What Every Phone Photographer Needs: Wolffilms Lenses Review

If you want to get more out of the already great cameras on your smartphone, you might want to check out these Wolffilms lenses.

Smartphone or mobile photography is becoming even more popular these days thanks to new devices that not only have pretty powerful cameras in them but also because of AI features as well. No matter how good the cameras are, though, you are usually stuck with whatever lenses the manufacturer decided to stick on the phone. Additional lenses for smartphones that clip over the base lenses aren’t new, but the quality of these lenses has been improving. We recently received some Wolffilms lenses to review, and we decided to put them to the test on one of the lastest smartphones to hit the market. How will they do? Find out in our full review after the break.

Pros and Cons

wolffilm lenses

Pros

  • The genuinely excellent aluminum build quality
  • Sharp optics that produce distortion-free images (for the most part)
  • The case the lenses attach to is nice
  • A metal lens hood is included with some of the lenses
  • They just work. Attach to your phone and away you go

Cons

  • The aluminum housing is nice but the lenses do add significant weight to your phone and they make it top-heavy
  • They are a little pricey
  • The lens mounts are made of plastic which is a shame
  • The telephoto lens does suffer from soft corners

Gear Used

We used the Wolffilms lenses with the iPhone 11 Pro Max, though cases can be purchased for most iPhones and certain Samsung Galaxy Phones and Huawei smartphones.

Tech specs

The technical specifications were taken directly from Wolffilms’ official website.

18mm Wide Lens:

  • High-quality wide-angle lens with precisely ground glass
  • The 18mm (0.6x) lens drastically extends the field of view of your smartphone
  • Perfect for anyone who takes professional photos and videos
  • Compatible with the Wolffilms Lens Cases or the Wolffilms Lens Clip
  • Including lens cap, sun visor, transport bag, and microfiber cloth

56mm Telephoto Lens:

  • High-quality, bright 56mm telephoto lens with precisely ground aspherical glass
  • Perfectly suitable for smartphones with dual or multiple cameras
  • Perfect for anyone who takes professional photos and videos
  • Compatible with the Wolffilms Lens Cases or the Wolffilms Lens Clip
  • Including lens cap, sun visor, transport bag, and microfiber cloth

Macro Lens

  • High-quality macro lens with precisely ground glass
  • An integrated, rotatable polarizing filter, removes disturbing reflections
  • Perfect for anyone who takes professional photos and videos
  • Compatible with the Wolffilms Lens Cases or the Wolffilms Lens Clip
  • Delivery including lens cap, transport bag, and microfiber cloth

Editors Note: Wolffilms/Arktis.de sent us these lenses to not only review but to keep as well. We are telling you this as we feel it is important to be as transparent as possible with you, our readers. All the thoughts and views in our review are our own and have not been influenced in any way.

Ergonomics

wolffilm lenses

As soon as you pick up the Wolffilms lenses, you know you are holding something that is a cut above the other products in this class. Lenses for smartphones aren’t known for their ergonomics, but these Wolffilm lenses are different.

As you can see in the above image, all three lenses we tested are different in their own way. The 56mm telephoto lens is much larger than the 18mm wide-angle, and the wide lens with its bulbous front element is bigger and quite a bit heavier than the macro lens. All of these Wolffilms lenses have the same great feeling in the hand thanks to the quality aluminum housing that they have. The weight of them also makes them feel rather nice too.

wolffilm lenses

Both the wide-angle and telephoto lenses feature bulbous front elements. In the above image, you can see where the cases on these lenses extend past the elements. This is to protect the high-quality glass that is used. You can also see a textured ring that runs around the wide-angle lens. This textured ring provides some grip, which is needed because the aluminum is a little slick.

wolffilm lenses

The back of the lenses features the rear element and a plastic (I think) lens mount. If the lens mount is indeed metal, it doesn’t feel as high a quality as the housing of the lenses. You’ll also notice the markings on the back, which are there to help you line the mount up with either the phone case or the lens clip that you will need to use.

