I'm taking a class this term called 'Insect Identification and Management' and we have to make an insect collection. Yes, that means what you think it does; we're supposed to kill and pin insects to keep as a scientific record. Several of us students are opposed to this practice and have convinced the professor (a reasonable man) to allow us to make photographic collections instead. Many of the students taking photographs have excellent cameras with huge intimidating lenses. I adore taking pictures but want something I can carry in my pocket, as I'm sort of an on-the-fly photographer. So my iPhone does the job well enough. However it has become clear that in order to get good pictures of tiny, flying, wriggling, ALIVE insects, I needed to step it up. And so I went searching for something I could carry in my pocket that could attach easily to my phone. And I think I've found a serviceable item.
It's made by a company called Xenvo, and it's a lens attached to a clip. Actually there are two lenses; one for wide shots, and one for macro shots (the tiny stuff). The clip just attaches on to your phone, and the lens covers the lens on your phone. Easy.
It was packaged very nicely, coming with a clip-on light, and a cord, and a special carrying case, and lens caps. It was all cushioned beautifully. And it only cost about $30.
I took it out in the yard today to play with it a bit and see what kinds of shots I could capture. One thing I noticed right away was the ability of the lens to focus on something small. So often, when I try to take pictures of a very tiny thing, the iPhone lens focuses on the background, and it takes a long time for it to focus on the item you're trying to take a picture of - and sometimes it never focuses at all. With this lens attachment, the focus is right there, no waiting.
I'm hoping this lens will help me take better pictures of insects and bugs.
I'm also looking forward to trying out the wide lens when I'm hiking, and trying to take pictures of the views. These lenses are both small enough to keep in my pocket when I'm walking.
I love the idea of having a big fancy camera (there's also something attractive about the ability to hide behind it), but the logistics are just difficult for me. Am I going to take a heavy thing around my neck when I hike? Doubtful. And what if I'm gardening and I see something I really want to phtotograph (this happens ten times a day at least)? Am I going to want to run into the house to find my fancy camera? No! Whatever I wanted to take the picture of might not be there when I come back! So this is much easier. A little more power in my pocket.
What about you? Do you like to take nature photos? Do you have a big rig, or do you just use your phone?