I never imagined I would be using my phone as much as I do for wildlife photography! Armed with a Canon 7D MrkII and a Canon 2.8 macro lens, why would I ever turn to a phone to take macro photographs you may well ask, but I have found myself using my iPhone 6 more and more. My phone is always in my pocket and even before I was asked to try out the Manfrotto KLYP system, I used my phone for all sorts of photographic opportunities.
The KLYP system consists of a phone photographic case that allows you to add a range of photographic accessories to your iPhone. Your phone clips securely into the case and the thread on the outside allows you to screw a range of external lenses onto the phone, just as you would change lenses on a DSLR.
From a range of lenses to additional lighting, tripods and kickstands, it offers a wealth of opportunities. You can find out more here. There is even a free ‘KLYPapp’ to allow you to further manipulate your images.
Although I have all the lenses, it was the macro that most interested me as I felt this was the one I would use the most . The macro comes screwed into a 1.5 telephoto lens combination. Used together, they create a 1.5x telephoto lens(good for portraits) or screw off the outer most section and the base forms the macro.
I was not overly keen on the case…. it is hard and I did not feel it offered my precious iPhone 6 much protection considering I tend to be out and about a lot of the time with it in my pocket! My current phone case is flip-top and covers the front of the phone completely. I was happy to have the case on whilst I experimented and used the lens, but must admit, I put my original case back on my phone once I had done.
First, I experimented how close I could actually focus using the standard lens on the iPhone 6. It is about 5cm and perfect if you can creep up on a butterfly or large beetle. Screwing the macro on means that the optimum focus is only about 2cm away….. that’s pretty close! It’s no problem photographing flowers and leaves, so I started trying that… the results were pretty impressive!
Obviously, as with any macro lens, the depth of field is quite small. I started looking for some other insects that were not too flighty as I would need to get the lens close to my subject. I found a small leaf beetle and slowly moved the phone in towards it. The small size of the phone, combined with the large screen, meant that I could see exactly where my subject was, position it where I wanted on the screen and hit the button when the beetle looked in focus. The phone was good at finding and focusing on the subject so I did not have to tap on the screen to ensure a good focus. The result was amazing and the detail pretty impressive! I added a bit of contrast in editing, but nothing else!
I have, since, spent some time experimenting with various subjects and, with a little practise, it is amazing how close you can get. If you just edge in very slowly, I found that I could get right up to a range of beetles, bees and flies… and even this jumping spider!
It does take a little perseverance and practise, but I must admit, I am pretty impressed with this tiny lens and the difference it can make. Here are a selection of shots, most with very little done to them other than the most basic of processing; much of that actually on the phone!
The macro lens is just one of the family of lenses available in the KLYP system. There is even a little LED light arrangement that clips onto the case, that is charged via USB… I will be experimenting over the next few months, but this macro is going to be my favourite I think!
You can see the blog post I wrote for Manfrotto ‘Imagine More’ website about this kit, here.
Other than the hassle of getting the case on and screwing the lens on, this is a great addition to my ‘pocket’ and it is great fun experimenting!