Best telephoto lenses for your iPhone

When it comes to iPhone photography or iPhoneography (as the kids call it!), telephoto lenses are primarily used for two things: defocusing an image's background and changing the perspective of the picture.

Like most professional DSLR accessories, telephoto lenses can get pricey. Luckily, with iPhoneography's constantly-growing popularity, there are inexpensive telephoto lens options available for your iPhone that are available with just a few clicks of your mouse.

We show you some telephoto lenses to check out for your iPhone and break down your options for shooting like a pro.

Moment Tele Lens

Chances are, if you've been interested in iPhoneograpy for a while, you've caught a glimpse of Moment's products. They're extremely well made, have positive, sweeping reviews online, and work with and without a Moment-specific case. Instead of a case, you can use a thin mounting plate to secure your lenses.

The Tele Lens snaps pictures with little to no distortion or degradation of the image and produces beautiful, vivid, clear pictures, regardless of the distance to your subject. But, with a nearly $100 price tag, you may be able to find a piece of equipment that's almost as good that won't break the bank.

See at Moment

ExoLens Telephoto 3x Lens

The ExoLens is a device that works with a bracket and an integrated tripod mount that wraps around your iPhone like aluminum scaffolding, securing your lenses to your phone so they don't pop off mid-shot (plus, it looks super cool and futuristic).

The Telephoto 3x Lens – which can be purchased in kits for anywhere between $97 and $150 – takes beautiful snapshots, though the lens produces a slight blur around the edges of the image. The close-up shot still produces a clear and picturesque subject; photos from those who have shot with the ExoLens are stunning to look at.

See at ExoLens{.cta .shop.nofollow}

Olloclip Telephoto + CPL Lens

The Olloclip 4-in-1 (opens in new tab) is a staple for most iPhoneographers because it's simple to use, has a sleek design, and it produces beautiful photos. While the 4-in-1 is an amazing tool, the Telephoto + CPL (Circular Polarizing Lens) works with a similar design and installation method but with a more specialized telephoto feel.

These $99 lenses deliver a 2x optical zoom, allowing users to get twice as close to their subjects than they would with a regular lens. The removable CPL reduces glare and reflections, while making colors look rich and vivid. The telephoto lens provides a shallower depth of field, allowing the shooter complete control with selective focus.

See at OlloClip (opens in new tab)

The iPhone Telephoto Lens

Photojojo's telephoto lens may look a bit silly, but it takes crisp, clear pictures just like a professional piece of equipment (plus, it even looks like a mini DSLR lens).

Coupled with a collapsible tripod, the telephoto lens comes with a sleek, matte black iPhone case that you twist and secure your lens to. In order to get the perfect shot, you have to twist and adjust the lens's manual focus rings like you would with a real DSLR camera.

The whole telephoto kit comes with the phone case, mini-tripod, and cleaning cloth, for around $35 (but they're often on sale on Photojojo for half the price).

See at Photojojo

8x Zoom Universal Telephoto Lens

For less than $8, you can pick up this telephoto lens plus a tripod stand that's garnered plenty of positive reviews online for its stability, quality, and sturdiness.

The detachable lens adds an 8x optical magnification to your iPhone, meaning you don't have to strain and stretch to get closer to your subject. The lens itself is made of a high quality aluminum, can mount and adjust to any version of the iPhone, and can also be used on its own. The 8x Zoom Lens can be used as a monocular, A.K.A. a portable refracting telescope.

The clamp on your phone makes sure that the large, heavier lens won't fall off when you're shooting and can be used with a tripod to get a steadier shot. All you need to do is screw the lens onto the mount, and you're ready to take your telephotographs!

See at AliExpress (opens in new tab)

What's your favorite?

What's your all-time-favorite telephoto lens to snap your iPhoneographs with? Let us know which lenses are worth checking out (and which we should avoid) in the comments below!

Happy telephoto-ing!

Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau

6 Comments
  • The AliExpress link isn't valid
  • A camera phone is convenient because you always have it with you and it take great pictures, mostly. If you're going to invest in these clunky add on lens, do yourself a favor and just buy an inexpensive DSLR. The pictures will be superior, especially in low light. The iPhone has a great camera, but I never fool myself into thinking it's anything close to my Nikon D7200.
  • I've been happily surprised what my iPhone 6S+ can do, even in low light. The Moment telephoto lens (2x zoom) works really well and gives me better range. It's about an inch and a half or so all around, so I always have it with me.
  • I love my moment telephoto lens. I want to get the macro lens next. I have the case too. It makes your phone more like a camera.
  • Neat. These lenses just transform an iPhone into a "pro" camera like.. (minus the quality of a real SLR) Seems strange,... u'd probably pay less for an iPhone 6s, and all these attachments for (as good a quality, or near) to it, than u would buying a true SLR with it all built in anyway..
  • Absolutely love the Olloclip. The key chain adapter is a nice touch to the update they did with the iPhone 6/6s model. Also if you can find it don't just get the Olloclip by itself. They did offer a bundle for the iPhone 6/6s and iPhone 6/6S Plus that came with a case for each. Previously they would have required you to purchase the case for the phone separately! Sent from the iMore App