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Thread: 2X (Prime or Telephoto?) lens for Apple iPhone 4S

  1. #1
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    2X (Prime or Telephoto?) lens for Apple iPhone 4S

    After lurking for some time as a guest, I decided to become brave enough to register and ask for help. There are some areas of technology where I have decades of experience ( Marine tech support, Macintosh computer tech support, Geophysical instrumentation design (my 1960's PhD subject)) but camera lenses? Meh....woefully sad.

    I have taken some 500 GB of 1080p video of my grandson in his last hockey season. I used a fixed focus, Contour HD 1080p Helmet Cam. This is a fixed focus camera with no view finder, so what I had my nose pointed at was what I recorded.

    This season I have moved up to using a tripod mounted Apple iPhone 4S with much better results in the video. Part of the improvement is in the better sensor ( 8 MP compared to 5 MP) and the other improvement, for my use, is the slightly reduced field of view.

    Of course I am anxiously waiting for the 2012 model of the iPad 3 ( or what ever it will be called) for the much larger viewfinder, and the 2012 model of the iPhone 5 ( or what ever it will be called) for what may be an even better camera.

    OK back to the reason for my posting.

    I found a wonderfully simple snap on Macro lens for the iPhone 4
    http://www.shapeways.com/model/32879...ns.html?gid=mg
    that uses a small plastic insert that takes an inexpensive ($4) planoconvex L4471 lens from Surplus Shed. http://www.surplusshed.com/finder.cfm

    I have ordered the plastic bit, but have no response from the macro lens designer for a suggested 12mm lens from Surplus Shed that would allow me to make a 2X lens instead of a macro lens.

    After many hours of reading various searches I have tried, I have a blizzard of information but have found no clear understanding of what I am trying to do. I am still baffled by what kind of lens matches what I would like to do. based on the quality results of the single element planoconvex glass lens, I would like to use a similar diameter single element glass lens from Surplus Shed.

    It seems ( though my perception may not be reality) that I am trying to specify a Prime Lens with a 1.5X or perhaps 2X and so on to experimentally determine an optimal little snap on lens for my hockey game video purposes, depending on how far from the ice surface my video vantage point is. I imagine some small single digit number of these little snap on lenses in my pocket, ready to try out, one at a time in every new hockey rink situation I come into.

    If anyone has the patience to point me at a suitable tutorial to do what I am trying to do, or the technological generosity to look at the Surplus Shed Lens finder and say to me "Look here you old git, try these four little lenses and stop cluttering up our web site with such trivial questions....."

    John Foster
    Alameda CA on San Francisco Bay
    http://nonsuch22blueberry.blogspot.com

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: 2X (Prime or Telephoto?) lens for Apple iPhone 4S

    Quote Originally Posted by adjuvantjfoster View Post
    After lurking for some time as a guest, I decided to become brave enough to register and ask for help. There are some areas of technology where I have decades of experience ( Marine tech support, Macintosh computer tech support, Geophysical instrumentation design (my 1960's PhD subject)) but camera lenses?

    ~

    It seems ( though my perception may not be reality) that I am trying to specify a Prime Lens with a 1.5X or perhaps 2X and so on to experimentally determine an optimal little snap on lens for my hockey game video purposes, depending on how far from the ice surface my video vantage point is. I imagine some small single digit number of these little snap on lenses in my pocket, ready to try out, one at a time in every new hockey rink situation I come into.

    If anyone has the patience to point me at a suitable tutorial to do what I am trying to do, or the technological generosity to look at the Surplus Shed Lens finder and say to me "Look here you old git, try these four little lenses and stop cluttering up our web site with such trivial questions....."
    Hi John and welcome to the CiC forums from me, I'm glad you did join.

    No, we won't say that - it is an interesting one, but I do wonder why (size, budget, handling, Mac compatibility, etc.) you are metaphorically 'using a chisel as a screwdriver'?
    I guess what I am asking is why not use a zoom equipped video camera?

