Three Questions To Ask When Buying A Smartphone Lens

A quality smartphone lens can help you take better photographs than you ever thought possible.

Man holding smartphone and map
Take better pictures with your smartphone by using an aftermarket lens.explorenation via Unsplash

One of the best contributions that smartphones have made to hunters, anglers, hikers and campers is allowing them to have their camera with them nearly everywhere they go. That has resulted in most people taking more pictures than they ever have in the past. A smartphone lens can make your phone’s camera more versatile, resulting in even better results. To make a good selection when shopping for a smartphone lens, ask yourself three questions—what you hope to accomplish with the lens, how the lens attaches and what phone models a particular lens will fit.

Goals

Moment smartphone wide lens
This wide-angle lens captures 2-times more picture than your regular phone camera.Amazon

If you're hoping to zoom in on faraway wildlife better than your phone currently does, a telephoto lens is the way to go. A good-quality telephoto lens will allow you to take much higher quality pictures than your phone's digital zoom can produce. On the other end of the spectrum, those wanting to take scenic and landscape photos will find that a wide-angle lens allows them to include much more of the scene in a single shot. Note that some companies sell smartphone lenses in bundles containing lenses that are perfect for several needs. If you are considering adding several lenses for multiple purposes, check out these bundle deals for a good buy.

Attachment?

Xenvo smartphone lens
This smartphone lens clips on to your phone for easy installation and removal.Amazon

Some smartphone lenses are simple and clip onto your phone, making installation and removal a snap. These are probably the easiest to use, and if they fit your phone well can result in great photographic results. Other lenses are mounted on cases that simply fit onto your phone, turning it into a better camera. These are also easy to use, but are more model specific than clip-ons, so you need to pay attention to that when ordering. Other models can be used either way—clip-on or case mount. They are the most versatile and a good choice for someone who can't make up their mind which attachment type they prefer.

Fit

Shuttermoon smartphone lens
This kit contains five different lens options and fits several models of smartphones.Amazon

Fit is an important factor that you must consider when making a purchase. If you buy a lens that won't clip to your phone, it doesn't matter how great or cheap it was since it won't work for your purposes. The same goes for a lens that doesn't quite fit but isn't a complete mismatch. You're still not going to get the results you want from a poor fit. Before making a purchase, make sure you know exactly what models a lens will fit and what models it won't fit. That can save you a lot of headache when the time comes to use the lens to get some great pictures of your next adventure.