CamKix Camera Lens Kit for iPhone 6 (12x telephoto, wide-angle, fisheye, tripod)

Rating: 5 out of 5
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This CamKix iPhone 6/6s photography kit is our recommended starting point if you want to take better pictures with your iPhone.
Pros
  • For lenses for almost every need
  • High quality construction
Cons
  • Only compatible with iPhone 6/6S
  • Slight image distortion with some lenses

Overview

High quality construction... check.

A range of lenses for every occasion... check.

And a tripod and unique screw-in mechanism to stabilize your phone... check.

These are just some of the reasons why this lens kit is SmartPhoneSnap's recomended starting point if you want to take better iPhone pictures. In fact, it's so awesome that you might find yourself leaving your fancy DSLR camera at home.

Tripod, universal phone holder, and phone case

Let's start with stabilization.

You've probably found that your iPhone's camera can take some pretty blurry photos. This usually occurs because you can't hold the phone steady enough. The solution is to support the phone, and this kit comes with two pieces of equipment that let you do this: a tripod and a universal phone holder.

The tripod is small enough to be portable, but large and heavy enough to provide a stable base for a phone. It has a standard tripod attachment so you could use it with any camera, although you would want to be careful that a larger camera (i.e. a DSLR) doesn't overbalance it. The telephoto lens actually comes with a separate attachment to connect it directly to the tripod, which improves the stability of the set-up when using this heavy lens.

To attach the tripod to the phone, CamKix provide a universal phone holder that can adjust to fit most devices. Although the lenses won't attach to a different phone, this means that you can still use this tripod with any device: your iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Windows phone, etc.

The kit also comes with a special case for your phone, which the lenses screw into. The brass screw attachment securely fastens the lenses to the phone, and allows this kit to take higher quality photos that clip-on lense. However, it does restrict the lenses to use with the case, and the case will only fit the iPhone 6/6s.

And fit it does. The case is slim and fits the iPhone like a glove. While its an excellent case in it's own right, it will not protect your iPhone as well as the most robust cases, so when you are not taking pictures, you may want to revert to your regular case if you are concerned about dropping or scratching the phone. Fortunately this case is easy to take on and off.

One downside of this case is that it covers the flash on the phone, so this kit won't be ideal for low light photography unless you have another light source.

Telephoto lens

At 12x zoom, this telephoto lens is the largest that Camkix produce for the iPhone. It's on the heavy side when compared with the phone, but Camkix make this kit with a smaller 8x telephoto lens if you are looking to minimize weight.

Fortunately this lens attaches to the tripod via its own screw (rather than attaching the tripod to the phone). You will almost certainly have to use the tripod when taking photos with this lens, as the magnification will amplify even the smallest unsteadiness in how you hold the phone.

Unsurprisingly, there are some lens affects associated with this telephoto. It would be almost impossible to build an attachable lens for a smartphone that did not introduce some distortions, and fortunately these ones are fairly minor. The main distortion you may experience are halo effects where there is a sharp contrast change (such as a dark object framed against a bright sky). However, these effects still occur even in $1000 lenses on expensive DSLR cameras.

Wide-angle and macro lenses

The macro lens is hands down the best part of this kit. Like all macro lenses, you will have to be close to the subject to get it in focus (1-2 inches), but you'll get tack sharp images that have a much greater magnification than you could get with the iPhone camera by itself. The tiniest details really pop.

The wide-angle lens screws into the macro-lens to give your camera a much greater field of view. You'll also be able to focus on objects in the distance. The images won't be as sharp as with the macro lens, especially around the edges of the image, but that's a going to be an issue with almost every detatchable wide-angle lens for a smartphone.

Bear in mind that the screw connection between the two lenses is threaded the opposite way to the connection between the lens and the phone case.

Fisheye lens

This is a tiny lens but it will let you take pictures with a big impact.

Fisheye lenses distort the edges of images to give a really unique look that will look great on Instagram or other social media. Photography is all about seeing things in new ways!

Note that like the wide-angle lens, the fisheye lens struggles to get the edges of the image completely in focus. This is an unfortunate side effect of how both lenses distort the light unevenly across the lens before it hits the sensor. If this is a problem for you, each lens's effect can be replicated with an app: several apps will take fisheye photos without a special lens (although you won't get such a wide field of view), and the panorama option mimics the result of the wide-angle lens.

Accessories

The kit comes with a cloth carry bag, as well as lens cloths (which are protected in their own bags). The carry bag will hold all the lenses and protect them in the bottom of your purse or backpack, but it will not fit the camera case as well as the tripod and telephoto. This is the only major design flaw in this otherwise stellar kit from CamKix, as it makes it hard to keep all the parts together while getting around. Hopefully they will fix it in the next version.

The one accessory missing from this kit is a remote control for the shutter. This will prevent you from wobbling the camera when you take a picture. This omission is a little surprising as CamKix make a basic bluetooth remote. However, if you have a few dollars extra to spare, we would recommend this higher quality remote from Gadgin.

Compatibility

This kit is only compatible with the iPhone 6/6s due to the shape of the case. It will not work with the iPhone 6 Plus, although CamKix make a separate kit for that. However, the tripod and universal mount will work with any phone. The diameter of the lens threads is the same in the CamKix kits for other phones, so to use them on another phone (such as the iPhone 6 Plus) you would only need to buy the relevant case for that phone.

CamKix have an excellent return/refund policy, so you can buy without fear.

Kit includes:
  • 12x Telephoto Lens
  • Fish Eye Lens
  • 2in1 Macro and Wide Angle Lens
  • Mini Tripod
  • Telephoto Lens Holder Ring
  • Universal Phone Holder
  • Hard Case
  • Velvet Bag
  • CamKix┬« Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

About the author

Jonathon Walker

Jonny got into smartphone photography after his fancy SLR died in the middle of a trip to South America. Now he uses his Samsung Galaxy almost exclusively.