LUX HD450 clip-on phone lenses; an honest review

spider-link“The power of a $2,000 DSLR in your pocket!”  If only it were true.  I’ve already written about the vile practices of the LUX HD450 company.  Now let’s take a close look at their product.  The important question is “Would these lenses help me take better pictures with my phone?”  Two quick pieces of advice:

  1. No.  The best use of these lenses would be as a gift to a child.
  2. If you still want to buy them, save yourself money and grief by ordering the identical product on Amazon.

Quick sample:  The “red hall” photo at the top of this post is a fisheye lens shot, using a tripod and self-timer. Notice that the balcony in the top left is out of focus.  The black corners are the lens’ interior, as if we were looking out of a tunnel, because the lens isn’t wide enough for the job.  I wasn’t able to center the lens on the iPhone 6’s camera because the clip mount was on the edge of the phone’s body; that may have made the distortion worse.

Unpacking

The set consists of a macro lens,  a wide-angle lens with lens cap (and these two lenses arrive screwed together), a fisheye lens with lens cap, a plastic clip with a threaded opening that holds a lens, and a velvet bag.  There are no instructions; the most informative text I’ve found is Amazon’s product description.

The lenses have metal barrels; I was expecting plastic.  Because they don’t have inside lens caps like serious lenses do, they’re harder to keep clean.  The velvet bag doesn’t work well for storage.  The drawstring doesn’t close the bag very well, so they fall out.  When I grope around in it for a lens, I risk getting the lenses dirty with my fingers, because they don’t have enough caps.

The clip-on mounting system is imprecise and insecure; so it’s liable to distort your pictures.  

  • There’s no way to make sure the center of a clip-on lens is aligned with the center of the camera’s lens.
  • Unless you’re careful, you may seat the lens at an angle rather than flush against the phone’s case.
  • There’s no provision for dealing with variations in the distance of the clip-on lens from the phone’s lens.  Some phones have protruding cameras; others don’t.  And you may be keeping your phone in a protective case that increases the distance between the phone’s lens and the clip-on lens.

Macro lens

  • If you’re having trouble unscrewing the macro and wide-angle lenses, slip the end of a wide rubber band over the rim of the macro lens to protect it, grip it gently with pliers, and grip the rim of the wide-angle lens with your fingers.

These boring pictures are meant to test the lenses, not to sell them.  To minimize camera shake, I mounted the phone on a tripod and took these pictures hands-off, using the self-timer.  I’ve drawn some figures on the pictures with Photoshop Elements; I haven’t edited them in any other way.

IMG_1647

iPhone 6

Here is a test grid, taken with the naked phone.  (Please reply if you think you know what this grid is part of!)  The rows of holes should all be straight; and as the purple lines show, they are.  I used autofocus, as I figured a user of clip-on lenses would do.  The picture is a bit unfocused, even tho the phone claimed it was in focus.  To check the focusing, I enlarged the parts of the picture where the circles are.

Here’s the same grid, photographed with the macro lens.  I had to bring the phone to within 7/8 of an inch from the subject to focus it.  The pink lines show that there’s quite a bit of inward bending of straight lines (pincushion distortion).

IMG_1617

iPhone 6 + macro lens

Magnified focus test areas:

 

Wide-angle lens

A brick wall serves as our test pattern.  Here it is with the naked phone.  The white lines check for distortion.  I see slight pincushion distortion along the bottom line.

IMG_1566

iPhone 6

Magnified focus test areas:

Here’s the same wall, looking thru the wide-angle+macro lens combination.  There’s quite strong barrel distortion.  In addition, the inside of the lens body intrudes into the corners of the picture.  The lens isn’t wide enough for the job.

IMG_1576.png

iPhone 6 + wide-angle lens

Magnified focus test areas:

 

Fisheye Lens

Here’s the naked-camera test shot.

IMG_1662 lines

iPhone 6

I’m skipping the straight-line test for this picture because I expect a fisheye lens to bend the scene.  Magnified focus test areas:

Here’s the iPhone 6 plus the fisheye clip-on lens.

