Phone Cameras – Lenses Do Help!

Anyone who knows me knows I like mobile devices. also, most of my friends know I like photography – but I am not really a photographer and my meagre abilities never warranted buying a decent camera in my opinion. Anyway, I always hear people who know more about it say that the best camera you have is the one you have with you – which is why I like the Google Pixel line of phones and do enjoy what they can do for an indifferent “photographer” (more like “photo taker”) such as me.

I always wanted to do more with my phone cameras and had been looking into the lenses you can attach to phones wither with clips or by using specific phone cases. the clip-ons always struck me as too unreliable to be worth anything and the Momentum cases and lenses were just a bit more than I wanted to spend .. especially if I found out that I might not be as interested as I thought I’d be …. I am more of a casual “photo taker” after all.

I watch allot of tech reviews on YouTube, and one of the (many) reviewers I follow was in my auto-play queue and he was reviewing the new add-on lenses and cases by RhinoShield … Here is the link to his YouTube video

What I liked about the RhinoShield lenses are that they are combo lenses – so if I buy one lens, it has a wide angle AND a macros lens in one …. and the combo lens is less expensive than Momentum …. I have had RhinoShield cases and screen protectors previously so I was not too worried about the quality of their equipment, I always liked their stuff.

Suffices to say … I went ahead and bought the case and the combo for less than what the momentum single macro woudl cost and … well, you can look at some of the pictures below yourself. I think I found a new hobby for myself!

Note: There are cases for many different phones, not just the Pixel 3 XL that I have: iPhones, Galaxy phones, OnePlus 6/6T, Huawei …

This is a petal of a cactus flower …. taken with my Pixel 3 XL and the macro lens
This is a herb from my herb garden (Dill) with some decent lighting.
A tiny, tiny basil plant ….

The wide angle lens is pretty good as well, here an example from my Pixel 3 XL: First without the lens, then I snapped the wide angle lens on and took a phone from the same location. As you can see, the picture gets much wider and also “higher” (that is how wide angle lenses work, they widen the view for the whole 360 degrees of the lens) without any noticeable distortion.

Normal, no lens.
Same setting, just added the wide angle lens

My verdict – definitely worth the money! If this were over $100.00 I would not have bought it, but as it is the case, the lens adaptor and the lens came in at $65.00. There is another higher level wide-angle/macro lens combo that costs about $25.00 more. It has a wider lens, closer macro
….it is worth it as well – I did go ahead and buy that one as well … impulse took over! But the basic one should do it for most people I think. For me, I will have having quite a bit of fun taking pictures of snow crystals and frozen over plants this week – take a look at my Instagram account over the next week or so, I think you might see a few interesting pics in that feed.

Phone in case, both lenses and the carrying cloth bags they com in. Notice the lenses comes with lens caps for the front and back. the larger 4K HD 0.62x lens is installed on the case.

The future is here – Android!!

Friends who know me know that for all that I am a gadget geek, I don’t really like to introduce new technology at home as it always means I have to deal with it – as Mr support tech and call-for-help dad/husband/buddy. So – I surprised myself by buying a new piece of technology – an Archos 70 Internet tablet. Everybody at home was surprised and I have to say – I love it.

So – here my (short) review:

  • The tablet is aweome, great design and actually faster than I thought it would be. The screen quality is VERY good. some drawbacks though:
  • Battery life – like allot of Android devices, because allot of things might be running and the screen is bright, the battery can be drained quickly.
  • Screen – great quality but it is a fingerprint magnet – I ordered a screen protector to keep it clean
  • Marketplace – it does not come with the Android Marketplace but some Archose app store that does not have any of the applications that I wanted (Pandora, Tripit, Gmail . . ). I found a hack how to get it installed here. the only difference is that the file to install is now version 5 instead of V4 as in  the movie. Now I can get ALL the apps I want and … I got quite a few of them installed. 🙂



I used the opportunity to install Traveler on my Domino server at home – the latest version for 8.5.2 HF1 of course. The install was not easy – for some reason my server did not want to take the installer and it never moved on to the actual install process. I found the files unpacked in my temp folder and executed the installation from there. I could not find this kind of install problem anywhere so I am writing it p to my server being … a butt-head (my daughter’s favorite expression).  I will therefore ignore it for now.

Connecting the Archos was quick, though for some reason it was recognized as a Mac (a sign? Should I go and now buy one????) but I manually changed to the installer and things worked out. I am now using it at home for the last three days and I don’t touch my Blackberry while I’m at home – though I am far from putting that away as I still need it on the road or when i am at client sites.

All in all – I love it! Sometimes pushing the boundaries of your technology acceptance is a good thing. Especially since I now have the Barnes & Nobel Nook software on my Archos and am already reading my first book – yeeeehhh!