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Review: Photojojo Fisheye lens for Android devices

HTC One Fisheye Lens DSC09924

As our smartphones become more powerful and versatile, many have turned to their go-to camera device and with good reason. It’s been said many times over that the best camera is the one you currently have on you — something I believe wholeheartedly. It wasn’t too long ago I came across these attachable lenses for mobile devices and became intrigued. Taking photos on your smartphone with cool software filters is all good and dandy, but did you know you can further expand the functionality of your smartphone camera, turning it into a sort of mini-mirrorless interchangeable lens camera? It’s true (kinda).

Recently, I came across these tiny fisheye, macro/wide angle, and telephoto lenses from Photojojo, and ever since I received my HTC One, I’ve been dying to try them out. Because the HTC One already features a wide angle lens and is capable of some pretty sweet macro shots, I opted only for the fisheye.

HTC One Fisheye Lens DSC09933

Each lens is magnetized and comes inside Photojojo’s packaging (you can buy similar un-branded lenses from Amazon for much cheaper), along with thin metal washers with adhesive on one side, to stick to your smartphone. The washers are used so that your magnetized lens will stay put on your phone and I should point out that these washers wont work on every smartphone, as Android camera holes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and protrusions. For the HTC One, they not only fit perfectly, they match the silver version to a tee. The washers are also thin enough that they don’t interfere with cases, something I would have had a huge problem with otherwise (whew).

HTC One fisheye lens

Before (left), after (right)

The Good

As you can see from the above comparison — the left picture being a normal, uncropped shot from the One and the right after the lens has been attached — the fisheye lens does exactly what it advertises. Sure, you begin to lose some details along the edges (where things get really distorted) but that’s to be expected. These are meant for quick snapshots to have fun with, taking interesting pictures of your friends, family or environments in ways you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise (you hipsters, you). Yes, there are some black corners you’ll have to put up with, but those can be easily cropped out. While you wont get the full “fisheye” effect from a crop, it does create a super wide angle 16mm lens equivalent (or close enough) and from your smartphone no less.

The Bad

HTC One Fisheye Lens DSC09932

The washers aren’t anodized, so they wont match the finish on many smartphones and can be a bit of an eyesore when they don’t. In fact, there’s a good chance these wont even fit on your smartphone, depending on the make. Also, the lens doesn’t stick as nicely to the “universal” washer, as it does the iPhone-specific one, which means if you’re not careful, your lens could fall to the pavement and shatter. Something to definitely be careful of. Video with the fisheye lens provides for some interesting results. Of course, the black corners in the video can’t be easily cropped out making it a little less practical for everyday use but in combination with some gif apps, or Vine, could be fun none the less.

Verdict

Even for $20, I’m still more than happy with my purchase. The lens gave me exactly the result I was looking for, adding to the range of shots I could squeeze out of my smartphone. The fact that Amazon offers all 3 lenses for under $10 makes this an almost instant buy for anyone even remotely interested in outfitting their smartphone with some sweet glass. It goes without saying that these lenses aren’t going to be for everyone, but for those that love capturing the world around them in fun new ways — even with their smartphone — I think you’re going to love ‘em.

[Photojojo $50 for all 3 (appox $20 individually) | Amazon $10 for all 3]

Continue reading on the HTC One forums, see the specs, or find news and reviews.




  • Jack

    beautiful

  • Jeremy Dela Cruz

    I’ve been using the Photojojo lenses with my Galaxy Nexus for a while and they’re great! I was just thinking the other day how it might work on the One since it has a slightly curved back. Looks like there’s no problem!

    • Josh Flowers

      interested in purchasing one; mind a few questions? (if no = blast it all, if yes = proceed)
      1) does the lens fit nicely with a phone case?
      2) tried any really weird photospheres yet?
      3) good connection for the magnet or do you have to be careful how fast you turn the phone as it’s attached?

      • Jeremy Dela Cruz

        1. I used it with a Mercury TPU case and a Qubits snap on case. Both allowed the lens to attach, but not as securely as it would without a case (which is how I ended up using it).
        2. In my experience the distortion of the lenses did not bode well with Photosphere. The effect I got wasn’t to my liking so I never used it after the first try.
        3. Like I said in #1, you may want to take extra care when using with a case. Without a case, I think you’ll be fine. The magnets are pretty freakin’ strong. You can dangle the lens an inch or so away and it’ll connect.

  • http://twitter.com/mjwhirly Matthew Woehrle

    Love how adventure time is in the background :-)

  • Chrisrj8084

    Wow Chris you must have a really good job as you make a lot of mobile related purchases

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      I also live in my parent’s basement. O_o

      • http://www.facebook.com/MartinSequoiaRafferty Martin Rafferty

        He also works for a mobile related field. I hope he would spend his personal cash on mobile related tech. CHRIS WHY R THERE SO MANY H8′ers?

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          *dusts shoulders off*

      • http://twitter.com/fightcrazy Vinny

        Nothing wrong with that, both my parents have passed away, stay with them as long as you can, you will never regret it.

    • ClayRogers

      You don’t think he actually bought those do you?

  • bob

    LOL!!! This is nothing more then a 50 cent Chinese lens with a bad brand name attached to it. You can buy this same lens in wholesale orders of 100 for only a few bucks more then they sell one lens for.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Orrrrrr… you can get all 3 lenses via Amazon for $10 like was already stated in the post.

      • JustinCrouch

        THIS

  • Guest

    I still don’t understand the need for a fisheye lens. I’ve never thought “I wish everything was distorted so it’s harder to tell what’s happening.”

  • Guest

    I bought the full 4 lens set on AliBaba for €12 and they work beautifully on my ASUS Padfone 2.

  • http://www.martian-imperium.com/ Lokifish Marz

    As a former photog, 16mm is generally full frame with a diagonal field of view of 180 degrees. If this adapter had that I buy it for sure.

  • Brian S.

    I was wondering attachable lenses would come out for phones. This is at least showing that the idea is out there and people are trying.

    I think making the phone a little thicker and having the lenses able to be screwed in would make this product much better; it would require some cooperation from the OEMs though.

    Oooooooooor they could just make a special case with the threaded area around the camera hole on the case.

  • disqusroadpizza

    “kinda”