Smartphone cases with lenses you fit over the camera on the back are nothing new, but the latest entry to hit crowd-funding website Kickstarter promises to deliver higher quality photos than any other. It’s called the Oowa, and it uses a special free-form lens — a world first on this type of product — with a rotationally asymmetrical design.
What does this mean to you? It means better quality photos from your smartphone, as the company can tune the image taken to a finer degree, resulting in more sharpness, less color bleed, no annoying vignetting, and a clearer, more life-like picture. Currently only available for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone 6S Plus, there are three options from which to choose.
Oowa has two lenses in the range, a 2.5x telephoto lens that’s the DSLR equivalent of 75mm, and a 15mm equivalent wide-angle lens with a 110-degree field of view. The third option puts the two together in what’s called a Pro Kit. Each set comes with a slim case for the iPhone, and the lens clips on with a bayonet fitting, so there’s no need to mess around with complicated structures, or removing another case before using the lens. There’s a lens cap and a carrying case include as well.
Each lens is made up of plastic and glass elements — four plastic and one glass on the telephoto, and three plastic and one glass on the wide-angle — and the example pictures taken using the Oowa lenses look great, revealing significantly more clarity, and much less color bleed than an unnamed competitor. Interestingly, Oowa lenses are produced by DynaOptics, a company we’ve encountered before, when it designed an intriguing optical zoom setup for smartphones that didn’t require an unsightly bump on the back of the device.
If you’re quick, the lens kits will cost $65, but if you miss out on the early bird offer they increase to $80. If you want the two lenses together as part of the Pro Kit, then you’ll need to pledge $140. It does come with two sets of lens caps and a pair of carrying cases too. The Kickstarter campaign has only just started, and has a goal of $50,000, with deliveries expected in November this year if it’s funded. If you like the idea of improving and adding functionality to the camera on your iPhone, then check it out here.