These lenses are, of course, tiny compared to the lenses we are used to using, but for smartphone lenses, they are quite large. Their size makes them easy to handle, though, and it’s nice to be able to have some surface area to hold on to when attaching these lenses to the mount on the phone case. Overall the three Wolfflims lenses we tested all feel great.

Build Quality

Superb is the adjective I would use to describe the build quality of these Wolffilms lenses. Without over-exaggerating, I can honestly say that if these lenses were full-size camera lenses, they would be compared to exceptional lenses from the likes of Zeiss when it comes to how these lenses are built. Still, there is one caveat (we’ll get to that a little later).

When you first pick the Wolffilms lenses up, you will be quite shocked at just how heavy they are. The aluminum housings that are used feel fantastic, and you can tell right away that they are built to last. The front elements are quite large, and the glass used is of very high quality. Then there are the aluminum lens hoods that come with some of the lenses, and the tight-fitting rubber mount cover to protect the rear element is a nice touch. My only gripe with the build quality of these lenses is to do with the mounts. For some reason, the Wolffilms lenses have a plastic mount, which feels nice and sturdy, but given the quality of the materials used in the rest of the lenses, it’s a little disappointing.

When it comes to the phone case itself (which, as mentioned above, is a separate purchase), you’ll again be quite pleased with how it feels in hand. The case for the iPhone 11 Pro Max is not overly tight, but it still feels very secure on the phone; it’s not going to pop off on you. The material is a rubber material that has a nice texture, and it adds a fair amount of grip to the phone.

The lens mount on the case, I believe, is aluminum as well, which is good as it needs to support the heft of the lenses. The case is semi-transparent and has a black hue to it, while the covers that fit over the volume and power buttons still let the buttons offer excellent tactile feedback. Overall the case looks and feels nice. I have had the case on my phone exclusively for three weeks now, and it doesn’t have a mark on it. Despite the plastic mount on the lenses, you’re not going to have any complaints whatsoever about the build quality of these products.

Ease of Use

Honestly, these lenses are a piece of cake to use. To use the Wolffilms lenses, you will have to purchase the Wolffilms case for your specific model of iPhone (or Samsung Galaxy or Huawei phone), or you will have to buy the lens clip. Once you have either of those two items, all you have to do is attach the lenses via their mounts, and you’re good to go. You do not have to adjust anything in the phone at all; you just use the camera in the same way that you usually would.

The Wolffilms lenses attach quickly and easily thanks to the design of the case and the lens mounts. You will have to adjust the way you hold your phone a little as these lenses have some heft to them. Attach one of the larger lenses like the wide-angle or the telephoto, and their physical size will make the camera quite heavy on the end where the cameras are located. Overall, though, just attach and fire away. Anyone can use these lenses easily.

Autofocus

The Wolffilms lenses themselves do not have any autofocus motors built into them as all of the autofocusing is done via the lenses and camera modules that are built into the phone. What I will say, though, is that with the lenses attached to the phone, there were no detrimental effects on the overall performance of the iPhone’s autofocus speeds. The cameras worked the same no matter what lens was attached. So, if you are worried about any decreased performance of your phone, you can stop worrying about it from this point forward.

Image Quality

The image quality that all of these lenses produce is excellent. I honestly have no complaints at all about the way these lenses render colors, and the images remain just as sharp as they would if you had just used the onboard lenses on your iPhone. For the most part, these Wolffilms lenses do not introduce any kind of distortion, either. I have been really impressed with the Wolffilm lenses. Below, we have broken down the lenses into individual sections so you can take a closer look at the images produced with them.

The Macro Lens

The macro lens from Wolffilms is the one that perhaps surprised me the most. I wasn’t expecting too much from the macro lens if I am honest, but when I attached it to the camera, I quickly changed my mind. This lens really allows you to get close to your subject (within two to three inches) before the cameras on the iPhone struggle with autofocusing. The lens is sharp, it helps produce vibrant colors, and the built-in polarizer really helps keep reflections down without adding a color cast to the images. If you want to get up close and personal with objects, this is the lens you’ll want.

