XCSource 4-lens kit for Smartphone

The camera I will always have on hand is the one on my iPhone. However, I have found the 29mm focal length of the lens on this camera very limiting, as it is often too wide for me. And with only 8 megapixels to crop into, it does not given much leeway for that either. Hence I decided to buy some lens kits to use with my iPhone.The first to arrive was the XCSource 4-in-1 lens kit. This comes with 4 different lenses: 0.67x wide angle, 180 degree fish-eye, 2x telephoto and a macro lens (the macro lens is the first part of the two part 0.67x wide angle lens). Cost: £5.99 on Amazon.co.uk

XCSource smartphone lens kit
XCSource smartphone lens kit
Comes with instructions
Comes with instructions

The kit came with the lenses, 3 packets of ring adapters and instructions. So there should be one which fits the smartphone you want to use it on. Interestingly the ones with a slight notch to the side were too small for my iPhone 6 plus, hence I used the round one instead.

As you place the lens onto the magnetic ring, it can be adjusted until it is well centered – i.e. it does not just click into one position. This is good for me as I did not want the ring to stick out too much from the edge of my iPhone, hence I’ve fixed it asymmetrically (see below).

Magnetic ring mounted onto iPhone 6 plus (just about flush with the protruding camera lens)
Magnetic ring mounted onto iPhone 6 plus (just about flush with the protruding camera lens)

Each individual lens come with magnetic rear lens covers and a loop of string, presumably to allow for the lenses to be fixed to something such as a belt or within a bag. There is also a front lens cap for each lens to protect the optical element.

Rear of lenses
Rear of lenses with the magnetic rear lens cover with loop of string
3 lenses with their lens caps and magnetic rear lens cover with string loop
3 lenses with their lens caps on

The first impressions are that the lenses are small and light and will not be any trouble to bring around when you are out and about.  And despite that, they do look well constructed and optics appear to be multicoated. The lens covers slip on the front and is fairly tight, so should not fall off too easily (and be lost). But it still comes off reasonably easily when needed.

Telephoto 2x, fish-eye and wide-angle lenses
Telephoto 2x, fish-eye and wide-angle lenses
Wide-angle lens split into its two component parts
Wide-angle lens split into its two component parts

I mainly bought this set for the telephoto 2x lens, which will make the iPhone 6 plus camera lens 58mm focal length – better for portraits etc. But I am also very pleased to have a macro lens as well, as it allows for subjects to be up close and only about 2 to 3cm away from the iPhone. I probably will not use the fish-eye lens, but it is an interesting lens to give a completely different look to the images.

Telephoto lens mounted on iPhone 6 plus
Telephoto lens mounted on iPhone 6 plus

You do need to ensure the lens is well centered on the camera (best way is to ensure that the image on the phone looks evenly sharp in all the corners), as it may not correlate with being well centered relative to the iPhone camera.

Try and ensure the lens is entered when mounted prior to shooting
The lens is entered on the iPhone camera, but it is recommended to see how the image looks on the screen as well
Fish-eye lens
Fish-eye lens

So the lenses look to be well made. But will they perform?

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