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iPhone SLR Mount: Use Nikon & Canon DSLR Lenses on you phone

08 Jul Posted by Matt in News, Reviews |
iPhone SLR Mount: Use Nikon & Canon DSLR Lenses on you phone

Every now and then a product catches my eye that I can’t make my mind up on – is it genius or just ridiculous?

The iPhone SLR Mount from photojojo.com is the latest item to make it onto this prestigious list that lives inside my head.  The sales pitch is reasonably compelling; turn your iPhone into a DSLR using real SLR lenses.

The kit includes a case and lens mount that allows you to use Nikon or Canon SLR lenses on either an iPhone 4 or iPhone 3G/3GS.

iPhone SLR Mount

iPhone SLR Mount

It has been said time and time again that your choice of lens is more important than your choice of camera body, so is this just taking it to the next level?

Part of me thinks maybe we’ve reached that stage, and after all the iPhone 4 camera is extremely good. Interestingly the iPhone 4 is the most popular camera model on Flickr too, which is no mean feat given the strong perception the site has as a photo sharing site for enthusiasts and professionals.

Even the iPhone 3GS has a camera that, in its day, was good enough put the competition at the time to shame.

Fstoppers iPhone Photoshoot

Last year the guys over at fstoppers carried out an interesting experiment, shooting a whole fashion shoot using an iPhone 3GS.  They did everything else as they normally would; there was a professional model, professional lighting, and a professional retoucher. The only thing that wasn’t professional was the camera, yet the results were extremely impressive.

The results from the iPhone SLR Mount are pretty impressive too, and barring a selection of apps that attempt to mimic a depth of field effect using various blurring techniques, this is the only way to get an authentic shallow depth of field and satisfying bokeh from any phone camera.

iPhone SLR Mount Sample Photo

There is a but here though, and quite a big but at that.

You see, having a decent camera on my mobile phone is convenient mainly because I always have my phone with me.  I don’t, unsurprisingly, always have a collection of DSLR lenses upon my person, so to use this new-fangled iPhone SLR Mount would mean taking more paraphernalia with me than I could reasonably fit in my pocket.

And that’s the problem with this mount; why would I carry around a large lens and then decide to leave my DSLR camera body behind?

Sadly for me that makes the iPhone SLR Mount nothing more than a gimmick.  What’s more, it’s a very expensive gimmick, and the results you’ll get in real life probably won’t be as good as you had hoped.  For starters the images will, for reasons I won’t go into now, end up upside down. Not in itself a deal-breaker, but a bit of a pain nonetheless.

Sadly the other drawbacks add up to create something that, at best, is unpolished and unideal:

  • You will have to manually focus every shot, as autofocus will be lost in this adaptor.
  • Similarly you will have to manually set the aperture of each shot. Or not, because most modern lenses won’t allow you to change the aperture manually.
  • The focusing screen that’s used in the mount can get dirty, and in any case adds another layer of glass to the setup, making grainy or blotchy images more likely.
  • You will lose up to 2 f-stops of light using this adaptor.
  • If you choose to use it with Canon lenses it will only accept EF mount ones, not EF-S mount ones.  That rules out using this adaptor with the kit lens that comes with most Canon DSLR cameras.

At first I thought that maybe I’d been a bit unfair on the iPhone SLR Mount, but actually I’m not sure I’ve been harsh enough. See, this flawed, gimmicky accessory costs a whopping $250. That’s a lot of money for something which, in all honesty, I think I’d use once to see that it worked and then chuck in a box to gather dust for years to come.

Still fancy one? You can buy them from photojojo.com.

iPhone SLR Mount Exploded

 

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