olloclip's new 4-in-1 Photo Lens kit for the iPhone 6/6P uses a new design that fits over both the FaceTime (front) and iSight (rear) cameras at the same time. A small adjustment is required for the iPhone 6 Plus. The system includes wide-angle, fisheye, 10x and 15x macro lenses.
Followers of this company know that there's been a special olloclip lens kit going back to the iPhone 4, and the design has been pretty much the same. The squarish profile of those iPhones and the relatively poor front facing camera meant that it made sense to only clip onto the corner of the older iPhones and provide an accessory lens for the rear facing camera.
There are many interesting things about this new lens kit for the iPhone 6 family and that's the focus of this review. I won't try to compare, in detail, the optics across generations. (However, newbies to this lens system should be prepared for some serious curvature of field with the macro lenses. That's normal.) Instead, I'm going to evaluate the new physical design.
This new generation has offset lenses that can cover the iPhone 6 (pretty good) front facing camera lens as well as the exceptional 8 Megapixel rear facing camera lens at the same time, even though that lens protrudes slightly from the back of the iPhone.
In addition to being able to flip between the two cameras with a touch of the iPhone's display, the former, unsettling illusion that something weird was happening when the optical axes were lined up but the iPhone sat in between the lenses is gone. Despite the intriguiing appearance, the former design was compact and effective.
Because there is only one kit, designed to work with both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, one must slide the assembly a few millimeters to switch between cameras on the iPhone 6 Plus. This is unlike the operation on the iPhone 6 where no sliding is necessary and is a serious compromise.
A bit awkward looking, but it fits and works well.
Next: A Closer Look