Aukey Ora WD-06: How far can the so-called best budget mobile lenses take your phone photography?
So, I've got my hands on Aukey Ora WD-06 lens kit. It is a combination of macro lens and wide angle lens. Unlike the far more expensive Moment lenses, it doesn't need any special case to attach to your phone. The kit features a clip-on design, so it will work on most smartphones. Just clip it on top of your phone's camera lens, and you are ready to shoot. Make sure to position the lens properly for the best result. To switch from wide angle to macro lens, simply unscrew the wide angle part of the lens.
Aukey Ora WD-06 Lens Kit package and contents
Using Aukey Lens
On both back and front camera, make sure your phone lens is in the middle of the Aukey Lens for the best result
Aukey Lens is considered one of the best, if not the best, budget lens kit for smartphones. It retailed at $29.99 on Amazon
(as of February 9, 2020), and is rated to have excellent price vs performance ratio. Along with the lenses, the professional looking cardboard package comes with an EVA pouch to store and carry the lens, a DSLR-style lens cap, a microfiber cloth to clean the lenses, and a plastic clip to attach the lens to smartphone. The lenses are made from high quality glasses and aluminum. The lens kit definitely has nice build quality. So, let's see how it makes differences to mobile phone photography.
The wide angle lens offers 120° field of view.
Top: without additional lens, Bottom: with wide-angle lens
Comparing the photos side by side, it is easy to notice how the lens enables the phone to capture more areas. However, it should also be noted that the image is distorted around the edges. It is common for wide angle lenses, but it should also be noted that the more expensive lenses from Sirui or Moment has less distortion. So, whether you are okay or not with it really depends on you.
The distortion looks apparent when shooting close scenery, especially with rectangular objects. On landscapes that don't have definitive forms, such as field, bushes, or lakes, the distortion might not be noticeable.
The macro lens provides 15x magnification. It allows you to get as close as 1-2 cm (0.4-0.8 inch) to the subject.
Some sample shots taken with the macro lens
Some distortions around the edges are noticeable when shooting flat objects/backgrounds. When shooting more dynamic stuffs, like a flower in garden or a fly on a leaf, it is hardly noticeable.
So, we can see how the lens allows for more dynamic shoots while still retaining the image quality. The kit is arguably worth the price, but if you are concerned with the distortion and don't mind paying more, there are other brands that offers less distortion, such as Sirui. We can take more in-depth look at them on later entry ;)
If your phone's screen brightness is set to automatically adjust to your environment, make sure that the lens clip doesn't block the phone's light sensor. If it is blocked, your phone will think it is in a low-light situation and will lower the screen brightness. You can try different angles for placing the lens clip to see which one works.
Placing the Clip
The thing to bear in mind is, being an alternative to case-based attachment, clip on lenses seems to be designed to be used without phone case. Or, at least, not with a thick case, since it will make the auxiliary lens placed too far from the phone lens, which results in vignetting or blurry edges. So, you'll have to choose between coping with the quality loss, use no phone case, or use an extremely thin case with less protection for minimum quality loss.
Pixel 3a with MNML case
I personally chose the last. There are several brands of extremely thin case, such as MNML or Peel. These cases offers enough protection from scratch for day-to-day usage, and works well with clip on lenses. You just need to be more careful compared to when using a thicker case ;)
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