Also written by Techgeek
I’m mentioning it almost every time now but I met great mobile photographers on The Mobile Photography Blog and Twitter. Among others, the ones I speak the most with are Sinasis, Jonas, Nikki, Jessica, Fonsini, Chani, Massis, Andy, Armineh and there’s Techgeek. He has a Lumia 920 and a 808 Pureview and, like me, was into mobile photography for a few years but it became really serious during 2012.
Early 2013, we started talking about macro and close-up shots. He had already bought a macro lens and showed me some examples of what can be achieved with a great camera phone and a macro lens attached to it.
What we’re talking about here are cheap macro lenses, nothing professional. They’re made for iPhones but go well with other devices that have a metallic camera contour. If not, the lenses come with little metallic circles which can easily be paste around the camera lens.
I know some people like to place a real camera macro lens in front of their phones and it produces awesome results. This is just another technique that gives great shots despite the cheapness of the lens.
Here are some of Techgeek shots.
Look at the amazing details of the plant or especially the candle wick ! The wick shot is the one that impresses me the most. It’s simply amazing.
Techgeek did an amazing job here and I know what I’m talking about because I bought the same macro lens afterward and I know one has to be extra careful with the focus. The macro lens has to be placed very very close to the subject and it’s a matter of millimeters for it to be focused or not. Several shots are usually needed to have the perfect focused one, at least from my experience. A moving subject will be very hard to get, again because of the needed precision for a good focus but I guess it’s also due to the macro lens itself. Maybe professional ones are way better and I hope so given the price difference !
Let’s see what Techgeek has to say about our topic.
Mobile photography has got bigger and bigger over the last years. I had several phones just like most of us : Nokia N91, N95 8GB, Lumia 800 to name some of them. I was already interested in mobile photography but I only made snapshots at the time.
Last fall, when I bought the Nokia Lumia 920 and saw the image quality, mobile photography became much more serious for me.
A lot of people shoot with their mobile phone and I started to do the same. Mobile photography was becoming my passion.
I also looked at other’s shots on blogs, Flickr, Twitter, etc. and I saw fantastic pictures, many styles and many techniques. One of those techniques was macro photography.
Before knowing a little about photography, I thought only SLR’s and expensive macro lenses could get great macro shots but I was wrong.
I learned that there are macro lenses even for smartphones, really small ones but good enough to me. I thus bought one and started experimenting.
The lens has to be placed above the camera lens of the phone cover, with a magnetic ring if your phone camera doesn’t have metallic contour. I didn’t want to put that ring on my phone because you have to leave it there once it’s placed on the device. The Lumia 920 has a magnetic area around its lens but it didn’t seem enough for the macro lens to hold on it. I decided to try without the magnetic ring nonetheless and, to my surprise, the macro lens stayed attached on the phone. One has to be careful though. Too much movements or fast ones may bring the lens down but macro photography is a precise and delicate technique anyway so it was good enough for me.
As you might know, the more you zoom in, the more you have to hold the camera really steady to get blur free pictures. Thanks to the OIS of the Lumia 920, it was so easy to get blur free shots, even with the macro lens one. That was a huge problem when I shot with my Nokia 808 or other smartphones without OIS. One has to use a tripod or something similar to get blur free pictures with non OIS phones.
The macro shots are amazing when you see the results. You can really get very close with these small lenses. You see things you didn’t see with your own eyes. It’s like exploring a new world.
I’m thrilled to get my hands on the upcoming Lumia 1020 to shoot great pictures combined with a modern OS.
You understood that Techgeek is really passionate about mobile photography and macro photography.
Here are other example shots he made.
As I said at the beginning of the article, I also bought a similar macro lens. It’s really not easy to get a good focus on a subject but once you have it the shots can be really impressive.
Here are some of my own shots. I did mine only on a 808 Pureview. Water droplets and water flow shots are usually made possible thanks to the Xenon flash. It can freeze the moment and allow to have a perfect droplet without any blur. For insects pictures, patience is the biggest virtue and several shots are usually needed to have a great one.
The 808 Pureview allows to zoom in a lossless way so one can get closer by zooming in in addition to the macro lens already attached. That’s what I did for icicles pictures.
One of my favorite due to my music and guitar passion…
And for fun…
There you go. You now have a great idea of what can be achieved with a camera phone helped by a simple cheap macro lens. You can find one on websites like Amazon for a price between 10 and 20€. In fact they’re dual lenses. These’s a wide angle one and a macro one so you’ll get both.
Here are few links of interest if you want to see more about Techgeek’s 920 and 808 pictures.