Review: Easy-Macro Lens Band
Smartphone cameras have gotten better in recent years, not only in resolution but also in color range and aperture. Still, things like long range optical zoom, true bokeh (not depth map enabled semi accurate post conversions), and extremely close range macro shots have been out of their league. Lens attachments are often viewed as being in the realm of high-end standalone devices like DSLR cameras, but a number of specialty lenses have been produced and are on the market for various photography and videography needs.
The product I'm reviewing today is the Easy-Macro. While it's true that many affordable cell phone camera lenses are available for macro and wide-angle or fisheye effects, most of them are clip on style which may not be compatible with all phone bodies and camera layouts, besides protective covers. The way it lays against the phone's surface may also be at an angle or otherwise not flush, therefore affecting focus and image quality. The very design of a clip on accessory is also inherently bulky, which doesn't lend itself to portability for most people who don't carry a purse. The Easy-Macro is unique in its' small form which is a flat macro lens in the middle of a very strong rubber band. Included is a sturdy plastic card to place it on which, coupled with a protective sheath fits neatly and safely in a wallet, ready for that impromptu shot.
It slips over your smartphone, flexing to fit virtually all models, and covers the camera lens. For those with dual lens cameras which are common on many smartphones today for 3D depth enabled and simulated bokeh effects, be sure to use it with your primary camera. On my Moto G5s plus it was the right lens when facing it, but it may vary on other models so be sure to test it.
After fitting it you'll notice that while it picks up light from the scene, everything is blurry, but when you get up very close to something things will come into very sharp focus. The ideal focal distance in approximately one inch from the subject, but it varies very slightly. Because you'll be dealing with such small subjects, if you move the phone one millimeter it will be similar to moving it several feet if you were that small, so a steady hand and a stationary subject gives the best results. If you don't have nerves of steel, you can always rest the edge of your phone on a surface behind your subject or use any unutilized finger or fingers to stabilize the operation. Another fun possibility is to take high definition videos of the miniature world, which can be a lot of fun on the big screen. If you're going to try this, I strongly recommend turning on your camera's electronic image stabilization if it has such a feature, assuming you want the resulting footage to be watchable.
Sample images taken with the Easy-Macro
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© 2018 Jonathan Sabin