IMG_1692 lines

iPhone 6 + fisheye lens

Magnified focus test areas:

Conclusions

  1. The clip-on mounting system can cause distortion.
  2. The wide-angle and fisheye lenses don’t focus as well as my phone’s built-in camera.
  3. The wide-angle and fisheye lenses intrude the lens interiors into the corners of the pictures.
  4. All of the lenses have edge distortion and focusing issues.

You might have a little fun with these lenses if you’re not fussy about picture quality.  But if you’re shooting with a DSLR now, you’ll want to keep it.

If you’re already a victim, here are some thoughts about getting your money back.



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25 thoughts on “LUX HD450 clip-on phone lenses; an honest review

  1. Jeff

    Thank your for your incredibly detailed, insightful, and factual review! Hopefully, you can freelance your expertise as a reviewer, so that you can retire AND ensure that you have food with your meals! Job very well done, Sir!

    Reply
  2. SooUu

    Thank you so much for your review. I was going to order one for my husband for Father’s Day, now I’ll have to think of something else 😃

    Reply
  3. Kathy norman

    I just ordered 10. And cannot find the link where I ordered it do you know how I can call and cancel the order. I never saw a phone number.

    Reply
    1. Mona Furlow Wells

      I ordered 3 got 5 235.00 for all. I was very shocked. Phone number on my receipt is 1-844-220-5101. I called but they were already closed. I hope you can cancel. I hope I can get my money back.
      Good Luck

      Reply
      1. pablovilas13 Post author

        I don’t have any relationship with the LUX HD450 company; so I can’t cancel your order. I suggest that you try calling them for one weekday. If you can’t get a response, return the package; call your credit card issuer’s fraud department; ask them to reverse the charge and block your card. Ask for a different card number. You’ll need to shift any scheduled or automatic payments to the new card yourself.

      2. Richard Landis

        I threatened to start a case through AMEX, and I got a refund to my AMEX card. They told me to keep the product (which I find to be completely useless).

  4. JIm G.

    Wish I had read all these reviews prior to ordering these lens. What a scam. Wish Facebook would look into the sale items they post before placing on FB.

    Reply
  5. Omagram

    I didn’t do the research ahead of time and bought the lenses. In addition to the limitations noted, I did not consider the stability I get with my Cannon. I am not stable enough to use these lens attachments. Back to my trusty Cannon

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    I was going to order one of these until I found out they wouldn’t do PayPal, so I left the site. Then I went to Google and checked them out, ending up on your site — thanks for your reviews and efforts to help others. Jim

    Reply
  7. Jonathan

    Found your blog by this page. I appreciate your methodology; it is pleasingly logical and meaningful. You also might think about making up a couple “test pattern” cards, like television cameras used to be primed with. Get Staples or OfficeMax to print it. That is, without a doubt, the door to your microwave oven.

    Reply
  8. Bruce Bryant

    Thank you Pablo and all who contributed to help keeping people away from such scams. The ad on FB looked too good to be true and indeed, you folks are all correct, saving me money and aggravation. Thanks again.!!!!!

    Reply
  9. Lijo Jose

    hi

    i have ordered a Lux HD Zoom High Performance Lens on 13/04/2017 via Order No.1058192

    can you let me know the expected delivery date.

    Regards.

    Lijo Jose …

    Reply
  10. Tiziano

    Thank you for your review. I was searching for a good zoom lens for my iPhone, so your post saved my money. Can you suggest a good product? I saw the Moment Lenses, but they are very expensive.

    Reply
    1. pablovilas13 Post author

      This looks like a good review of the best phone lenses. Some people have trouble taking clear pictures with phone zoom lenses because it’s hard to hold the phone steady. So you may want to use a tripod and the phone camera’s self-timer. This will require a phone/tripod adapter such as this one. Try it without a tripod first and examine your results to see whether you’re having trouble with camera-shake.

      Reply

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