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on 31 May 2014
Let's get something right out of the way: I hate changing phone covers for anything. The less I feel that my precious iPhone is in peril from slipping to the hard floor due to a change of covers, the better. As such, in searching for for a set of lenses that would fit my iPhone as-is, and not as-the-sellers-would-like-it-to-be was paramount. And I found that such item in this Xsource kit.

It arrived today and I immediately got my hands on it... But not without one of the lenses dropping to the floor two times in my most careful handling of them. We'll get to that in a second.


First of all, the item came neatly packaged in a see-through white plastic bag with all the parts inside. No brainstorming here, everything is fairly intuitive.

There was a little black bag, the clip and the lenses themselves. I was pleasantly surprised by how sturdy the clip felt. It didn't feel flimsy, it didn't feel hard to handle... It felt right. It seemed robust enough for its purpose, given its size, and it won't ever damage your phone, as two discrete pieces of rubber, one on each side, prevent it from it ever being too forceful, giving it the right pressure to just hang on. Nice.

Also the lenses themselves seem very well built, with a nice solid coat of red paint on top. The whole kit just feels well built.

By instinct, I immediately grabbed the bigger lens, which was the fish eye. I screwed it on the clip, clipped the clip to my iPhone, and voila. The world was now a much bigger place... With a handful of reddish corners. But I will approach that in a bit.

Then I moved on to the other two lenses - i.e. macro and wide lens - which were already screwed together. Good enough. So I take the fisheye out of the clip and screw this set on it. (Please note that you only really get a wide angle effect if both the macro and the wide lens are screwed together). And all of a sudden, after a little bit of screwing, the wide angle lens drop to the floor. "Oops! Clumsy me", I thought. So I tried it again. And it drops again. And I'm just thinking "what am I doing wrong?"

Time and time again I keep trying to "rescrew" both lenses together, but seemingly to no success. And just for kicks, I decide to invert the direction of the rotation. "Ah!... Now we're getting somewhere!" And so both lenses are now together.

What does this amount to? That, for some reason, the manufacturer thought it would be wiser to all of a sudden invert something that's usually so intuitive as screwing something on to something else.

Looking at it, I'm imagining the manufacturer was trying to avoid the hurdle of two pieces rotating out separately as you're trying to just get the wide angle lens out in order to use the macro. Fair enough. But having explained this reversed technique, when you're tightening the set to the clip, you must be careful that the wide angle lens doesn't screw itself out to where it might drop, as it happened to me. You have to rotate it slow enough to get to that sweet spot of stability. This amounts to a rather needless and delicate balance when you're screwing this set to use it as a wide angle. And in photography, where moments are fleeting, this isn't very good.

As I mentioned, I ordered this kit for my iPhone, even though it's compatible with plenty other smartphones on the market. My iPhone 4S is a bit thicker than the current 5S, but I don't feel like it hindered anything when it comes to its usability.


I tried these lenses in four different "configurations", if you will. The iPhone 4S, partially due to some hindrances in the new iOS 7 operating system varies between wide angle look in picture mode and a more traditional 50 mm in video mode. As anyone with an iPhone knows, this creates some obstacles. In this case, though, it creates some solutions.

In picture mode, back facing camera:

1. Starting by the weaker of the bunch, the fisheye is really just for kicks. It can create that spur of the moment distorted view of the world that's good for an Instagram shot. The problem here, as I alluded to earlier, is the very visible red corners stemming from the short diameter in a lens like this. Also, a greater problem, is lots of blur in the outer rims, and just a general lack of overall definition. In this particular mode, it's fun to play around with, but only for brief moments, or periods of time.

2. The wide angle (which, I repeat, is a product of both the macro and the wide angle lens screwed on together) is fairly good. Definitely good enough to get that extra foot or so that the iPhone conventionally doesn't allow when you're trying to take pictures. There is, however, some vignetting (little dark blurry corners), which isn't very pleasing to the eye, or the overall shot. As much as you move it around, there's always going to be a bit of a black, blurry circumference getting in the way.

3. The macro lens. STELLAR. I could not say good enough things about this little insignificantly-looking beast. I took a picture of its sibling, the fisheye, and you can see all the way down to the grains of ink. I took a picture of my cat's name tag on its collar, and you can see the PIXELS of the letters, all the while showing his perfectly shaped fur. It caught a detail that the naked eye doesn't see. Damn near perfect, but great definition. Used right, it can produce some killer shots of very small objets, or objects within a very short distance.

