Ztylus Z-Prime Lens Kit review: Wide-angle and telephoto iPhone lenses perform solidly for the price

These lenses are a good compromise of price and image quality.

Z-Prime 2x Telephoto Lens.

Z-Prime 2x Telephoto Lens.

Credit: Ztylus
At a Glance
  • Ztylus Z-Prime Lens Kit

    Macworld Rating
    $129.99 MSRP $149.95
    View
    on Amazon

This article is part of our roundup of iPhone camera lenses.

The Ztylus Z-Prime Lens Kit (version 2) ($150 MSRP; $130 on Amazon) packs a wallop, combining two solid mid-range lenses with a great rigid case into which they rotate and lock. The Super Wide Angle Lens (18mm equivalent) and Telephoto Lens (60mm equivalent) aren’t perfect, but they’re quite good, and especially so given the overall system’s price. 

The marketing materials tout a multi-element lens, and rightly so. Unlike others that are only slightly cheaper, the Z-Prime wide-angle and telephoto manage to eliminate nearly all chromatic aberration, so the colors remain crisp across the entire image. There’s also no real distortion: straight lines in photos remain straight.

The trouble is at the far left and right edges in a landscape shot, which get a little fuzzy and blurry. It’s only about 10 percent on each side, so you won’t see in slightly cropped or square photos. If you need edge-to-edge perfection, opt for ExoLens, which costs over twice as much for a pair of the same lenses.

ztylus wide angle lens stock Ztylus

Z-Prime Telephoto Lens

Despite lacking a macro lens, the kit’s wide angle does a remarkable job of retaining sharpness at distances of just a few centimeters, and could suffice for many purposes.

The rigid case is in two pieces, which separate to insert the iPhone, and then snap back together with a thumbscrew to tighten into place. There’s a kickstand in the back that can be released and rotated 90 degrees. The lenses lock into a receiving bracket, and each have a locking mechanism with a release that has to be depressed to rotate them out and remove.

The system comes with a neat clip/keyring mount that let you lock them in place the same way you would on the back of the case, and keep the back lens protected. The lens covers are also nifty. There’s a small clip that, when pressed, triggers the cover to spring open. But the entire cover mechanism is magnetically attached, and can be pulled gently off if you want the lens to remain exposed.

Wide-angle samples

Ztylus Z-Prime Lens wide-angle sample Glenn Fleishman

Ztylus Z-Prime Lens wide-angle sample.

Ztylus Z-Prime Lens wide-angle sample Glenn Fleishman

Ztylus Z-Prime Lens wide-angle sample.

Ztylus Z-Prime Lens wide-angle sample Glenn Fleishman

Ztylus Z-Prime Lens wide-angle sample.

Telephoto samples

Ztylus Z-Prime Lens telephoto sample Glenn Fleishman

Ztylus Z-Prime Lens telephoto sample

Ztylus Z-Prime Lens telephoto sample Glenn Fleishman

Ztylus Z-Prime Lens telephoto sample.

Ztylus Z-Prime Lens telephoto sample Glenn Fleishman

Ztylus Z-Prime Lens telephoto sample.

Bottom line

The Z-Prime lenses edge problems make it hard to recommend for professional pursuits, but for everything just short of that, it’s an easy pick with the combination of price and quality.

To comment on this article and other Macworld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating
    $129.99 MSRP $149.95
    View
    on Amazon

    Pros

    • Superb lens cover and attachment design
    • Robust case with rotating kickstand
    • Excellent mid-range lenses

    Cons

    • No macro option
    • Noticeable blurring at far edges
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.