iPro Lenses, A Whole New Way Of iPhone Photography

There is an old saying, “the best camera is the one you have with you.”

 

As a photographer I have had the odds stacked in my favour for years rarely leaving my house without two SLR cameras and a kit of lenses allowing me to shoot the vast majority of what I wanted the way I wanted. Over the past year I have begun challenging myself to see differently, turning towards a format I developed a healthy dislike for … square format … utilizing Instagram.

 

While I embraced the uncomfortable format of Instagram and challenged myself trying to shoot at my local beach a few days a week, and began slowly picking up my iPhone instead of a ‘real camera’ as I ventured out in the world, I was constantly missing something. The tools I desired to make visual choices I wanted were eluding me until I happened upon the iPro Lens system from Schneider Optics.

 

Schneider’s iPro Lens system is just that, a system. The iPro Lens kit includes three basic lenses, a wide-angle lens, 2x telephoto and fisheye. Lenses are secured to the iPhone via a dedicated case that locks the lenses onto the phone and offers as a standard tripod socket. Lenses are stored in stacked cylinder that serves a number of functions. The storage cylinder acts as a tripod extension as well as a handle for shooting a poor-mans Steady-Cam video with the iPhone.

 

Are the iPro Lenses a replacement for a set of Canon EOS 5D bodies with a 16-35f2.8 ad 70-200f2.8?  Not even close, nor can it even replace a Canon G11 point-n-shoot. Shooting with these lenses is an entirely different type of shooting, but it is a lot of fun.

 

For the past month I have put myself to the challenge of entirely shedding my DSLRs and G11 point & shoot (although out of habit I still toss the G11 in my bag) doing all my shooting with an iPhone, primarily with the iPro Lenses.

 

Early on as a photographer I was fought “know your tools, know what your tools can do, know your tools limits.” The experience of learning to truly use my iPhone as a camera, exploring its limits and the possibilities opened up by the iPro Lens kit has been fantastic both technically and creatively.

 

For disclosure, while iPro Lens sent me a basic kit, at my request, to play with, I loved using it so much I purchased the additional 2x telephoto lens and have held off on upgrading to the iPhone 5 specifically because of the iPro Lens kit’s iPhone 5 case will not be available until early May of this year.

 

Below are two photos of the iPro Lens lit and a mix of lenses shot with the wide angle, telephoto and fisheye in Instagram.

 

Happy Flying!

 

@flyingwithfish

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. I am in a situation similar to yours. I find myself taking more photos with my iphone than with my actual cameras. When I first got into Instagram, I felt the same way you did. As a filmmaker, I lean to the most horizontal aspect ratios. The more time I spent with the app though, the more I didn’t just ACCEPT the 1:1 ratio, I came to EMBRACE it, and even be EXCITED by it. It gives you a chance to explore a whole new compositional experience – and break out of the framing tropes we’ve been taught our whole creative lives. I initially got a lot of “that looks Kubrickian” comments on my Instagram photos. This is interesting, because no one would ever name him anything less than a master of the photographed image, and his preferred aspect ratio was 1:1.66
    None of this means anything, of course – just fun to think about.

  2. I had similar reservations as well. Have you tried Hipstamatic? It’s similar to Instagram except there is no post editing You choose your camera lens, film, and flash to digitally recreate the old hipster type cameras of days of yore. So you really need to work at it to understand which lenses work well with which films, lighting conditions, etc. Often times pictures have borders as well, so you need to compose the shot correctly the first time as cropping may not work out. It’s been a great challenge for me, and with all these variables that need consideration I don’t feel like it’s “cheating.”

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