When MPOW asked if I wanted to get a look at their lenses I was skeptical but intrigued. Smartphones have become the camera that you have and despite the fact that they even the best unit’s can’t match a DSLR they’re what everyone uses. No matter how good a camera lens Apple, Samsung or Google put on their devices it’s only one lens for every situation. The Mpow lenses are a simple way to give more flexibility. The pack comes with two padded clips and three lenses that screw into them. They’re made of a heavy black metal and feel like ‘full scale’ camera lenses that have just been shrunk. There is one fish eye lens and one unit that can be either a 10x macro lens or a .65x wide angle lens. They screw onto the clip and the clip goes over the phone and you settle it carefully over your camera’s lens.
It holds on securely but with padded feet I wasn’t worried about the phone screen or lens getting scratched. The results varied from the brilliant to the odd. I took most of the pictures in my testing (including all below) with a Samsung Galaxy S7.
The 10x macro lens produced great images from about an inch away provided the subject was very well lit. The fisheye needed to be perfectly lined up on the smartphone lens and the S7 had great difficulty focusing – given the choice it picked one point to focus on then another then back to the first repeatedly. If you hit the focus and took the picture at just the right moment this wasn’t a problem and the picture turned out well. The wide lens also had some issues with focusing but did appreciably increased the scene shown in the final pictures.
Price: ± £10 (RRP £14)
MPOW are a Chinese company that focuses on Bluetooth smartphone and tablet accessories. Their corporate design objective is to focus on simplicity and usability rather than overwhelm with features.
The kit consists of several parts. Two clips which hold the lenses in place, one connected macro and wide lens and one separate fish eye lens. They all come with lens caps and protects and a small soft bag.
Environment & People
For £10 you get a three well made and compact lenses for your phone. They might not match up to a DSLR but they add a little flexibility to the already probably great camera in your pocket.
Product dimensions (assembled): 2.8 x 5.8 x 2.4 cm
Maximum distance from edge: 3cm
Lens types: 0.65X Wide angle, 10X Macro and 180 degree Fisheye
Weight (total, 2 clips three lens): 43.5g
Colour: Grey black
A camera phone where the lens is less than 3cm from the edge and which has a maximum lens size of 13mm diameter. The clip opens to a maximum width of just over 2cm. I was able to make them hold to phones, laptops or tablets. The clip holds best on on a phone which has a flat camera as opposed to one with a protruding camera but you can persuade it to work even if there is a bump..
The Mpow Lens kit is a compact and simple way to add an extra degree of flexibility and a new perspective to your photographs. They’re light enough to add to your bag for the times where they will work well. If you’re a professional photographer you’re not going to be able to get the performance out of these that you would out of your full up DSLR but for the dedicated Instagramer or someone just looking for something different they’re perfect. Our five year old had particular fun with the the 10X macro lens that opened a whole new world to her. Recommended.
The review is based on the Mpow 3 in 1 Clip-On 180 Degree lenses kindly provided by Mpow. This article was first published on 11th October 2016.