Second’s smartphone lenses are, in principle, good for individuals like me. I really like taking footage and have wished to strive extra critical pictures for a very long time, however nicer DSLR cameras are costly, cumbersome, and intimidating.
The brand new T-Sequence lenses from Second, which launched final month and are actually on the market, might be simply the ticket for letting me take nicer footage with out investing in high-end digital camera gear. They’re hardly low cost — they vary from $120 to $150 a bit — however they’re a better capsule to swallow: they’re cheaper than full-sized digital camera gear, lighter to lug round, and easier to get into because of their reliance on a smartphone and digital camera UI you already know.
Second gave me preproduction variations of 4 of the six lenses it presents to check. They’re well-constructed and weighty little black pucks with the feel and appear of correct digital camera gear. They usually could even act the half. After attempting them out, it looks as if they’ve actual potential within the fingers of knowledgeable — they genuinely let my iPhone digital camera do issues that it simply can’t do with out them.
I used to be capable of check out 4 of Second’s lenses: the 58mm telephoto, the 18mm wide lens, the 14mm fisheye lens, and the 10x macro, all of which you’ll see used within the pictures beneath. Second additionally makes two anamorphic lenses, the Anamorphic 1.33x and the Anamorphic 1.55x, with variants which have both blue- or- gold-tinted lens flare.
However earlier than we dig into the main points, right here’s an image of my cat, taken with Second’s telephoto lens hooked up to my iPhone 13 Professional’s 3x digital camera:
Second’s lenses should be hooked up to your telephone through a mount that goes over your digital camera lens. For my iPhone, I screwed the lens into the bayonet-style attachment piece that Second sells individually from its camera mount cases. You may also mount them on varied Android telephones with both bespoke Pixel and Galaxy instances or a common clip-on mount if Second doesn’t make a case on your telephone.
No less than with the iPhone mount, it’s fast and simple to pop a lens on and get proper all the way down to the enterprise of — what else? — taking footage of your cat. The nearer zoom of Second’s telephoto lens was a specific standout. Whereas the iPhone 13 Professional has a fantastic principal digital camera and a strong ultrawide, 3x telephoto footage have by no means been its sturdy swimsuit. I believe it’s there that Second’s gear presents a few of its greatest advantages.
These first two footage had been taken in Apple ProRAW and minimally processed to equalize their brightness (Second’s telephoto lens produced ever-so-slightly darker footage). They had been taken from the identical distance with a tripod, utilizing the iPhone’s 3x digital camera, each with and with out Second’s 58mm telephoto, and one is a transparent winner:
I’ve little question that the iPhone’s telephoto digital camera may get as detailed a shot by itself, however Second’s lens let me take the image from a very good two or three ft farther away. Even so, Second’s telephoto couldn’t save this image of a guitar from the iPhone 13 Professional’s 3x digital camera’s low mild fuzziness and, if something, makes it extra apparent:
For most traditional pictures, it’s not instantly apparent if Second’s Extensive 18mm lens is best than the iPhone’s principal shooter, however it has its benefits when you look carefully. The elevated depth of subject within the image on the suitable leaves extra in-focus tomatoes versus the bare iPhone huge digital camera on the left. The Second lens additionally grabbed extra of the scene:
On this subsequent shot, Second’s huge lens does a greater job with brilliant, back-lit topics than the iPhone’s principal digital camera alone, making a much less washed-out image (and a prettier lens flare):
Ever since Apple debuted the ultrawide digital camera on the iPhone 11 Professional, I’ve generally discovered it enjoyable however hardly ever helpful. Certain, you’ll be able to seize extra of a scene with it, however it’s not as sharp as the primary shooter, and it’s dangerous in low mild. With Second’s fisheye lens mounted to the iPhone’s main digital camera, I acquired a a lot wider, finer-detailed shot of this bulb — with enjoyable perspective warping, in addition:
Apple later added macro pictures utilizing the ultrawide digital camera for the iPhone 13 Professional telephones, and once more it was enjoyable, however I shortly acquired bored of taking shut footage of the thread on my pants or no matter. Alternatively, Second’s macro lens provides you a shallower depth of subject and the benefit of the iPhone’s significantly better main digital camera for sharper element.
It additionally works properly with the iPhone’s telephoto digital camera, which helps you to take macro pictures from farther away so that you don’t shade your topic. (It’s a must to get very shut for macro pictures with the lens hooked up to the iPhone’s huge digital camera.)
And simply have a look at the sparkly element on this dusty little plastic moon man’s helmet!
So, sure, Second’s lenses are greater than enjoyable toys. However one factor to notice right here. The iOS digital camera app doesn’t play good with them. It consistently refocuses, and it’ll refuse to make use of the iPhone’s telephoto digital camera when you could have Second’s telephoto lens over it, leaving you with a digitally zoomed principal digital camera that’s partially blocked by the physique of the Second lens. Fortunately, third-party apps like Halide and Second Professional Digicam get round this with handbook focus and no pressured digital zoom.
The lenses’ dimension provides them an enormous benefit as a compact equipment for journey pictures. I’d completely take them — particularly the telephoto and the fisheye — with me on journeys, to particular occasions, and even simply out on a pleasant summer season day once I know I’d run into one thing I’d need a image of, which is already a frequent incidence for me. Although their tiny dimension has me at the very least just a little involved I’d misplace them sooner or later.
I had a ton of enjoyable enjoying round with Second’s lenses, and the superpowers they gave my telephone provided a style of what I’m lacking out on with no DSLR. I don’t know that I’d purchase them for myself as a result of I’d virtually actually lose them, however that’s extra of a me factor than a Second factor.
Now, as just a little deal with, right here’s a gallery of a few of the different unedited footage I took with Second’s T-Sequence lenses.