Image Samples

Wolffilm lenses
Wolffilm lenses

The 18mm Wide Angle

Wolffilm lenses
Without the wide-angle lens attached

Now, this Wolffilms lens will not be one that iPhone 11 Pro Max users will need, but if you have a phone that does not have a wide-angle lens you will want one. When attached to the standard lens on the iPhone 11 Pro Max, it made a huge difference, so users who don’t have a wide-angle lens built-in will quickly fall in love with this. Above is a scene that was taken without the wide-angle lens, and below is the same scene, taken from the same spot with the wide-angle lens attached. As you can see, it gives a fantastic wide field of view.

Wolffilm lenses
With the Woffilm wide-angle lens attached

Again, the distortion control is superb with the Wolffilms wide-angle lens, and I noticed no fringing or chromatic aberration being introduced into the images when using this lens. There’s also very little in the way of vignetting. Overall this lens is a solid performer when it comes to image quality.

Image Samples

Wolffilm Lenses
Wolffilm Lenses
Wolffilm Lenses

The 56mm Telephoto Lens

Image captured with the telephoto lens attached

The telephoto option is, again, another lens that really will not be needed by users of the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max (Or any users of Samsung or Huawei phones that feature telephoto lenses); however, users of the iPhone 11 and down will benefit from this Wolffilms lens. Above is an image that was taken without the lens attached, and below is the same scene, taken from the same spot with the telephoto lens attached to the case.

Wolffilm Lenses
Image is taken from the same spot with the 56mm telephoto lens attached

I attached this lens over the standard lens on my iPhone 11 Pro Max, and I was really quite impressed with the amount of extra reach it gave me. However, the telephoto lens does exhibit some softening in the corners, and there was a slight amount of green fringing in high contrast situations. Can you create some bokeh with this lens? Yes, but don’t get too excited. The bokeh is very busy and is quite distracting. Overall though, the telephoto lens is pretty good.

Image Samples

Wolffilm Lenses
Without the telephoto lens attached
Wolffilm Lenses
With the telephoto lens attached
Wolffilm Lenses

Conclusion

Likes

  • The fantastic build quality
  • Overall performance of the lenses when it comes to sharpness and color rendition
  • Easy to use

Dislikes

  • The lens mounts are still strong but are made from plastic
  • A little spendy

Overall the Wolffilms lenses that we have reviewed here are great all-around products that will give mobile photographers an edge when it comes to creating unique images with their phones. The lenses can make your smartphone much more versatile, and you will not be giving up anything in regards to image quality by using the Wolffilms lenses. The build quality of these lenses is honestly some of the best I have seen when it comes to lenses for mobile devices, and I honestly had fun using them while I was out and about without my dedicated camera.

So who are these lenses for? Given the prices of these lenses, they are for photographers who are serious about using their smartphones for either photo or video work; or for casual photographers who have money burning a hole in their pocket. I can’t imagine many photographers who rely on dedicated cameras carrying these around with them. If you do decide to purchase them, though, you will be incredibly happy with them as Wolffilms spared little expense when making them.

The Wolffilms lenses receive four out of five stars. Individually, these lenses are great, and having a set of them will make your smartphone even more versatile when it comes to photography. Whether you choose to buy just one lens or all of them, just know that you will be getting solid products that will last a while, and that will open up many creative doors for you and your smartphone. Are you interested in purchasing some Wolffilms lenses? You can pick up the Macro lens for $87, the 18mm wide lens for $109, and the telephoto for $109. Alternatively, you can get the 18mm and the telephoto lens in a set for $196. Also, remember that you will need to purchase a case as well for your phone, which costs roughly $20, or you can get the lens clip for approximately $17