Friday, 27 July 2007

Jelly Lenses For Mobile Phones

Fun for everyone! I was recently in a Red Dot store and came across a display holding those blister card displays with these "Jelly Lenses" on them.


The photos above were taken with my mobile phone, first one with no additional lens, and it shows two of what you get after opening your $4.99 blister pack. BTW Kudos to the Jelly Lens people, these are slide-apart packages not the kind you need a chainsaw and sledge hamemr to get into the pack. Well done!

Once you open the package, you have a lens body which is colour coded, i.e. the wide angles are all yellow, close-up lenses are all orange, etc. The lens has a small keeper cap covering the camera end of the lens, and no lens cap or anything for the business end.

The camera end has a ring of that sticky silicon gel on it, the kind they make those stretchy sticky toys out of, and it's as sensitive to dust and dirt as those sticky toys. The keeper cap is presumably meant to keep the sticky stuff sticky, but has a tendency to fall off which is why I keep them in a breast pocket or somewhere that will tend to keep the lids on.

I imagine that if it loses stickiness a gentle wipe with a detergent and water soaked cloth should make the stickiness come back.

The lenses are attached to a small curly lanyard with a wrist-strap loop at one end so that, presumably, they can be attached to your phone to be ever at hand. In practice, though, that means the keeper cap will invariably detach and then the gel will get really dirty really quickly.

In use - the second shot was taken with the purported close-up lens but it's very hard to work out the focus on this lens hence the shot is blurry, the phone body was supported during the shot.

The third shot and the shot below were taken with the wide angle (fisheye) lens and it shows quite acceptable effect, in a Lomograph kind of way. Hey, these are $5 lenses after all!

Worst problem is that unless you can get the jelly lens very close the the camera lens they are a touch small and you will get vignetting (seeing the lens body in the corners of the shot) and that is that, you have to deal with it the lenses only come in that tiny size. I would have paid a dollar more to have a larger aperture but there you go.

Lenses come in macro, wide angle, and a variety of effects such as stretch, starburst, etc, and at $5 each you can have a good collection of the little suckers quite cheaply. I found mine at Red Dot as I mentioned, you will probably find them at other outlets and if you mention them and this article to your mobile phone or camera shop no doubt they can get them in.

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1 comment:

ATP said...

Hey I live in Adelaide (Australia) and found your blog after i bought some of these. I got mine for $5 a lense at "the warehouse" store. I also purchased a tiny keyring style mini digital camera for $15 at "cheep as chips" that is just perfect for these lenses!

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