Second’s smartphone lenses are, in principle, good for individuals like me. I really like taking footage and have wished to strive extra critical images for a very long time, however nicer DSLR cameras are costly, cumbersome, and intimidating.
The brand new T-Sequence lenses from Second, which launched final month and at the moment are on the market, might be simply the ticket for letting me take nicer footage with out investing in high-end digital camera gear. They’re hardly low-cost — they vary from $120 to $150 a bit — however they’re a neater capsule to swallow: they’re cheaper than full-sized digital camera gear, lighter to lug round, and easier to get into because of their reliance on a smartphone and digital camera UI you already know.
Second gave me preproduction variations of 4 of the six lenses it provides to check. They’re well-constructed and weighty little black pucks with the feel and appear of correct digital camera tools. And so they might even act the half. After attempting them out, it looks like they’ve actual potential within the palms of an expert — they genuinely let my iPhone digital camera do issues that it simply can’t do with out them.
I used to be in a position to check out 4 of Second’s lenses: the 58mm telephoto, the 18mm wide lens, the 14mm fisheye lens, and the 10x macro, all of which you’ll see used within the pictures under. Second additionally makes two anamorphic lenses, the Anamorphic 1.33x and the Anamorphic 1.55x, with variants which have both blue- or- gold-tinted lens flare.
However earlier than we dig into the small print, right here’s an image of my cat, taken with Second’s telephoto lens connected to my iPhone 13 Professional’s 3x digital camera:
Second’s lenses must be connected to your cellphone through a mount that goes over your digital camera lens. For my iPhone, I screwed the lens into the bayonet-style attachment piece that Second sells individually from its camera mount cases. You may as well mount them on numerous Android telephones with both bespoke Pixel and Galaxy instances or a common clip-on mount if Second doesn’t make a case in your cellphone.
Not less than with the iPhone mount, it’s fast and straightforward to pop a lens on and get proper right down to the enterprise of — what else? — taking footage of your cat. The nearer zoom of Second’s telephoto lens was a selected standout. Whereas the iPhone 13 Professional has an important fundamental digital camera and a stable ultrawide, 3x telephoto footage have by no means been its robust swimsuit. I feel it’s there that Second’s gear provides a few of its greatest advantages.
These first two footage had been taken in Apple ProRAW and minimally processed to equalize their brightness (Second’s telephoto lens produced ever-so-slightly darker footage). They had been taken from the identical distance with a tripod, utilizing the iPhone’s 3x digital camera, each with and with out Second’s 58mm telephoto, and one is a transparent winner:
I’ve little doubt that the iPhone’s telephoto digital camera may get as detailed a shot by itself, however Second’s lens let me take the image from two or three ft farther away. Even so, Second’s telephoto couldn’t save this image of a guitar from the iPhone 13 Professional’s 3x digital camera’s low gentle fuzziness and, if something, makes it extra apparent:
For most conventional photographs, it’s not instantly apparent if Second’s Extensive 18mm lens is healthier than the iPhone’s fundamental shooter, nevertheless it has its benefits if you happen to look intently. The elevated depth of discipline within the image on the fitting leaves extra in-focus tomatoes versus the bare iPhone huge digital camera on the left. The Second lens additionally grabbed extra of the scene:
On this subsequent shot, Second’s huge lens does a greater job with shiny, back-lit topics than the iPhone’s fundamental digital camera alone, making a much less washed-out image (and a prettier lens flare):
Ever since Apple debuted the ultrawide digital camera on the iPhone 11 Professional, I’ve typically discovered it enjoyable however hardly ever helpful. Certain, you’ll be able to seize extra of a scene with it, nevertheless it’s not as sharp as the primary shooter, and it’s unhealthy in low gentle. With Second’s fisheye lens mounted to the iPhone’s major digital camera, I obtained a a lot wider, finer-detailed shot of this bulb — with enjoyable perspective warping, besides:
Apple later added macro images utilizing the ultrawide digital camera for the iPhone 13 Professional telephones, and once more it was enjoyable, however I shortly obtained bored of taking shut footage of the thread on my pants or no matter. However, Second’s macro lens provides you a shallower depth of discipline and the benefit of the iPhone’s a lot better major digital camera for sharper element.
It additionally works nicely with the iPhone’s telephoto digital camera, which helps you to take macro photographs from farther away so that you don’t shade your topic. (It’s important to get very shut for macro photographs with the lens connected to the iPhone’s huge digital camera.)
And simply take a look at the sparkly element on this dusty little plastic moon man’s helmet!
So, sure, Second’s lenses are greater than enjoyable toys. However one factor to notice right here. The iOS digital camera app doesn’t play good with them. It continually refocuses, and it’ll refuse to make use of the iPhone’s telephoto digital camera when you’ve Second’s telephoto lens over it, leaving you with a digitally zoomed fundamental digital camera that’s partially blocked by the physique of the Second lens. Fortunately, third-party apps like Halide and Second Professional Digital camera get round this with handbook focus and no pressured digital zoom.
The lenses’ dimension provides them an enormous benefit as a compact package for journey images. I might completely take them — particularly the telephoto and the fisheye — with me on journeys, to particular occasions, and even simply out on a pleasant summer time day once I know I’d run into one thing I might need a image of, which is already a frequent incidence for me. Although their tiny dimension has me not less than slightly involved I’d misplace them sooner or later.
I had a ton of enjoyable enjoying round with Second’s lenses, and the superpowers they gave my cellphone supplied a style of what I’m lacking out on and not using a DSLR. I don’t know that I’d purchase them for myself as a result of I might nearly actually lose them, however that’s extra of a me factor than a Second factor.
Now, as slightly deal with, right here’s a gallery of among the different unedited footage I took with Second’s T-Sequence lenses.