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Fully Focused: Lenses for iPhones good alternative to heavy, expensive equipment

Columnist Lauren Bacho discusses a substitution for hauling around weighty camera equipment.

Being a photographer constantly has me weighed down with equipment. My camera bag weighs about 40 pounds with all of my gear in it. Since I’m not extremely buff, carrying all of this stuff is a huge struggle for me. I have looked into getting pancake lenses, but since those are mostly prime lenses I would need a whole bunch of them, which doesn’t exactly solve the weight problem.

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But the cool thing about technology is that people are inventing smaller camera gear every day. My current obsession are external lenses for iPhones. Since I got my iPhone 6 this summer, I’ve been extremely impressed with the photo quality on it. These external lenses increase it even more. They’re also a lot smaller then my huge camera lenses. I already treat my iPhone like a second camera body and having lenses for it would make it even more like an actual big DSLR camera.

I believe very strongly in the idea that you don’t need extremely fancy equipment to make good photos. It’s about the photographer’s ability more then it is about the gear. However, having toys to play with is always more fun than using the basic stuff. At the moment, I desperately want a wide angle lens for my iPhone. Being able to pull a lense out of my pocket and clip it onto my iPhone is a lot easier than having to dig through my camera bag to grab all of my bulky equipment. Since the technology exists for me to be able to use smaller items to take great photos of course I’m going to try to take advantage of that.

Unfortunately, I don’t have first hand experience using external iPhone lenses, but some of my friends have them and I’ve seen great work made with them. I’ve seen a lot of good videos made with external lenses. It gives it a different look than the basic iPhone lense and it’s a higher quality final product. Honestly, the convenience of these small lenses is why I’m so fascinated with them.

As a millennial, I do enjoy instant gratification, which is why having lenses for my iPhone would make life even easier. I can skip the extensive time commitment of importing my photos to a computer, editing them, reducing the size and then emailing them to myself. With the iPhone lenses I can take cool photos and then have them social media ready immediately.

So for all the not-photog photogs out there who like taking photos but don’t have the money for the big camera equipment, or if you’re like me and you’re just too weak to carry all of your equipment, get some iPhone lenses. They’re on my very long list of cool gadgets to add to my camera collection.

Lauren Bacho is a sophomore studying photojournalism and a photo editor for The Post. Do you think iPhone lenses are useful? Tweet her @Visual_Bacho or email her at

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