Add-on smart-phone lenses

August 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Shooting a photo with your smart phone is incredibly convenient. But smart phones don't take close-ups or wide-angle shots. New add-on lenses aim to change that.

Consumer Reports tested two new brands of add-on lenses to see whether they're picture-perfect. The Olloclip costs $70, and it's a 3-in-1 lens for the iPhone 4 and 4S. You fit it over the iPhone's lens.

Also tested - add-on lenses from Photojojo that work with iPhones and several Android phones where the lens is flush with the phone. The lenses cost about $20 each. To use them, you attach a ring on your phone with adhesive. The lenses attach to the ring magnetically.

Consumer Reports found that the ring sometimes came off the phone when the lens was removed. And there was another drawback with both brands. The lenses cover the phones' flash, so the flash doesn't work.

But in good light, testers found that the Olloclip and the Photojojo lenses can take some beautiful pictures. The close-up shots and video of flowers in particular were stunning.

The upshot - Consumer Reports says that those lenses can definitely expand a smart-phone camera's capability.