Apple has ambitious plans for mobile photography – the company takes it very seriously indeed. Every iPhone on the market has an exceptional rear-facing camera, and the 11 Pro range has three lenses to further enhance the photographic capabilities on offer.
But whether or not you’ve got one of the latest handsets, there are plenty of ways you can improve your iPhone photography and enhance your iPhone camera. In this article we explore some brilliant lenses that take things to the next level.
You can also get better smartphone photos if you choose a good
iPhone tripod. And for non-product-based ways to take better photos with your smartphone, take a look at our
iPhone photography tips.
ShiftCam MultiLens Case
ShiftCam’s MultiLens case provides a smattering of extra lenses for your iPhone in a handy shifting camera system, meaning there’s no need to unscrew and carry lenses around separately. It’s a compact, no faff option compared to other options in our roundup that allows you to quickly switch between lenses during shoots.
The lenses you get access to depend on the iPhone you have: standard iPhone 11 owners get access to a circular Polarizer lens alongside a 10x Macro and 180° Fisheye, while iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max owners get an additional 20x Macro and 4x Telephoto to play with.
You’ve also got the option of attaching one of a range of
ProLens Series lenses to the case, all of which are available to buy separately from ShiftCam. If you’re serious about your iPhone-ography, this is a good place to start.
A professional thermal imaging camera can cost you anything from a few hundred pounds to a few thousand, and not everybody has that sort of dough. This sits at the affordable end of that range.
Built for outdoor use, the
CompactXR will turn your iPhone into a fully functioning thermal imaging camera. It sports a 20-degree field of view and picks up heat from 1,800 feet away. As well as letting you take super cool images as though you were James Bond, you can also create a personal tool to seek out intruders and animals in suspicious scenarios. It plugs straight into the handset. Nicholas Fearn
Virtual reality is taking over the world right now – although to make your own VR videos and stills, you’d normally need to get an expensive 360 camera. The
Insta360 Nano lets you shoot and live-stream HD virtual and panoramic media straight from your iPhone. It clips on to an iPhone 7/7S and iPhone 6 series. Additionally, it can be attached to a bike, helmet, drone or selfie stick.
Once you’ve created a film or image, you can convert the device into a VR viewer to experience your immersive masterpieces. Spec-wise, it sports two 210-degree fish-eye lenses, an 800mAh battery and a 64GB memory card slot. Nicholas Fearn
Olloclip makes a wide range of lenses for smartphones, but this lens set for the iPhone 7 and 8 (including Plus versions) is one of its flagship products. It’s portable and versatile, with fisheye, super-wide, and 15x Macro options, turning your iPhone into an infinitely more professional point-and-shoot.
The little lens is small enough to stick in your pocket but when attached to your iPhone open up the world in front of you to photograph.
If you want something more specific, Olloclip also has separate
Active (£99.99/$79.99) and
Macro Pro lens (£99.99), while if you have another iPhone check out the 4-in-1 lens sets for
iPhone 6 and 6s (£69.99/$23.95) or
5, 5s and SE (£37.46/US$39.99).
You can see Olloclip’s full collection of lenses
on its site including options for
iPhone XS and
iPhone XR lens options.
Olloclip for iPhone X
Olloclip also offers a range of lenses for the iPhone X that boasts an interesting new feature: an expanding mount, allowing compatibility with all screen protectors. Like the iPhone 8 solution, the Olloclip Mobile Photography Set clips onto your iPhone X, aligning with both your front- and rear-facing cameras at the same time.
Thanks to the Connect X lens system, the 180-degree fish-eye, 120-degree super-wide and macro 15x lenses can be swapped out and rotated in an instant (ideal for the dual camera setup). This also means that there’s a single accessory with no fiddly bits to look after.
Our only complaint? You have to take off your iPhone X case to attach the lenses and it doesn’t work with the flash.
If you have an iPhone XS or iPhone XR, you can use a designated
Connect X clip to attach an Olloclip’s lens.
Luxsure HD Universal Camera Lens
This is a very simple, budget option if you’re not quite sure you want to splash out on an iPhone camera lens. It’s pretty versatile, and should work with all smartphones provided the camera is in a position you can easily clip the lens in front of.
It comes with a 0.6x super wide-angle lens and a 15x Macro lens for use at close range. Both give great, easy results and might just draw you into a world of photography on the move.