A few months ago I was able to test a wide lens for iPhone X from Sandmarc. Having tried several lenses for iPhone in the past, I was skeptical about using them as it all felt like extra 'crutches' for using the camera on a smartphone. That was until I took control of Sandmarc's solution. I must say that Sandmarc's wide lens pleasantly surprised and impressed me.
The Sandmarc Wide Lens Edition contains a wide-angle lens, a body mount, a clip mount, protective lenses and a carrying bag. The Sandmarc kit costs $ 89.99 and is a breath of fresh air when compared to similar competing products.
The wide lens has a well-made metal body with a filament attachment system on the underside. This metal thread, screws in a fastener or mounting system. First we tested the interaction with the case-case, and then tested the clip-clothespin option.
My New Favorite Slim Case
From the beginning to this day, the Sandmarc case has been one of the best slim cases I've used on my iPhone X. The rubber grip makes holding the case much more comfortable, especially with the wide lens mounted on the phone.
One small problem I found was that I had to rotate the lens several times before it caught the threaded connection to the body. It seems to me that over time, the metal thread of the lens can wear out due to the plastic thread of the housing.
The housing mount also blocks the rear microphone iPhone X. This can cause a significant muffling of sound depending on which application you are using to record video / audio.
Fighting the mount
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After testing, I ended up breaking a corner of the case. Not from a fall, but after unsuccessfully removing my phone from this case. The Sandmarc body is thin, very strong and does not flex well. But after removing the case for the fifth time in a week, the corner broke off from the stress.
Not wanting to risk further the final breakage of the cover, I started testing the clip-lens. The Sandmarc mount is one of the best I have tested. It shrinks tightly and does not turn from small movements. However, it faces the same problem as each mount: it is difficult to quickly align the clip mount with the phone lens. It always takes me at least thirty seconds to turn and put everything right. If you move it even a millimeter, all photos and videos taken with the lens will have disgusting blur.
Just a great lens
Now let's look at a wide-angle lens review option. The Sandmarc lens really impressed me. When testing in various situations, I never noticed that it strongly distorts the edges of the image, making them look like a photo in fisheye mode. If people are at the very edge of the photo, the curvature of the wide lens will become more noticeable. Nevertheless, this defect is almost imperceptible, in order to somehow be disappointed and not use this lens in your work with photography or video, because the plus of a wide view completely covers the minuses that are barely noticeable in the result.
Examples of photos with and without a wide-angle lens (photos without using zoom)
I am happy with the overall kit that Sandmarc was able to assemble and provide for my money. Their lens is impressive and does an excellent job of important tasks. I would like the mounting options to be more convenient, because I cannot be sure that the lens is durable, I did not drop them in the review, and somehow I did not want to drop them or scratch them on purpose.
The SandMarc wide lens is now available on iPhone X, iPhone 8/8 Plus, and iPhone 7/7 Plus for $ 89.99. SandMarc also sells a fisheye lens and a macro lens for various iPhone. If you want to save $ 50, you can purchase all three lenses together through the Sandmarc Photography Edition.
Quick tip: the added weight of the lens can make it difficult to hold iPhone, for this use case it is better to use a tripod or a selfie stick. The shots will be even richer and less blurry than when shooting handheld.