    I saw someone taking stills in Oxford with an iPad2 a couple of days ago, I have to say he did look rather odd holding a tablet PC above his head instead of a P&S or DSLR - but he did have a nice big viewfinder.

    I don't think I could have helped anyway, but the second link to surpless shed crashed their webpage, so I couldn't see anything.

    Not giving up that easily; I did a google and Amazon UK came up with somethings (not much help where you are), so I went to Amazon US and here's a link that may help you. There are some telephoto, but they could be too much or too expensive for your needs.

    Cheers,

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    Re: 2X (Prime or Telephoto?) lens for Apple iPhone 4S

    Thank you for your thoughtful welcome.

    If you think someone waving around an iPad attracts stares and questions, try wearing a motorbike helmet with a Contour HD 1080p Helmet Cam bolted on one side with the camera at eye height on the side of the helmet.

    More recent, and ugh more expensive models of the Contour and the competitive GoPro helmet cams have a Bluetooth connection possible to various Smart Phones, both Apple iOS and Android.

    Since it was time ( for me) to replace my cell phone I opted for the 64 GB iPhone 4S. The image quality for me, taking video is superb. The image projected through an HDMI cable to our 48" Plasma HD screen is really stunning.

    My yearning for an iPad 3 rather than using an iPad 2 comes from the camera in the iPhone 4S being significantly better than that in the iPad 2, and I do so want the luxury of taking video with an iPad sized view screen.

    My quest for small, incremental improvements in what I have today led me to explore various lenses for the iPhone 4S. Most of what is on offer is marginal entertainment, for me. I believe, perhaps mistakenly, that making half a dozen little lenses, each mounted in their own Shapeways bit of plastic, will allow me many hours of experimental video work at the various distances the spectator facilities of various hockey rinks present me with.

    In looking over various tutorial offerings, I realize that an illustration showing distant and close by objects having more similar size than real life, would be an unintended consequence of using a "proper" camera with a "proper" telephoto lens. Hence my drift towards a DIY Prime Lens of very modest steps in power may yield, for me taking hockey game videos, my best results.

    The Amazon searches I have explored in great detail, both a US and a UK search, especially Uk as they tend to have a lot larger DIY community.

    Bottom line, after many tens of hours following various links, a lot of rebranding and a lot of really awful lenses with vignetting, blurring and chromatic aberration in their example photos.

    The Olloclip folks might, next year have a 2x telephoto, but nothing so far. The plastic bits shown at http://www.shapeways.com/model/32879...ns.html?gid=mg with Surplus Shed lenses http://www.surplusshed.com/ seem to be my best bet.

    So I wait, wistfully in hope of some education here.
    Last edited by adjuvantjfoster; 20th November 2011 at 03:40 PM.

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    Re: 2X (Prime or Telephoto?) lens for Apple iPhone 4S

    Quote Originally Posted by adjuvantjfoster View Post
    Thank you for your thoughtful welcome.

    If you think someone waving around an iPad attracts stares and questions, try wearing a motorbike helmet with a Contour HD 1080p Helmet Cam bolted on one side with the camera at eye height on the side of the helmet.
    SNIP

    In looking over various tutorial offerings, I realize that an illustration showing distant and close by objects having more similar size than real life, would be an unintended consequence of using a "proper" camera with a "proper" telephoto lens. Hence my drift towards a DIY Prime Lens of very modest steps in power may yield, for me taking hockey game videos, my best results.

    SNIP

    So I wait, wistfully in hope of some education here.
    Apart from the thoughtful, and welcome reply from our moderator, I am underwhelmed with response.

    I realize that the iPhone 4S is not thought of as a "real camera with proper lenses" it comes oh so close to being sufficient for my needs.

    I look forward to the new model of iPad coming out in March, with a camera that might match or even exceed that in my iPhone 4S. This is by no means the end of iPhone and iPad camera development, as revealed in a recent Sony announcement of their coming releases.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-...camera-sensor/

    Meanwhile I wait in hopes of improving what I now have.

