Take Better Travel Photos With These Phone Camera Lens Kits
One of the effects the rise of social media has had on the way we travel is that we’ve become a lot more focused on the images we take and post on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. Even if you’re not looking to rack up likes and new followers, you’d probably still want to share an image that’s visually appealing and that shows how beautiful your surroundings are.
And while DSLR cameras have become increasingly affordable, they are still bulky and heavy. Plus, they do require a certain level of technical photography skills such as figuring out the best exposure/aperture/shutter speed combination for every shot. The simple truth is that snapping a photo with your smartphone is much faster and easier, and this is what most travelers use.
Related: The Best Photo Gear for Travelers
So if you are looking to up your picture-taking game, smartphone lens kits are here to help you. We spoke to longtime Seattle-based lifestyle and adventure photographer Kyle Ford who has been shooting with different smartphone lenses for years and asked him what to look for when picking a lens.
“Your photos are only as good the worst lens,” he said. “Meaning, if you put a cheap filter or piece of glass in front of your camera it will lower the quality of the best lenses.” So for Ford, the most important factor when choosing a lens kit is the quality of the glass and the build.
“In practice, cheap lens build will easily break and if they don't, the optics may move causing focus and image quality issues. If the glass quality is lacking, images will be foggy or soft,” Ford added.
Smartphone lens kits usually include multiple lenses that will help you take better photos in different situations: a wide-angle lens is for landscapes, a micro lens for close-up shots, and a fisheye lens which distorts the photo in a spherical way. Ultimately, a good quality lens will result in minimum vignetting and distortion around the edges of your shots.
Now, shop our favorite lens kits that are compatible with multiple smartphone brands.
Xenvo Camera Lens Pro
This kit consists of macro and wide-angle lenses, plus a rechargeable LED light. Made from aluminum and premium optical glass, the lenses have an anti-reflective coating that minimizes lens flare and ghosting. They are compatible with iPhone, Android, and Samsung smart phones.
To buy: amazon.com, $33
Olloclip Core Lens Set
This interchangeable lens kit for iPhone 7/7 Plus and 8/8 Plus has a compact, lightweight design and unlike most lenses covers both the front and back cameras. The kit comes with three easy-to-mount lenses — wide-angle, fisheye, and macro — as well as three wearable pendants to attach to your keychain for easy access.
To buy: amazon.com, $100
Amir 3-in-1 Lens Kit
This kit leads the best-seller list on Amazon for a couple of very good reasons — it is compatible with practically all smart phone models and the high-quality glass reduces glare and ghosting while delivering absolutely beautiful photos.
To buy: amazon.com, $12
AUKEY Ora Wide Angle and Macro Clip-on Camera Lens
This kit comes with macro and wide-angle lenses that can also be screwed together for an impressively clear 120-degree view. The lenses are crafted from aluminum alloy and are compatible with iPhone 5, 6, 7, 8, Samsung, Google Pixel, LG, and other Android devices.
To buy: amazon.com, $30