Picture mode, front-facing camera

1. The fisheye. Again, good, but not great. Same as before.

2. The wide angle. A bit of an improvement here, great for selfies for your favorite social network.

3. The macro. Unless you want to take a picture of the hairs in your nose, it really serves no purpose in this camera.

Video mode, back-facing camera:

1. The fisheye. Much better! The shortened distance as by defauly in iOS actually takes the corners away and allows you to focus on whatever you're shooting. There is a bit of blur in the corners, still, but nothing that takes away from the overall shot. (And frankly, if you're willing to have a distorted shot in using a fisheye lens, what's a little blur anyway?)

2. The wide angle. Again, for the same reason above, the shot in this mode is much clearer. Little to no obstruction at all.

3. The macro. This beauty works great here too.

Video mode, front-facing camera:

1. The fisheye. If you clip your iPhone to a suction mount in your car, it will definitelly be good for some first person GoPro-like action shots. (As much action as a mounted iPhone can endure, anyway). Definitelly good for a video of two or three poeple in the same shot at once.

2. The wide angle. It's now my new favorite toy! Let me be clear about this, with as much emphasis as I can muster: this mode ALONE makes the whole kit not only worthy to have, but worthy to carry everywhere. Particularly if you're the video blogger sort, like myself, and you know that physical space is a luxury that the conventional front-facing lens on the iPhone 4S hinders. Because of this, this baby will now be with me everywhere. Thank you, Xsource.

3. The macro lens. Still looking to make of a video of your nose's hairs?

In either mode, NO vignetting, whatsoever.


All in all, this is a great tool to add to your arsenal, if you're not an overly demanding photographer or videographer, but rather want decent shots, for a low price, with a piece of gear that takes little to no space.

It's a great price, the build is sturdy (to a point. Some common sense for handling small objects is required) and every one of these lenses does as advertised: they either offer a more intimate look into your object, or a vaster look. That much is guaranteed. It's the way you go about it that may produce different results.

Overall, I'm pleasantly surprised. I will be carrying this with me every time I go on a weekend or on holiday, as I'm sure to capture some really great stuff.

It's a great tool to have.
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on 29 January 2014
I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of these lenses for the price. The images they produce are great, and they're small enough to carry anywhere.

In regards to other comments on the quality of the images, vignetting, distortion, etc. I think thats all part of it, right? I mean, they’re tiny cheap lenses designed to attach to a smartphone! It’s just for fun really!. Check my uploads in the gallery for examples.

All in all, they’re fantastic for the money! Definitely recommended :D
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on 11 August 2013
I needed these to capture good quality close ups for my work so only really use the macro lens but the results excellent. I've trailed other similar models and whilst the photos were just as good I had to remove my phone case to use them whereas this model just clips on and is ready to use in an instant. I use an iPhone 4S but have also tried many other popular smart and functional phones and found them to fit on all models tried so far. Well worth the £8.50 sent.
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VINE VOICEon 24 July 2014
Pretty simple set of three lenses - on delivery you'll find the macro lens is part of the wide angle lens so don't panic thinking 'I'm sure it said there were 3 lenses!' like I did. The macro lens has a focal length (I think that's the term, but I'm no photography expert so bear with me) is about 1cm. The casing of the lens are metal and feel sturdy and the clip is good an strong but padded so it won't scratch your mobile. The only criticism I have (and why there aren't five stars at the top of this review) is that the Macro lens can end up getting stuck in the clip - if you use the wide lens attached to screw it into the clip and then screw off the wide lens you can get into a situation where you can't get the necessary 'bite' between lenses to get the macro lens to screw out of the clip. My solution was to buy a duplicate set of lenses and leave the macro lens stuck in the original clip. I noticed that the second set I bought did not come with a full compliment of lens caps - 2 to protect the front of the lenses, rather than the 4 to protect the front and back in my original purchase.

