Since my HTC EVO is replacing more and more of the other gadgets in my life, I was happy to discover that there is an entire category of enhancements for the camera lens, such as this magnetically mounted 2-part lens that brings wide-angle and/or macro capabilities to the party!The unit I got from Deal Extreme does not have a manufacturer’s name in English on it, and I can only guess that W-67 is the model number, but for $10.37 with free shipping, I really don’t care.
The W-67 comes with a display card with the basic instructions in classic mangled English (“Please confirm the camera LENS of the mobile phone can stick 13mm metal ring. Do’t need the metal ring if your phone is metal cover.”) a second and more complete (although not necessarily more helpful) instruction sheet, a large and small lens cap (the small one even has a short lanyard attached), a couple of self-adhesive metal rings if your camera or cell phone is not metal, a non-magnetic wide-angle lens, and a magnetic macro lens.
I cannot find specifications for the lenses, other than the macro is supposed to be ‘0.67x’ but one guy has posted a macro photo he has taken with this rig every day at ‘macroaday.com‘ and it does a great job in more competent hands than mine.
The lenses work on a wide range of gadgets, but if you want the wide-angle part you need to hold or tape it since it is not magnetic itself. The combination of wide and macro lenses seems too heavy for the magnet in the macro lens to hold. But that is OK, since the macro lens itself is pretty dang cool!
It is easy enough to use. Although the instructions do not spell it out, it seems to have a fixed focal length so you move the camera closer- lots closer- to get the shot. This brings up a couple of weaknesses- at that distance, lighting is very important, and sometimes the width of the camera limits your positioning options. Be careful, the magnetic connection is not very strong.
I am not a camera kind of guy. I don’t shoot a lot of photos on vacation or anything, and I don’t have a great ‘eye’, but this is still a simple tool for me… or will be with some more practice.
Fixed focal length, weak magnet, nearly useless wide-angle lens and I still think this is a pretty nice addition to my gear bag!