Smartphone photography has come a long way over the years. It doesn’t matter if you have the Samsung Galaxy S7, HTC 10, or a OnePlus 3 – the smartphone you use can typically take decent shots. The fixed focal length on most smartphones allow you to capture the majority of the scene right in front of you, but if you’ll looking to capture a wider shot, there’s always the option of using a smartphone lens add-on which can give you a wider or narrower view of your subject.
The good folks at Limelens were kind enough to send us their smartphone lens set which includes a 190-degree wide angle lens and a dual purpose lens which can capture 10x macro shots and 0.63x wide angle shots.
Slide the Limelens into place without even looking. Smartphone lens add-ons have been around for a while, but the LimeLens is a bit different than the lenses you may already be familiar with. Rather than using a removable clip to hold the lens in place, Limelens supplies a clip mount which attaches to the back of your phone to hold the lens. This means you can slide your Limelens of choice into place and snap a picture without having to fiddle with the lens placement as you do with other add-on lens alternatives.
Three lenses wrapped into two. The Limelens set is a bit deceiving. When you open the storage case, you’re presented with two lenses. However, the smaller 0.63x wide-angle lens actually incorporates a separate macro lens which is revealed when you unscrew the top of the lens from the base.
Extreme portability. While other smartphone lens add-ons which are connected to their clip can easily break in your pocket, carrying around the two Limelenses is extremely convenient. The storage case is larger than it needs to be, but the lenses themselves will be perfectly safe in your pocket or bag since they come with front and rear lens caps.
Incredible macro shots. Smartphones are great for taking close-up photos and videos, but they usually can’t focus on items closer than three inches from their lens. With the 10x macro Limelens in place, your smartphone will be able to focus on subjects which are roughly one inch away from the phone.
Limelens shot comparisons
The Limelens clip in an eye sore. Yes, the permanent clip on the back of your phone makes it extremely easy and fast to get the Limelens into place without having to fiddle with its alignment, but that also means the bright green clip is also stuck to the back of your phone. The clip can be removed and reattached a few times, but the adhesive will eventually lose its stickiness and you may end up with an add-on lens kit that you can no longer use.
Wide angle add-on lenses are never that good. If you attach the 190-degree wide angle lens to your smartphone, don’t be surprised if your images turn out a bit fuzzy – especially along the edges. This issue isn’t specific to the Limelens since I’ve experienced it with other wide angle add-on lenses over the years. The lens is still great for capturing unique shots, but don’t expect crystal clear results.
Add-on smartphone lenses are fun to play with, and the Limelens is no exception. The three different lenses included in the kit offer great versatility and the unique Limelens attachment clip makes the system extremely portable. If you’re willing to live with the Limelens clip permanently attached to the back of your phone, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t choose it over other add-on lens alternatives.