Mobile Photography With External Lenses | Tips & Tricks

Mobile Photography With External Lenses | Tips & Tricks

Mobile phone photography is something that is really on the rise these days. Every new cell phone today is coming out with some fantastic new optics and backend software. The image quality is just going through the roof.

It is little wonder that everybody wants a piece of this and wants to experience the joy of taking images for themselves. Something that has for long been tucked away over a huge cost barrier required to own costly cameras and other accessories.

Everyone has a smartphone with a camera of some kind in their pockets and they somehow want to maximize its abilities to take images. It is always with them and hence makes perfect sense.

After a fantastic success of his previous video where he explained the basic techniques of ‘shooting images like a pro’ with a cell phone camera, Radhakrishnan from the popular YouTube channel Pixel Village is back with another video.

This time he explains how we could use externally mounted lenses with our mobile phones to extend its capabilities as a camera.

How To Use

Attaching the lenses to the actual camera on the back of the cell phone is pretty easy. All you have to do is just clip a universal adapter on to the phone and then just use the bayonet mount to attach any lens of your choice. Just half a twist and it clicks into its place. Just like a DSLR camera.

Radhakrishnan used a set of three lenses, namely an 18mm wide angle lens, a 60mm telephoto lens, and a dedicated macro lens, manufactured by Sirui Optics.


Usually, a phone camera uses a lens of focal length roughly between 20 and 29mm. Using an 18mm lens can really make the shots feel a lot wider and include even more in the same scene. This can come in quite handy when shooting in close proximity to the subjects and when there is not much room to move.

For example, shooting indoor or in a small confined space.


For a cell phone camera, 60mm is pretty much a telephoto lens. It helps you get a little more reach than you would ideally get out of your original camera lens and shoot things that are far away.

One very important ingredient that a long telephoto lens adds is the subject-background separation. If you use a nice large aperture (small aperture value), the subject would have this nice alienation from the background. Thus, making the image really pop and feel premium.

Read How To Get A Blurry Background With Almost Any Camera to absolutely master the art of blurring the background while keeping the subjects nice and crisp.

Macro Lens

The Sirui macro lens does what all macro lenses are supposed to do well. Focus really close. As Radhakrishnan demonstrated, the addition of the macro really beefed up the camera’s capabilities. It was able to focus on the subject at a nearly touching distance.

It just makes macro photography fun and easy and readily available to anyone who wants to give it a try.

He got some beautiful shots of some flowers and bees. Up close and personal.

Food For Thought

Portability and cost-effectiveness are what makes the ‘cell phone-external lens’ duo look so attractive. They are small and handy and you can carry them wherever you go. If shooting images and making great pictures make you happy then perhaps there is no better way to shoot than with this duo.

Chase Jarvis, the much acclaimed and celebrated photographer once said, “the best camera is the one you have on you”.

Think about it. Is it not?

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