When it came to smartphone lenses, I must admit I was a sceptic. My previous experiences had been disappointing: lenses wouldn’t quite live up to the marketing hype, they’d be finicky to use and would often result in poor image-quality. Enter Limelens to change all that.
Since I got my hands on the Limelens set for the Gear Guide, out now in the October 2016 issue, I am now a believer. It’s been a bit of a change for me, carrying my cellphone around on hikes to take images. Social media has become a lot more fun and interactive; before, I’d hardly ever post. Now, I’ve actually been looking forward to sharing more images in places like Instagram.
Limelens is made by a small, friendly company here in South Africa. They are a great team- from marketing, packaging and instructions, to feedback and support. The lens set consists of The Thinker (dual wide-angle and macro lens) and The Captain (fisheye lens), and retails for R649. Lenses can be used with over 52 devices, and counting. They are easy to attach: choose the correct clip, stick it beneath your camera and pop in the lens of choice. My only qualm is that while the lenses come on easily, they also go off easily. They won’t fall off while they are in use by any means, it’s just that if you put your cellphone in your pocket with the lens attached, it might get bumped off. Make sure the lens is clear and free of fingerprints: included in the set is a microfibre cloth.
The Thinker unscrews to form both a general wide-angle lens, and a macro lens with 10x macro capability. The macro lens has to be my favourite: that magnification is quite crazy when you actually see it in action! Focusing at that small level of detail is hit-and-miss at times, so choose subjects that are out of the breeze or solid enough to not be affected by it. Next favourite is definitely The Captain: the 190° view makes for some wow images, especially of huge landscapes. The vignette effect in the images below was a side-effect of my camera’s housing and normally doesn’t appear in images, but I quite like it.
Here are some of my favourite photos taken with the Limelens set. Take a look at their website for more information and to order your own/gift a friend or family member.
Get hold of our Ultimate Gear Guide in the October 2016 issue of Getaway magazine: 21 extra pages with all of our favourite new hiking, camping and overlanding gear.
All prices correct at publication, but are subject to change. Please check with them before booking or buying.