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  1. #1
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    iphone lens attachment for upcoming trip. Worth it? Beta?

    Heading to Tanzania w the fam in a couple weeks. Despite having on older DSLR and enjoying taking pics of the kids i'm not really a camera guy per se. That said, was wondering if an iphone lens attachment would be beneficial for this trip (lots of safari). We're limited on space so trying to keep it light otherwise i'd prob consider taking the old camera. Looks like a bunch of options w different price ranges. Anyone w any experience with these? I have an iphone 11 fwiw and i think the wife's is maybe a 12 or 13.

  2. #2
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    Maybe consider upgrading your phone to one of the newer versions with 3 lenses so you have built-in telephoto and wide angle without needing any add-on? On my recent trip, I stopped using my DSLR and just used the phone. Never thought Iíd say this, but the shots with the phone were perfectly adequate for my needs, and MUCH more convenient. The built in software for the camera is pretty amazing.

  3. #3
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    +1, i upgraded about 6 months ago and have brought dslr on two trips where it has not left the bag. it was cheaper to upgrade than buy a new mid range lens

  4. #4
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    Agreed with those saying to just upgrade these new iPhones blow away the need for DSLRs for us amateur photogs.

    From this morning
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    You can shoot in RAW format like this and edit most things in the photo.
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    More RAW with the zoom
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  5. #5
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    I havenít tried editing RAW yet (guess thatís next on my learning curve), but the phone does a remarkable job of adjusting exposure to essentially do HDR on the fly to avoid blown out skies and such. So, I havenít felt the need to edit the pictures yet in post. But I will probably try RAW at some point just to see if Iím missing anything.

    Also, the live mode shooting essentially captures little videos of each snap, so you can pick which frame to use for the final picture, which is kinda cool for action shots.

    Like I said, the camera software is pretty amazing in the newer phones.

  6. #6
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    Bring a dslr with a long lens and a doubler. The new phones don’t have shit for a telephoto, it would be somewhat like hunting for elk with a pistol. Possible only if you get lucky. But instead of just elk you’d be hunting for hyenas then giraffes then lions then elephants and on and on. I doubt they all are trained to come up within 50 feet of every safari for iPhone 2.5 zoomed in pics. As for the original question on if the phone add-one work well - highly doubtful. But buy one on Amazon this week, test it out and see if it’s good enough for what you need before going. You might think they are fine

  7. #7
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    iphone lens attachment for upcoming trip. Worth it? Beta?

    I hear ya, it isnít a DSLR but it does a damn good job of capturing the moment if you learn how to use it.

    Ultimately, if you arenít used to carrying around a large camera, you likely wonítÖ and a phone is a guaranteed thing you will have on you at all times.

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  8. #8
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    More iPhone photo spam!

    The 3x zoom generates pretty rad shots..
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by muted reborn View Post
    Bring a dslr with a long lens and a doubler. The new phones donít have shit for a telephoto, it would be somewhat like hunting for elk with a pistol. Possible only if you get lucky. But instead of just elk youíd be hunting for hyenas then giraffes then lions then elephants and on and on. I doubt they all are trained to come up within 50 feet of every safari for iPhone 2.5 zoomed in pics. As for the original question on if the phone add-one work well - highly doubtful. But buy one on Amazon this week, test it out and see if itís good enough for what you need before going. You might think they are fine
    Yeah, for a safari this is probably correct. You want as much zoom as you can get without degrading quality. I was just commenting on the choice of getting an add-on lens adapter for the iPhone, given that he seems to have rejected bringing the DSLR.

  10. #10
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    thanks for the comments all. turns out my wife has a 13 pro max which has the 3 lenses so there's that. my phone is through my work so can't really upgrade until they say so (although i may be close). i def get not using a dslr if i'm not used to it (ie not wanting to take it out etc) but if riding around in a jeep for days it could prob just be on my lap. might look into borrowing a smaller one than the one i have and see if/how it fits during a pre-pack.

  11. #11
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    I have the iPhone 13 pro too and the zoom isn’t enough for ‘hunting’ animals unless yer guide is baiting them to come close. Or you have some good luck. Great photos can be had on the phone otherwise.

  12. #12
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    so did a few side by sides w my wifes iphone 13 and my canon 40d w 24-105 lens. like i think i mentioned, kinda a camera hack but seems like the iphone full zoom pic looks better than the 40d full zoom pic. i'm sure i could edit both to get a little better but thinking unless i get a better (ie tele-photo) lens then i may be better off just saving the weight...?

  13. #13
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    Yeah, quality-wise, the iPhone is really really good now. If I was going all the way to Africa for a safari, and I wanted to take wildlife photos Iíd spend the money to rent a camera and get at least a 500mm lens for it. Realistically, even if you feel very close to an animal youíre going to need more reach than youíd get from a phone or even a 70-200 on your 40d.

    Look at renting a mirrorless camera if size is an issue.

  14. #14
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    We did a safari in the Masai Mara in 2017, two iphones (albiet 5s and a 6) and two DSLRs with 70-300mm. Most of the iPhone photos end up very underwhelming because of the distance between your rig and the animals. Definitely want to have a decent zoom, ideally above 200mm. Iphones with 3x look pretty sweet for near-range, but you're still only at ~77mm

  15. #15
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    looks like renting a decent lens for 3 weeks would run around $400. could anyone recommend something that could be bought for that (or cheaper) instead? really not looking to break the bank on a lens i might use for a few weeks....

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by criscam View Post
    looks like renting a decent lens for 3 weeks would run around $400. could anyone recommend something that could be bought for that (or cheaper) instead? really not looking to break the bank on a lens i might use for a few weeks....
    For the money I'd go with the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS I USM. Older version of the below lens, but good quality and very affordable at $170: https://www.ebay.com/itm/394368870607

    The newer version is great, but triple the price: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM. Great quality for the price and very fast autofocus. Can be had for around $400: https://www.ebay.com/itm/165812150683

    Next step up, with a bit more reach, for ~$550 would be the Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM C: https://www.ebay.com/itm/314262869558

    Cheapest would be the Rebel "kit telephoto," which is passable: Canon EF-s 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM would get decent shots. $125-150 used: https://www.ebay.com/itm/27553203113

  17. #17
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    ^^^thx alpinevibes! some good info there.

  18. #18
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    We spent 3 weeks in Uganda hitting all the national parks. A monstrous telephoto lens is a must in my opinion. Itís a big tripÖ.not something easily duplicated.


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    I rip the groomed on tele gear

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by criscam View Post
    ^^^thx alpinevibes! some good info there.
    One thing to think about is if you buy a used lens, you can get most of your money back reselling it after the trip. Assuming a lion doesnít eat it, of course.

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