    John

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    Re: 2X (Prime or Telephoto?) lens for Apple iPhone 4S

    Quote Originally Posted by adjuvantjfoster View Post
    Apart from the thoughtful, and welcome reply from our moderator, I am underwhelmed with response.
    Hi John,

    Perhaps it's because nobody has anything they're able to contribute? (that was the case for me). I have a 4s - love the camera for day-to-day stuff, but I don't use it for serious photography.

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    Re: 2X (Prime or Telephoto?) lens for Apple iPhone 4S

    Hi John,

    Perhaps it's because nobody has anything they're able to contribute? (that was the case for me). I have a 4s - love the camera for day-to-day stuff, but I don't use it for serious photography.

    Cheers,

    Colin - http://pbase.com/cjsouthern
    Thank you Colin, your reply provides me with a tad of hope.

    Since NZ ( as well as the soggy isles of the UK) have an anomalously high percentage of DIY enthusiasts, would you know of any alternative sources of advice for a decent 2x Prime lens for my iPhone 4S?

    Your comment about your own use of the iPhone was about what I thought about my iPhone 4S as well till I went through a two day on line iPhoneoraphy workshop.
    http://www.creativelive.com/courses/...-hollingsworth

    One of the details that got my attention is Jack's use of a tripod bar with his industrial strength Canon on one side and his iPhone 4S on the other side. He makes great use of both cameras over the days of the shooting assignment.

    Then, more recently I ran across the Sony press release about their cameras which might well be found in the iPhone 5 and the iPad 4:
    Sony Develops New “RGBW Coding” and “HDR Movie” Functions
    http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/News/Pr...10E/index.html
    SNIP
    "The built-in “RGBW Coding” function which adds W (White) pixels to the conventional range of RGB (Red-Green-Blue) pixels has realized higher sensitivity, enabling high-quality shooting with low noise even in dark indoor or night settings."
    SNIP
    "The new models are also able to output signals through the conventional RGB method, thus there is no need to change the signal processing adopted in existing devices."
    SNIP
    "The built-in “HDR Movie” function enables brilliant colors to be captured even in settings with a wide range of light including bright light."

    The newer iPhones and iPads ( I really appreciate the 10" view screen instead of having to stream the iPhone to the HDMI input of a separate video monitor on the tripod bar.) will really be game changers in the world of photography.

    Anyway, thanks again for being there in this forum.

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    Re: 2X (Prime or Telephoto?) lens for Apple iPhone 4S

    Hi, John!

    What an interesting question.

    I did some looking on line, but wasn't quite sure what to search for etc. I did come across this forum : http://www.iphoneforums.net/forum/ and there is a section on the iPhone camera and I did see questions about lenses for the iPhone and forum members had some suggested sites. Maybe someone there has found what you are looking for or will know where to direct you.

    I love my phone and am amazed at what people capture with their phones. Sounds like a fun project.

    Blessings.

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    Re: 2X (Prime or Telephoto?) lens for Apple iPhone 4S

    I use a FLIP Ultra HD video camera which is certainly small enough to carry anywhere in a shirt pocket, has a zoom lens and shoots video with enough quality for my needs...

    It is also relatively inexpensive....

    I am afraid a cell phone that needs an adapter lens is just a bit too minimalist for me...

    However, the manufacturer Cisco must have seen the writing on the wall and has ceased production of this fine little unit. Rumor has it that the FLIP was discontinued because of the video capability of cell phones these days...

    A guy who adopted one of our Rescue Maltese uses his IPAD to shoot videos. As a photographer experienced with still cameras, we would flip the IPAD to vertical to shoot imagery that would be best composed in the vertical configuration, When watching his vertical video, he simply turns the IPAD around until it is also in the vertical position. Fine for him but, I would expect that if he wanted to share the videos, the watcher would have to lie on his side to view them...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 26th January 2012 at 02:37 AM.

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