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The lovely team at Ztylus sent me a set of their primes lenses for iPhone a few months ago and I’ve been putting them through their paces. I wanted to have a decent amount of time with them before I put my thoughts to paper, as it were.
To begin with, Ztylus is a company that makes lens solutions for iPhone. Both their systems work with a case that you have to have on your phone to connect their lenses. I wasn’t a fan of this idea initially as I like to have my phone au natural, but in hindsight, it really hasn’t been that much of an inconvenience to have the case on my phone and I don’t even notice it anymore. A nice touch of the case is that it has a built-in kick-stand, which I have found really useful.
Please note that since it works on a case, there are different models for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
But let’s get to talking about the lenses. Ztylus have a standard, wide, macro and zoom option lenses system, but this is not that one. This is a 2 x prime system specifically targeted at being really good glass. You get both a wide and a telephoto prime.
In the box, you get the lenses, the case and a lens carry system which has a clip and carabiner. I really didn’t think I would use the carry system and was a bit surprised that I found it super handy. I pretty much don’t leave the house without attached to my belt. Funny how a feature I thought would be useless to me ended up being one of the ones I use most.
It is alas here where the systems biggest fault is, however. The lenses don’t stay attached very well to the carry system. On at least three separate occasions I’ve been out and I must have bumped it or something because when I reached for the lens it wasn’t on the carry system anymore and I had to retrace my steps to find where it fell off. Luckily for me, I did find it each time but I may not be as lucky the next time it happens. Fortunately, I’ve been told that there is a V2 of the system and this connection is now better.
Finding it was really lucky because the lenses are pretty darn good and I do use them a lot. The telephoto zoom is nice, but it’s the wide that really keeps me happy. It adds a lot to the existing camera on the iPhone and it has the least amount of vignetting I’ve ever seen on their types of lenses. This really shines in a video on your iPhone as a video is cropped so much and this makes the video on the iPhone far more “usable”.
The Ztylus Z Prime system does cost US$149, so it isn’t exactly cheap as lens systems go, but if you’re looking for a well-built (now that they’ve improved the locking system) and really nice optical lens system for your iPhone in photos and videos, I would say this is totally worth it.