The photo results from my iPhone have added another dimension to my casual snapping. The macro lens in particular is far superior to the macro settings I have on three digital cameras in my household. It's important line up the lens on your phone or you may see a metallic red outline on the fisheye lens and I also suspect that taking my leather case off the phone helped with the macro lens.
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on 7 November 2014
Summary: The lenses do their jobs but not too well. Flash can't be used or photos will look bad. Look at the quality of the photos I've attached. My main gripe was the black corners. Not impressed.

I'm using an Xperia Z2 and since the camera was nice, I thought it might be worth it to buy some lens so I can take nice scenic pictures when I travel.

FYI, just remember that the wide lens is combine with the macro lens.

Detailed review:
When I opened the package, first thing I thought was "Only front cover lens? No back cover lens?"

Photo quality:
Photos 1 & 2 (fish-eye lens):
Note the black border surrounding the photo, that's the fault of the lens. You'll have to zoom in to get rid of the photos. The first photo was taken with flash turned on and as you can see, the lens blocked the flash and worse, it spoils the picture. So bear in mind that no flash is to be used when donning these lenses (if you're using an Xperia Z2 that is. However it did get the fish-eye angle.

Photos 3 & 4 (wide angle + macro lens)
Photo 3 is with flash, and photo 4 is without flash. Same gripe, black circle borders around the photos. Same result as photos 1 & 2.

Photos 5, 6 & 7 (macro lens only)
Now to be frank, I don't know how to use a macro lens. I know it's for focusing on the minute details, but you have to be really close to get those minute details. No black circle border problems here. Photo 5 was taken about 3-4 inches away from the subject. I couldn't focus on anything. Photos 6 & 7 was taken about 1-3 cm away from the subject and you can see the results. Photo 7 was taken with flash, and yes it sucked.

They're made from aluminium. looked sturdy, I don't know if I'll be dropping the anytime soon but they looked like they can survive falls. The clip was good, secured the lens in place although it's a guesswork to place it precisely. The black borders seen in the camera made the clipping process worse.

It does the job I suppose but steer clear of using the flash. I might have regretted buying this, but we'll see once I get to explore more places with them. They really need to give lens covers for both the front and the back of the lenses. I wouldn't recommend my friends to buy this.
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on 30 July 2016
Strange. Either the construction of these has deteriorated over the years or the black version is considerably worse than the red version I bought a year ago. The red version fisheye lens I bought a year ago (from the same supplier via Amazon) had anti-reflection coated optics and appears to have an additional element inside it. This current black version has no anti-reflection coating, and poorer quality fisheye effect without good focus.
I do not use this on a smartphone but on a mini webcam so maybe it is better if used on an iPhone - don't know.
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on 26 November 2015
Bought this as a Christmas present for a teenager. With all kids being very much into photography nowadays this present was perfect. He's a skateboarder and absolutely loves the fish eye lens! It's really simple and easy to use, you don't need to be a genius to figure it out. It comes packaged in a nice little box with a bag to keep the lenses in which is handy when kids will just throw stuff in their bag. Fantastic value for money and everyone was pleased.
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on 7 March 2016
I used this on my Samsung S4 and now on my S6. Although the Samsung lenses on the rear are raised, it still fits pretty well. Due to the width of the shot on my S6's front and rear cameras - I do get vignetting and barrelling but it's only for fun shots so I don't mind.

Fits nice and easily, as it's just a sprung clip - and the rubber stops it from damaging your phone.
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on 29 March 2014
The quality of this 'lens' is terrible... it's like a plastic magnifying glass out of a cracker.
The 'clamp' you attach it to iphone (in my case) is literally a clamp, so you literally every time you use it have to jostle it by the micro millimeter or it'll show in the frame. Even then, just in wide angle not fish eye, the image was absolutely awful and if you nudge said clamp you're back to square 1!!. I've had in the past on an iphone 4 an ollcolp (not olloclip ;) ) (which I can't find for iphone5) and it was miles better. and about a tenner as I remember.
This thing came 3 days before our holiday and it is totally useless. the belter is I bought 2.

Oh, and I managed to seperate 2 lenses to see macro, and now the macro won't come off.
A disgrace of a 'product',
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on 21 August 2013
I'm a keen photographer and a macro lens is next on my list but then i came across this little gadget. Fantastic macro images have been taken and loads of fun with the fish eye. You will not be disappointed and for the price it's a great deal. Hurry up and buy one :o)
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