iPhone Lens Dial turns your smartphone into a turret-lensed throwback


November 22, 2011

The iPhone Lens Dial features wide angle, fisheye and telephoto lenses, which swivel into place over top of the existing camera's lens

The iPhone Lens Dial features wide angle, fisheye and telephoto lenses, which swivel into place over top of the existing camera's lens

Image Gallery (9 images)

Once upon a time, before zoom lenses were invented, movie and TV cameras had three lenses that the user could choose between, using a Lazy Susan-type arrangement to swivel them into place - you wanted to go wide, you'd swing in the wide-angle lens, if you needed a close-up, you'd swing in the telephoto. Well, in the spirit of everything old being new again, the iPhone Lens Dial now offers the same functionality for Apple's iconic smartphone.

The iPhone Lens Dial features 0.7x wide angle, 0.33x fisheye and 1.5x telephoto lenses, all made from optical-quality coated glass. The dial is mounted on an aircraft-grade aluminum case, that slips over an iPhone. The phone's camera lens lines up with a hole in that case, which each of the lenses sit over when they're moved into place.

The case also has two threaded tripod-mount holes (one on the bottom and one on one side) for taking photos in portrait or landscape format.

Whereas other similar devices such as Holga's Lens and Filter Wheel are marketed more as novelties, the iPhone Lens Dial is apparently aimed at serious use - at least, that's what its US$249 price would seem to indicate. It's available on Photojojo, which also sells a tiny-but-decent Fisheye, Macro, Wide Angle and Telephoto Phone Lens combo for $49.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Please work on this product until you have a quality telephoto.

Carlos Grados

wow, it totally looks like the lens in Armored troopers Votoms


Obvious solution, they should have asked Bolex first to make it more efficient!

Leon Radford

You could buy a compact digital camera with better zoom - plus better camera sensor, software, control, etc. than an iPhone - for less than this set of lenses. It\'d be easier to carry as well. I just can\'t conceive of this being of any practical use.


Patently ridiculous that people have become so lazy that a smartphone is the answer to all their life quests. This bloody thing looks utterly awkward.

Fahrenheit 451
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