The Olloclip is a Multi-Purpose Clip-on Lens for Your iPhone

By , May 12, 2011

It’s no secret that the iPhone is the most popular camera in the world. The new iPhone 4’s 5 MP shooter is pretty solid when it comes to mobile phone cameras, but unlike standalone picture-takers, it doesn’t have many options to tweak. There’s no white balance or shutter settings, and no interchangeable lenses.

Patrick O’Neil and Chong Pak are looking to change that with their olloclip accessory. The tiny lens just slides on your iPhone 4, instantly giving you the ability to shoot fisheye, wide angle, and macro photos…

While there are certainly applications that can apply filters to photos to achieve similar effects, the olloclip provides these options in realtime. Want to take a a closeup shot? Just unscrew the top wide-angle lens off of the olloclip to reveal the macro lens, it can increase zoom up to 10X.

Currently the olloclip is just a concept, the inventors are seeking funding through Kickstarter in order to start production. Surprisingly, the previous add-on lens project we reported on by the name of GoPano has received over $150,000 in pledges. Will olloclip be just as successful?

The project has raised $2,417 so far. They need to hit $15,000 by Jun. 6 in order for their project to be funded. If you pledge $45 or more, you are basically pre-ordering the olloclip for the iPhone 4. Not a bad deal as they expect the product to retail for close to $60.

The accessory is compatible with all of your favorite iPhone camera apps and will start shipping in August if the product gets funded.

What do you think? Are you going to grab an olloclip?

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  • Andrew

    Doesn’t it have a very big problem? Almost everyone has their iPhone in a case – won’t that prevent it from working? A bit of a pain if you have to remove the case every time to use it…..

  • http://rulethenation.com Pukka

    I prefer this idea then having to have a special case with a lens attachment. Not a bad idea just way over priced. 45$ for a little lens are you nuts.

  • Fabio Rodrigues

    Its a cool project, but I’ll stick with Andrews about the design to use just with no case, take the case out every time I need to shoot a pic its a waaaay non convenient, when I am in a concert I use to to take my phone out of my pocket several times to take pictures, I can’t imagine myself take the case off every time I want to take a shoot

  • http://www.olloclip.com Patrick O’Neill

    Thanks so much for taking the time to write about our project. It has been a fantastic experience creating a very high quality product with an innovative design that solves a problem that until now had involved double stick tape and magnets.

    A couple of points I would like to clarify. No app can create a real fisheye image, the iPhone 4 camera has about a 60 degree field of view and that is all you will ever capture. The olloclip fisheye lens has about a 180 degree field of view and captures an image that is closer to what a human eye sees, it makes some amazing pictures.

    The olloclip will be shipping at the end of June, we are getting a lot of buzz and are very confident that we will meet our funding goal.

    I am also not sure that everyone realizes that the olloclip is a 3-in-1 lens system. It is fisheye, wide-angle & macro in one pocketable package. It is made using precision ground multi-element optics and aircraft grade aluminum that has been cut using a CNC from billet. Then there is the custom iPhone 4 integration. This product has been very expensive to design and produce, it is an amazing value at $45. If we decide to sell it via a retail channel the price will have to be much higher, kickstarter is a fantastic platform that allows us to bring this product to you at a great price.

    Kind Regards,

    Patrick O’Neill

    Inventor of the olloclip

    • Andrew

      Thanks Patrick – but what about the case case problem?

      Anderw

  • http://www.olloclip.com Patrick O’Neill

    Andrew we covered that in the FAQ, (click the kickstarter link at the top of the page to see it) I will give some more detail on it.

    Good photography requires some effort and there are tradeoffs we make in life on a daily basis.

    If you are going to carry your DSLR and 3 lenses that is a hassle.

    The olloclip fits in your pocket and you only have to pull it out if you want to take a cool picture. You can continue to snap away with your normal lens for your normal pictures.

    Once you try the olloclip you will love the creative freedom it allows without dragging a backpack full of very expensive DSLR lenses.

    Thanks again for your support.

    Patrick O’Neill

    Inventor of the olloclip

    • QuarterSwede

      I was in agreement with everyone else but that is a really good point. We really need to think about it as much more convenient than a DSLR plus lenses. I’d bet Lisa Bettany (of Camera+ among many other Photog things) would grab these and promote them. http://mostlylisa.com/

      • Andrew

        I’m afraid the answer misses the point. The Olliclip is not a replacement for a DSLR – that is ridiculous. It is a replacement for the little snappy camera you might otherwise have in your pocket. True, the snappy camera doesn’t have a fisheye but then anyone who really wants fisheye pictures is going to use a decent lens on a decent camera.

        My point was that the reality is that this gadget will appeal to people who just want to play around a bit. They are not going to be carrying an SLR. Equally, they are going to tire of having to remove that case every time.

        I don’t want to rain on the Olliclip’s parade but I’m just not sure it’s really been thought through. I hope I’m wrong!

  • atkinson62

    This is a very cool idea that I am sure will take off at some point. I don’t have a case on my iPhone cause for one they don’t do anything for the reception problem and two if you are going to drop your phone the tumbling around will hurt something anyway. Most of the people i know also don’t have a case either. I always hate carrying my DSLR around. The ability to change lenses is easy but to buy them is very expensive. To have something for a small fraction of the cost that has 3 lenses is something I would want since I carry my phone with me at all times and not my DSLR. I can see future 3in1 lenses coming out as well once this product releases. I mean to be honest no one thought the iPad was going to have a good release either and look at it now. Everyone makes trade offs to have something. If you want this then you will stop putting a case on your phone if you want one.

  • Yataman

    I used to wear nikon with additional lenses (fisheye, wide angle, 50mm etc) but when I want to make the picture quickly I just use iPhone 4 and my friends who are photographers (and don’t have iPhone) are amazed what can be done using just iPhone itself. I usually don’t need photos for print, mainly for internet. And I think this add-on is something very innovative and it will be a hit. They’ve already passed the goal sum (over $22.597 atm and growing) and I can’t wait to receive one ;-) But it doesn’t mean I’m going to put away my nikon on the shelf.

  • http://www.bombaymerijaan.in iNkman_

    Both Andrew and Patrick are right in making their own respective points.
    However, necessity is the mother of invention. So if the Olloclip gathers a critical mass of users, it is not too far fetched an idea for case-makers to make iphone cases that accomodate for clip-on lenses [top corner 1"x1" case section sliding off to accomodate for the lens sliding on - sounds easy when you think of it. there are already iphone-cases in which the bottom 1/3rd slides off.]
    Seeing as the iPhone has much to offer in creative imaging with apps like Hipstamatic, I for one will not hesitate to bear the case-on / case-off hassle, for what could transpire into some very rewarding pictures.
    Bravo Olloclip! You had my $45 in the first 45 seconds of your kickstarter video.