I know a lot of people who take their iPhone photography seriously, and a number of them use the stock iPhone camera in all of its glory, while a select few use hardware lens attachments that can enhance the capabilities of their iPhone cameras beyond what software can.
In this review, we’ll show you a very affordable, yet high-quality 2-in-1 lens attachment option from Aukey called the Ora, which lets you experience both detailed macro shots and incredible wide angle shots.
For amateur iPhoneographers on a budget
Aukey is a great brand name for those who want quality without breaking the bank, and the 2-in-1 Ora lens system they have to offer is a tribute to that.
The unit itself comes in one piece, and can be disassembled once you open the box. There are two lens systems here, both of which achieve different goals. The macro lens lets you get up close and personal with objects where you want higher detail than the stock camera lens can pick up, while the wide-angle lens lets you cram more details into a single photograph.
The Ora system is designed to literally clamp to your iPhone without the need to adhere any attachment surfaces to your iPhone’s camera lens or to use a specific kind of case with lots or grooves for lens attachments.
That said, you don’t have to use a case you don’t really like and you don’t have to stick things to your iPhone itself, which is a huge plus for those of you that I know are truly picky about what you’ll use with your iPhones.
The wide-angle lens
The first of the two lens systems would be the wide-angle lens, which uses the power of optics to help cram more detail into a single photograph by increasing your field of view. It’s a 140º wide-angle, which gives you significantly more viewing power than the stock camera does.
As you can see, the lens is of high build quality, and the materials used are metal and glass, something you would expect for decent photography tools.
You’ll also see it has a clamp. What you do is you line up the lens with the camera lens on the back of your iPhone and you release the clamp, which holds it in place:
The clamp isn’t going to damage your device, so you don’t need to worry about that happening. It’s padded on the back of both sides so that nothing sharp or rigid comes in contact with your iPhone’s glass or aluminum surface. Rest assured, this accessory won’t scratch your iPhone up.
The results of the lens are quite impressive. You can see in the example below (stock iPhone left and Ora-equipped iPhone right) the difference that the lens makes in terms of field of view:
One thing that’s important to mention is vignetting is common with wide-angle lenses, and as a result if you’re not very careful with how you line up your lens, you might see some around the corners. That said, you may need to use photo-editing software post-photograph to clean them up a little bit.
The macro lens
By unscrewing the larger half of the lens from the unit, you get the macro lens, which allows for up to 10x more zoom with your iPhone’s camera and gives you additional magnification power.
It’s smaller, and therefore more lightweight than the wide-angle lens, which makes it easier for you to take around with you. Just like before, high-quality glass and metal materials make up the lens to make it durable.
For someone looking for detailed close-up shots, this is just the attachment you’re going to need. Even with the awesome camera powering the iPhone 7 Plus, a major improvement can be noticed with the Aukey Ora lens system:
Because protecting your lenses is important, Aukey includes a handy-dandy carrying bag, which is soft and will keep any surface of your lens attachment from getting scuffed.
More importantly, the lens system can be screwed back together for storage and a special lens cover is included for both sides of the lens system, which keeps the glass from being exposed during storage.
For those times where it may get dusty, a cleaning cloth is also included in the box.
For what you’re getting here, Aukey’s Ora lens system is fairly priced at just $25 on Amazon.
Here’s a short list of pros and cons for those who just want the TL;DR version:
- Very affordable
- High-quality build materials
- Increases photography capabilities
- Clamp system doesn’t require adherence or special cases
- Storage accessories included
- Works with all smartphones
- Heavier than most aftermarket smartphone lenses
- Manual alignment of the lens requires more patience than snap-on options
- Vignetting is common on the wide-angle lens
Overall, I would recommend the Ora lens to anyone who partakes in iPhone photography, or aspires to start soon. You really can’t go wrong with this price tag, and it’s a good starter kit.
What are your thoughts of the Aukey Ora 2-in-1 lens system? Share in the comments below!