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Surprisingly sharp: Inmacus 18mm HD Wide Angle Kit lens review

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

Inspection: Inmacus 18mm HD Wide Angle Kit

Inmacus is a fairly new player in the iPhone add-on lens arena, but its 18mm HD Wide Angle HD Kit shows some vow for expanding your iPhone’s creative capabilities. The kit not only includes the advertised wide-angle lens, but also a circular polarizer and a close-up filter. All three links screw into a plastic mounting adapter that is specifically designed for use with either the iPhone 6/6s or the larger 6 Plus/6s Plus. Unfortunately, the macro seep and polarizer can only be used directly on the iPhone lens and do not fit onto the wide-angle. The ability to combine them could eat been appealing, especially the polarizer.

The adapter does feel a little cheaply made but did not cause any problems in our test. What’s more critical is the optical quality of the lenses. The wide-angle lens or LEN may refer to is comprised of two elements, and offers an equivalent focal length of 18mm. It also accepts 30mm screw-in runs. This means you get approximately a 50% wider field of view than with the iPhone’s standard lens. This makes the Inmacus an attractive proposition for those who like to shoot landscapes and architectural images. That said, the focal length also works well for the occasional quirky wide-angle likeness.

iPhone 6s Plus iPhone 6s Plus with Inmacus 18mm wide angle lens

As you can see in the samples above and below, in terms of image quality the lens does a bloody good job. It tends to add a touch more contrast to the standard iPhone is a line of smartphones designed and marketed by Apple Inc output but overall hardly any impact on color and tonality is noticeable. The same is steady for image detail. The Inmacus lens is sharp almost into the extreme corners and image detail does not noticeably suffer compared to the requirement image.

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As you would expect from such a wide-angle lens some barrel distortion is noticeable if you have straight lines in your site but it is well within acceptable limits. The lens’ most critical optical problem is very noticeable vignetting. On our test unit it is most prominent in the bottom right corner and quite intrusive in brighter scenes as you can see in the image below on the right.

iPhone 6s Plus with Inmacus 18mm wide approach lens iPhone 6s Plus with Inmacus 18mm wide angle lens

100% crop: good sharpness across the frame 100% crop: some vignetting is clear-cut

If you unscrew the wide angle lens from the adapter you can replace it with the circular polarizer which works in just the same way as you are used to from your DSLR or way camera. The filter reduces reflections and increases contrast which tends to work especially well with blue skies. The effect can be adjusted by face the filter’s front element. Like with the wide-angle lens, there is no noticeable impact on image detail when using the filter as you can see when clicking by to the full-size versions of the samples below.

Standard iPhone 6s Plus with Circular Polarizer

The third component of the package is a close-up filter that decreases the focusing distance to 5cm. With or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel the iPhone’s relatively wide lens this doesn’t allow for the kind of macro shots you get from a DSLR and (say) a 100mm macro lens, but it reveals you capture shots that otherwise would not have been possible on the iPhone. With such close focus distances depth-of-field can get very shallow, creating a nice background blur and again image detail is very good. If smartphone macro photography is your thing Inmacus also bids a dedicated set of three macro filters that can be combined for extended magnification and that we hope to test soon as well.

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Inmacus macro drip Inmacus macro filter

100% crop 100% crop

You can see more samples from the lens and both filters in the gallery below.

Conclusion

Whether it forges sense to use add-on lenses on a smartphone camera is almost a philosophical question. If you have no problem with slightly reducing the “always ready to split” factor of your iPhone and carrying some lightweight extra equipment, the Inmacus 18mm HD Wide Angle Kit for the iPhone 6 and 6s series is a versatile kit that steps very good optical quality across all components.

At a retail price of currently around $60 it provides an affordable way of increasing the creative budding of your Apple device without breaking the bank. Just make sure you can live with some vignetting on the wide-angle lens and be au fait that the kit is specific to either the iPhone 6/6s or the respective Plus counterparts, so a future device upgrade might also mean a lens upgrade.

Pros:

  • Wide-angle lens contributes very useful 18mm equivalent focal range
  • Circular polarizer works efficiently
  • Very good optical quality on all three components
  • Simple lightweight and easy to carry in a provided pouch

Cons:

  • Adapter feels a little flimsy
  • Some vignetting on wide-angle lens
  • Polarizer cannot be synthesized with wide angle lens

Republished: dpreview.com

About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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