5 of the Best Lenses for Your iPhone Camera

Sometimes, to Get a Better Photo, You Just Need a Better Lens

Using different camera software can definitely help you take better shots on your iPhone, but there's a limit to what you can do with an app. Sometimes, to get a better photo you need to purchase a better lens–and fortunately, there are a few companies that have come out with some truly excellent options.

Here are five of the best add-on lenses for Apple iPhones.

  • 01 of 05
    OlloClip Active Lens
    Photo courtesy of OlloClip

    OlloClip makes a few different kinds of multi-lens kits for iPhones, but if you've got an iPhone 7 or iPhone 8, the most useful of them is the Active version.

    Attaching to your phone via a clip-on "Connect Lens" system, the OlloClip Active provides both a 155-degree ultra wide-angle lens and a 2x telephoto model. Whether you're shooting sweeping landscapes or close-up portrait shots of the people you meet on your travels, you've got the right lens for the job.

    If you want even more flexibility, the Connect Lens system is also compatible with the company's various macro and fisheye lens, available to purchase separately. 

    Image quality is extremely good, making the OlloClip Active Kit a genuine enhancement to what was already a very good smartphone camera, at a good price.

    If you're still toting around an iPhone 5 or iPhone SE, consider OlloClip's earlier 4-in-1 lens kit instead. You won't get the telephoto lens, unfortunately, but the wide angle, fisheye, and macro options are still very useful on the road.

  • 02 of 05
    OlloClip Filmer's Kit
    Photo courtesy of OlloClip

    If you're really serious about your travel photography, check out the OlloClip Filmer's Kit instead.

    As well as the telephoto and ultra wide-angle lens, the kit includes the 120-degree super wide angle, fisheye, and 15x macro lenses, as well as the articulating Pivot grip that's ideal for shooting video in particular.

    All of the various lenses and accessories fit nicely into the included carry case, meaning you're less likely to break them in transit, or leave them behind when packing everything away.

    Whichever set of OlloClip lenses you go for, you're going to need to give up your existing phone case if you use one. The Connect Lens system won't fit over a typical case, so you can either use your phone without protection, or buy one of OlloClip's specific cases that has the connection system built in.

  • 03 of 05
    Manfrotto Klyp+
    Photo courtesy of Manfrotto

    Best known for its range of quality camera gear, Manfrotto also has a multi-lens solution for older iPhones. Along with the three lenses–fisheye, 1.5x portrait and wide-angle–you'll get a soft pouch to carry them around in.

    You'll also need to buy a bumper case that's the right size for your model of phone, into which you simply screw the lens you'd prefer to use. The case also works fine without a lens attached, making it easier to justify the extra cost.

    The Klyp+ offers good value for your money if you're looking to improve the shots you're getting from your old iPhone 5 or 6. The best lens by far is the portrait version–it's so good that it could easily become your everyday shooting option. The fisheye and wide-angle offer useful extra flexibility, but the image quality isn't quite as good.

  • 04 of 05
    Moment Tele lens
    Photo courtest of Moment

    Much like the OlloClip version, the Moment telephoto lens offers a 2x optical zoom for better portrait shots. If you've got an iPhone 6 or below, though, the way you attach it is a bit different.

    You'll need to specify the right mounting plate for your particular older model of phone, which then sticks to the phone via an adhesive backing. Finally, you attach the lens itself to its new mount.

    Probably realizing that people weren't very happy about sticking adhesive plates on their expensive smartphones, Moment changed its approach from the iPhone 7 onwards. 

    If you've got one of these more recent phones, you'll need to buy one of the company's specific cases (in wood or black,) and then attach the lens to the case as needed. It's a better way of doing it, but does mean you can't use your favorite third-party case any longer. 

    The 60mm telephoto lens gets you twice as close to the action, with a better focal length for getting that much-loved background blur in your portraits. Whether you're shooting portraits, or just zooming in on things you can't get physically near enough to, you'll end up with a far better result.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05
    Moment Wide Lens
    Photo courtesy of Moment

    If you're more of a fan of sweeping vistas than close-up shots, the Moment wide-angle lens goes "twice as wide" instead of "twice as far." This 18mm lens lets you get much more of the scene into each picture, without the letterbox effect you get with panorama software.

    It's definitely useful, but with the older version of the lens for earlier iPhone models, the corners of the shot often appeared darker than usual, requiring people to crop the images slightly before using them.

    As part of the move to the new case-based mounting system for iPhone 7's and above, Moment redesigned its wide-angle lens to specifically address this problem.