We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Cameras Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Schneider Optics iPro Lens Master Trio Kit 4/4S review

£278 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Schneider Optics

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The iPro Lens is an accessory kit for the iPhone 4 and 4S, now available with an extra 2x telephoto lens to form the Schneider Optics iPro Lens Master Trio Kit 4/4S

The iPro Lens is an accessory that attaches to an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S to augment the existing camera. There’s a starting kit with the necessary hard case for the phone and two lenses (wide angle and fisheye); and now the iPro Lens Master Trio Kit 4/4S, which adds a 2x telephoto lens.

The three lenses we tested came beautifully packaged in two very Applesque boxes. Included in the first box  are the Wide Angle and Fisheye lenses, along wiht the iPhone 4/4S case and instructions.

Both lenses are packed in their protective plastic containers. One of these also doubles as a handle/tripod mount, and screws onto the iPhone case for easier handling and steadier shooting.

The second box includes the 2x telephoto lens, inside another protective container.

iPro Lens Master Trio Kit: Setup

You need to use the provided iPhone case to attach the lenses over the smartphone’s own camera lens, using a bayonet mounting system for fastening.

The wide angle lens is said to give a 35% wider field of view compared to using iPhone's lens alone. The fisheye is specified to give an impressive 165-degree field of view, although it does produce a circular frame on the longer edges.

With the help of the protective cases, you can also create a standard 1/4in screw-thread tripod mount.

The build quality of the lenses seems very good and we were quite impressed with the attention to construction detail. The protective lens containers are a nice touch and you can also use them as stands for the lenses.

The iPhone case is made of a stiff unyielding plastic which is good, but it's somewhat bulky and not very attractive compared to most iPhone cases.

Because it’s so difficult to snap the iPhone in and out of the case, you'll likely need to keep it in place on your phone most of the time. Given its appearance, we weren’t impressed about that.

Although small, the lenses still protrude from 10mm to 20mm from the phone case (depending which lens). This will make it difficult, if not impossible, to keep the phone in your pocket, unless you have large jacket pockets. And if you intend to switch lenses along the way, you will need to carry them in their protective containers, as the lenses don’t include any lens caps.

iPro Lens Master Trio Kit: Image quality

There’s no practical way to replace the built-in lens of the iPhone, so adding lenses such as these on top of the stock lens is the only option, and the combination will inevitably reduce the image quality.

In our tests the wide-angle lens produced decent images with slight softness around the edges of the image. Shooting into the sun produced noticeable lens flares which may or may not suit your taste. Contrast was very good, although we did see plenty of blown-out highlights.

iPro Lens fisheye 1

iPro Lens fisheye 2

The new telephoto lens showed the best image quality. Our photos looked very sharp, and colours were also very well reproduced. These was very little noticeable degradation compared to the stock iPhone lens.

iPro Lens telephoto 1

You could of course just move up closer to a subject and get a similar result without needing this lens, but the lens does create a shallower depth of field, which the stock lens just won't give you. This is great for producing a nice arty look.

Unfortunately, we found our iPhone 4 struggled to lock focus when using the telephoto lens up close on a subject. This might be a limitation of the optics, as most telephoto lenses do need a good few centimetres distance to focus. That’s a shame, as it would have been useful to get a lot closer to the subject, for those miniature macro-like effects.

Despite the better image quality from the 2x telephoto lens, we must admit that the fisheye lens was the one we used more often. It’s certainly the most entertaining lens here and it produces fun and unique images.

It's great for both photos and video (although you lose the circular frame when shooting video, because of the crop factor when in video mode).

As fun, bizarre, unique and exciting as these fisheye images are, there are the inevitable side effects that such optics can't escape. Apart from the obvious extreme distortion, there is a lot of softness in the edges of the image, as well as purple fringing in areas of high contrast. Image quality is not particularly usable for anything other than wacky memories.

Shooting into the sun will produce extreme lens flare and softening of the image, while shooting away from the sun means you’ll struggle to avoid capturing your own shadow in every shot. With its 165° field of view, it’s very difficult to avoid photographing everything around you. And that includes your fingers holding the phone, although holding the phone carefully by the screwed-together Combi Handle will help here.

Schneider Optics iPro Lens Master Trio Kit 4/4S Expert Verdict »

There are currently no technical specifications recorded for this product.

  • Build Quality: We give this item 9 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 7 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

If you’d like to get more creative with your images, this kit, although pricey, is a good bet. The build quality is good and image quality not bad either considering the limitations of combining optics over the standard sensor and lens. You will need to use the unappealing phone case, and remember to carry all your spare lenses in their protective cases. They may have the word Pro in the name, but these lenses are far from what any professional photographers would use. Then again, they’d also be unlikely to be using an iPhone for serious work either. They may not be truly Pro but these are fun accessories for your iPhone if you can spare the cash.

  • iPro Lens System Series 2 Trio Kit for iPhone review

    iPro Lens System Series 2 Trio Kit for iPhone

    iPro Lens is a hardware add-on set for the Apple iPhone (4 and 4S only) that allows you to screw on lenses to the mobile. Updated: 7th August 2013

  • Olloclip three-in-one camera lens for iPhone 4 review

    Olloclip three-in-one camera lens for iPhone 4

    The Olloclip is a three-in-one clip-on lens that makes it possible to shoot macro, fisheye, and wide-angle photos and videos on an iPhone 4.

  • Olloclip for iPhone 5 review: simple, clip-on camera lens

    Olloclip for iPhone 5: simple, clip-on camera lens

    The Olloclip for iPhone 5 is a clip-on three-in-one lens that improves iPhone photography. Read our Olloclip for iPhone 5 review to find out more.

  • Kodak EasyShare V610

    Kodak EasyShare V610

    Kodak hopes strong zoom facilities and intriguing lens technology will give the V610 the lead over cheaper models.

  • Y-cam EyeBall review

    Y-cam EyeBall

    The Y-cam EyeBall is a simple security camera in a dome, relatively easy to set up and compatible with iPhone, Windows and Macintosh computers, as well as various NAS drives.

IDG UK Sites

Sony Xperia Z3+ release date, price and specs: The Xperia Z4 for the UK

IDG UK Sites

Why Intel’s vision of the future is a future I want to live in

IDG UK Sites

10 amazing, creative uses of tech – and the brands behind them

IDG UK Sites

Jony Ive 'semi-retired' into new role: kicked upstairs as Chief Design Officer