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.