Bitplay Macro Lens Review

I came into possession of this Bitplay Macro + Wideangle phone lens via Phoneinc who had advertised a free giveaway in exchange for a review. I did not expect to receive anything other than some advertising emails but much to my pleasant surprise a package arrived from phoneinc a few days after I had signed up.

The package only included the lens and I had to retrofit it onto a cheap 2$ lens clip. This clip also came with a lens and actually provided useful to distinguish the quality between the two lenses. (Phoneinc do sell the official Bitplay clip separately)

Tested on iPhone X & Google Pixel 2 and my review is only of the Macro lens as that is what I was interested in. All sample shots were handheld in natural light.

Centre Sharpness

I was genuinely blown away with the quality of the centre sharpness. Especially on the Google Pixel 2. The iPhone was no slouch but Google’s software processing really gave the macro shots that additional oomph.

Corner Sharpness

Corners tend to be quite distorted and the sharpness is poor but this would be expected and honestly not an issue in my opinion for macro in most cases; for the practical usage of the lens.

Vignetting

Any case that has a bit of a camera protection lip ends up with quite a dark corner on one side. This could also likely be due to my retrofit. Nothing a bit of cropping couldn’t fix. There is enough resolving power to get rid of it and still have a clear crisp image. Without a case or a tall lip there is no vignetting.

Price

I did get the lens free so I can’t really make a judgement call on this. The selling price of $39.95 (AUD) sits in the middle of ultra cheap (plastic) vs ‘I’m not going to pay that much for a phone lens’. If I was buying this lens I would have liked to see a basic clip included in the package for that price.

Verdict

Given that I expected to chuck this lens into the depths of of my random item draw for the rest of eternity, and didn’t, pretty much sums it up for me. I’ll leave the images to do the rest of the talking.

Pros : Sharp centre and excellent for creating abstract wallpapers.
Cons : Would have liked to see a basic clip included for the price.

Usage Tips :

1. Take your time with your shots and make sure you have steady hands or a tripod handy. Given the scale even the tiniest movement at the camera or subject end will cause the image sharpness to degrade exponentially due to micro shake. 

2. If you shoot in raw there’s a little more to work with. The iPhone has a significant boost once processed.

3. Manual control also helps significantly as with any macro work.

TL;DR

I did not expect the lens to be even usable but I was wrong. Centre sharpness is excellent as long as you have steady hands. It’s in my pocket most days and I’ve had a ton of fun using it and get some decent images.

Sample Images

Sample images are straight out of camera with no post processing for an accurate representation.