Luckily, we’re at the stage with smartphones where we have the option of adding a variety of lenses. This depends on the make and model of each particular smartphone, and in this particular rundown, we will focus on the best fisheye lenses for smartphones for both Androids and iPhones.
But, why use a fisheye lens in the first place and what are they used for? Smartphone lenses have a naturally wide-angle viewpoint, but if you want a nearly 180-degree view of the world, there’s nothing like a fisheye lens to accomplish this task.
Many of us have already used a fisheye lens with a door security peephole. This little unit is a simple fisheye lens, providing a 180-degree view of the outside world.
Fisheye lenses for smartphones are produced to be much better quality than a simple peephole, but not as high quality as mirrorless or DSLR fisheye lenses. This seems obvious when you bear in mind the price differences, with some DSLR fisheye lenses costing more than the smartphone itself.
However, these small and very usable smartphone fisheye lenses can replicate the viewpoint of an action cam such as the GoPro. This means these handy little lens attachments can be used for action, events, or simply as a unique view as opposed to a regular smartphone lens.
All the lenses below are quite cheap and cover a wide variety of lens styles, which include other wide-angle and microlens offerings. Today we’ll show you what is currently available and determine if the optical quality of these lenses outweighs the price.
1. Criacr Phone Camera Lens (Overall Winner)
The initial plus point of this small and inexpensive lens kit is that it comes with three lenses: a 180-degree fisheye lens, a +0.6X wide-angle lens, and a + 15X macro lens. Each lens has its own protective cover and a very simple to use clip-on attachment to securely clamp each lens to the phone.
Each of these lenses will need the phone case to be taken off for the best attachment. But, other than that, each lens is very quick to fit and swap out. Each of the lenses is capable of fitting a wide variety of iPhone and Android models, but always check the manufacturer’s website and official listings for the specified models.
The macro and wide-angle lenses provide a better-than-expected image quality, but it’s really the fisheye lens which is the focus here. Sure enough, this fisheye lens provides a circular 180-degree image, i.e. not filling the whole frame. The image quality is very respectable considering the price, and while it may not have all the fancy optics of a DSLR fisheye lens, the image results are very respectable.
This Shuttermoon Upgraded Phone Camera Lens Kit may seem initially confusing from the preview image, but it’s essentially showing the two types of kit available. The first one, which is featured here, is the five lens kit, while the more expensive version features 11 lenses.
The 11-lens version is fine if you want to experiment with things like a Kaleidoscope, colors, or different style filters. But, for just the fisheye lens, wide-angle lens, and CPL filter lens, the five-lens version is adequate. The fisheye lens with this kit provides a 198-degree view with a circular rendition in the center of the frame.
Each lens is made from solid metal and optical glass and while tested on a Samsung Android phone, the clip-on mount should fit most iPhones as well. The extra wide-angle view provides very creative ways of capturing images, but the edges of the frame are more distorted than expected, due to the extra wide-angle.
However, the overall optical quality from this small kit provides plenty of options for the money as well as a very usable fisheye lens.
The Jopree iPhone Camera Lens kit comprises of four lenses: a 20X macro lens, a 2.0X zoom telephoto lens, a 120° wide-angle lens, and a 180° fisheye lens. Each lens is made from aviation aluminum, with a 5+5 coating to reduce flare and reflections. The kit is optimized for the iPhone and comes with its own portable bag, dust remover, and cleaning cloth.
The lens definitely feels quality made and from the whole list here, it feels like the most professional solution. The clip feels extremely solid when attached to a smartphone, and while the image quality from the fisheye lens is very good, it’s roughly on a par with the Criacr version above.
If this kit cost a little less, it would be our overall winner. But, if you want the peace of mind of an iPhone optimized fit, then this little kit could be a good choice.
The CamKix Smartphone Photography Kit doesn’t just come with five lenses, is also includes a Bluetooth camera shutter remote. The whole kit comes in a smart little carrying case and includes a fisheye lens, a two-in-one macro and wide-angle lens, a Circular Polarized Lens (CPL), and a telephoto lens.
Although the kit is straightforward to use, it does come with its own instruction manual. The Bluetooth shutter remote can work up to 30 feet away and works with the latest iPhone and Samsung smartphones. The fisheye lens provides good quality images as a circular view, and while the lens can be susceptible to blowing out highlights, the resolution is acceptable.
This kit is reasonably priced considering its level of quality, with the fisheye lens being the standout feature. The added extras such as the remote also make this a worthwhile option.
5. pehael 3-in-1 Clip On 180 Degree Fish Eye Lens Kit (Budget Winner)
If you’re just testing the waters in this area or just want to try out one of the budget fisheye lenses for smartphones, then the pehael 3-in-1 Clip On 180 Degree Fish Eye Lens Kit is a good choice. Considering that there’s a fisheye lens, 0.41x macro lens, and 0.67x micro lens included for less than $10, the makers are virtually giving this thing away.
Each lens clamps into place securely with the included clip and can be easily interchanged with the other lenses. The image quality from the fisheye lens is okay, providing a 180-degree view. Loads of fun to use and as the lenses don’t come with their own carry cases, you have to be extra careful with protecting those lens elements.
Findings from the Best Fisheye Lenses for Smartphones
It may seem initially strange that buying fisheye lenses for smartphones means buying a kit, but the vast majority of smartphone lenses are cheap and versatile enough to be produced in kit form. Plus the majority of smartphone users want the variety that a kit can provide.
If you want a step up in optical quality with a fisheye view, then it’s advisable to go down the action cam route, such as with the GoPro variations. For general or specific action footage, these are a great option. The best fisheye optical quality will need a full-blown DSLR fisheye lens, but that will also need an expensive camera.
For those who want to experiment with the fisheye view at a very low entry cost, then the above fisheye lenses for smartphones are worth investigating.