Apexel Camera Lens Review
Product Manufacturer: Apexel
Description: Mobile Phone Camera Lense
Product Range: Mobile Phone Accessoriey
Quality Rating: 2/5
Value For Money: 2/5
Earlier this year I traveled to South Africa and Namibia on holiday together with my wife and her family to experience the African Wilderness in all its magnificence. In addition to this, it gave me the perfect opportunity to test a new accessory I have recently purchased on Amazon which can also be read about on the MPow Tripod review as well as this one.
Traveling to Africa, one will naturally be interested in taking photos of the local wildlife and therein lay the opportunity to test the clip on telescopic lenses intended for mobile phones.
It’s a really difficult decision when one enters the market without a clear idea of how well these units will perform. There are no brands like Nikon or Cannon where one knows the lens quality will be of a certain standard, so I read the reviews and rolled the dice. For something that costs less than $25, I felt like I could afford the product research costs.
The Apexel that I chose had a relatively good rating and while it only had 3.5 stars from 120 plus reviews, almost 50% of those ratings placed it on the 5 star level. This was a good indication that there was a strong feeling from those that had bought it, that this product was worth it.
It must be said at this point that I was not overly concerned should this product not be what I was looking for as one needs to maintain realistic expectations of a unit that costs less than $25. If you’re expecting National Geographic quality pictures, then you will need to make peace with having to invest a substantial amount of money into a professional lens and at this stage I was not willing to do that.
The mounting unit is a spring-loaded clip on system that when clipped onto the mobile device, is locked in place using the screw that is located on the clip system. This screw system ensures that the lens unit stays in line with the camera and prevents accidental dislocation where the lens unit could fall and be damaged by the impact.
The lens must be installed in order to properly align the camera lens and the Apexel lens together. If they are not properly lined up, the picture will be distorted and/or black as the phone camera will not be able to focus on the target.
The lens unit is connected to the clip mount by means of a screw thread system. I found this system a little fragile in that the lens has a metal thread; which is great; but the clip mount has a plastic thread. In addition, cross threading can easily damage the plastic thread rendering the unit unstable.
A positive point of this design feature is that with a screw mounting system, the lens can be easily removed leaving this clip mount in place. This enables the user to remove the lens without having to realign it when one reattaches the unit to the camera. Repeated use could however wear out the thread resulting in an unstable lens and poor quality of alignment.
The quality of the lens impressed me in that for a relatively low price, a clear picture was achieved without hassles.
There is a soft rubber attachment that allows this to be used as a short range telescope. This is a good feature for spotting birds or animals in short to medium range proximity and the threaded system once again enables the rubber eye piece to be removed and the unit to be easily reinstalled for use with the camera.
The surface finish and the lens placement in the unit assist in reducing the ghost effects resulting from glare and/or unintended light intrusion which improves the quality of the picture.
There is a manual focus mechanism that is a rubberized twist system located close to the end of the lens. This is easy to operate however takes a
little of experimentation as one needs to operate the mobile devices’ auto focus electronics together with the
manually operated focus system of the lens unit for the best results.
The unit description states that this it is great for sports or action photography however in my opinion this is not completely correct. The manual focus system takes time to properly focus and this may lead to frustration as the shot is lost before the photo is taken.
I found success in taking photos of ranged static target such as this Oryx which was taken at approx. 45m. This animal was static and the proximity enabled me to take my time in manually focusing on the target for a good quality picture.
I would also recommend that a tripod of sorts be used in conjunction with this lens. Any small movement of the camera unit is magnified exponentially when using extended range lenses and the tripod will allow the photographer to focus on the target using the digital focus technology in the camera unit.
Overall value for money, this unit scores well in that the quality of photos that can be taken are good and the versatility of the unit scores well.
While the writeup states that one can take premium photos, I expected more realistic results and while the picture quality is good, it will not be good enough for the cover of National Geographic.
The unit is compact and comes with a travel pouch which makes it ideal for the traveler who needs a quick point and shoot lens. I would recommend this unit as a tester unit for you to try out the possibilities that are created by the lens to see if this is something that you would wish to pursue in the future which would require further investment.
Definitely a must for all travel enthusiasts. If you have any further questions based on this article, please write something in comments section and I will response as soon as possible.