lens yet and if so, what are your thoughts?

    • Mark Hirsch

      Hello Merlin, Have you received your OOWA lens yet and if so, what are your thoughts?

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