Posted by Paul Harcourt Davies October 2015
On and off, for the past eight months, I have been experimenting with all sorts of new things and approaches for the second edition of Wide-angle macro |the Definitive Guide that Clay Bolt and I wrote as our first eBook almost 2 years ago.
In order to get comparative shots and evaluate different approaches I often seem to have been burdened with two photographer’s rucksacks rather than one. When, ironically, the idea was to travel light.
More out of curiosity than anything else, I began using an iPad for wide-angle macro some eight months ago. My first results with the inbuilt lens of the device were encouraging since the angle of view is comparatively wide and the definition surprised me since I am not a user of ‘phone cameras and hate selfies with a real venom.
I had read about various add-on lenses for tablets and phones that could generate both wide-angle views and fisheye, as well as varying degrees of magnification. Thus, I purchased an Olloclip 4 in 1 lens to fit an iPad Air (there are also models to fit various iPhones and Android models). This allows a wide angle lens, fisheye and two degrees of ‘macro’ lenses. It is not the cheapest but it is neat, very well made and, most important of all, optically sharp.
As the image of the tape measure shows there is distortion but near the centre, as with all such lenses it is far less than at the periphery. For those bothered by this it is easy to correct in Photoshop or Lightroom.
Some years ago I found a dead and desiccated Rhinoceros beetle near my door so I put it on a shelf above my desk with all sorts of curious objects. It came in useful for staging a few shots with an iPad and the accessory lens. The definition is impressive but I will let the images speak for themselves – with a little help from me.
The iPad was steadied with its bottom edge on the wooden tree stump…a ready made ‘tripod’ substitute.
I was very surprised by the quality of the images and the fact that they are easily usable for making modest sized prints and also for posting online. For anyone that wants to get into setting their close-up subjects in the context of the environment this is a very good place to start.
NB. The whole business of using iPads and phone cameras for environmental recording with wide-angle imagery will be covered in much greater detail in the forthcoming much revamped and sparkling edition of our wide-angle macro ebook
© Paul Harcourt Davies 2015
NB ALL text and images strictly copyright of Paul Harcourt Davies and may not be used in any way without written permission