I’ve got a bit of a confession to make: most of the photos you see on my blog or on my Instagram are actually taken with my mobile phone, not some fancy DSLR. Call me a bad blogger or a technophobe, but when I’m on-the-go, I like to carry as few bulky items as possible. That’s one of the reasons why I recently upgraded my phone to the Google Pixel which has a mind-blowing in-built camera – but I’m always on the look-out for ways to really make my photography the best it can possibly be.
So, I was super excited when the lovely guys at Pixter recently got in touch to see if I would like to give their Wide Angle Pro lens a spin. The French company specialise in creating external ‘clip on’ lenses (more about how that works later) for all smartphone brands, reducing the need for you to lug around DSLR cameras and all your bulky equipment. Over the last few months I’ve put my Pixter lens to the test, and here’s my full, comprehensive and honest review!
How Does Pixter Work?
As mentioned before, the Pixter lens is like a bulldog clip for your smartphone, slotting over the top and lining up with your camera. It’s small, portable and light (plus your pack comes with its own little carry pouch!), so it takes up next to no space in your bag. The lens works to amplify your photography and make your photos pop, giving them extra definition and detail.
Everything comes in the pack individually, from the clip to the lens, to the lens cap. All you have to do is screw the lens into the clip and you’re good to go! This is a good little feature because if your clip breaks or you want to swap out your lens, all you need to do is buy that individual item rather than an entirely new pack.
But how good can a Pixter lens really be? Well, pretty darn good actually. Made with polarised, treated glass, the lens is anti-reflective, anti-scratch and anti-shock. Talk about upping the ante. (Sorry. Bad joke. Need more tea.) So, not only does that mean the lens is durable and pretty resistant, but it also means that the quality of your photos isn’t compromised either.
One of the questions people have asked me when they’ve seen it is, “How hard is it to actually use?” The answer –not that difficult at all. It takes a few seconds to make sure the lens is perfectly in line with the camera lens on your smartphone, but once you’ve done it a few times it’s easy. I found it best to turn my phone over so that I could look in the lens and see it was perfectly over my camera. Then you can adjust and wiggle it around a little to make sure the walls of the lens aren’t visible in your picture.
Wide Angle Shots on Your Smartphone: Examples
Now here’s what you want to see – actual examples of the Pixter Wide Angle Pro lens in action! As mentioned before, I’ve had a few months to get to grips with my lens. I’ve given it a thorough test drive on various devices and in different locations across London, so (hopefully!) this will give you a good idea of what to expect.
First of all, just to show you how much more you can fit into your photo with the lens, here are before and after pics (taken on my old Samsung S6) for you to compare.
As you can see, the amount of extra detail you can fit into your photo is just HUGE. You’ve got more of County Hall on the right, and the boat on the left hand side has even made it into the second picture. This is the kind of lens I would have loved to have had when I was at the Grand Canyon or Yosemite for those mind-blowing landscape shots!
As well as to get much more of the landscape in your photo, I found that the Wide Angle Lens Pro works especially well when there’s something in the forefront of your picture to focus on. Here are some snaps of some fun street art from around Liverpool Street station.
I loved the effect the lens gave – to me, these pictures have a lot more depth to them, as well as a more unusual feel. You may notice a little distortion on the sides of the photos. Rather than anything to do with the lens, this is all to do with my Google Pixel phone. It’s got a slightly wider-angle lens than other smartphones, so with a wide angle lens on top it goes a little into overdrive. There’s a simple enough solution to this though: just zoom in a little on your camera until any distortion isn’t visible. Personally though, I quite liked having a bit of fuzz around the edges. It reminded me of my old lomography analogue cameras where the quality wasn’t maybe as sharp, but the photos had more personality.
Of course, I couldn’t try out the Pixter lens without involving my boys. Sorry to harp on about the depth the lens gives, but I really think that’s evident here! I had the phone up close to them, and yet it was still able to capture more of their surroundings thanks to an extra helping hand from the lens.
And, of course, the Pixter lens works well for selfies too once you turn it round to line up with the front-facing camera. In fact, I’d encourage you to use this feature as much as possible, especially if you’re somewhere awesome and have got more than two people to fit in the frame. Never again will you have to worry about who’s got the longest arms!
Apologies for my face, guys.
Other Pixter Lenses
Pixter offers standard and ‘Pro’ lenses. Both are great, but the Pro (unsurprisingly, given the name) offers a slighter higher quality of photo, and this is reflected in the price.
If a Wide Angle Lens isn’t your thing, Pixter also offer macro, fish eye, polarizer and ultra macro standard lenses too, retailing at £29.90. Pro lenses are a little pricer (£49.90 each), but there’s also a macro pro, telephone and super fisheye lens to choose from.
So Would I Recommend a Pixter Lens?
Now, here’s the $64 million question!
As I mentioned before, over the last few months I’ve tried the Pixter lens on various smartphones, including iPhones and Android models. Having seen what the Pixter lens can do on my friends’ phones, I was slightly frustrated that it didn’t work quite so well on my Google Pixel. My lens will stay firmly in my travel bag, but I think it’s something that will be used more frequently on my boyfriend’s phone (the Samsung Galaxy S7), since there’s less distortion on those photos.
Overall, however, I’m in love with what the Pixter lens offers: portable, top quality photography that doesn’t break the bank or your back while you’re carrying it around. Now that’s my kind of gadget.
> The Pixter Wide Angle Pro lens is available to buy for £49.90.