The difficulty I have with macros is remembering to take them. The Sirui 10x macro lens is easy enough to twist on to the Moment thin case, which is always on my iPhone SE2020, but I do have to remember to do it. It produces excellent results. You just have to move in on your subject until it comes into focus, and touch the shutter button. The native Apple Camera App works well in good light. This crocus, the first to open this spring in our yard, was in the shade of the trunk on an overcast day, but still had plenty of light.
My Sony Rx10iv has something called “clear image zoom”…a special 1.5 and 2x digital zoom with extra processing to preserve detail and image quality. It works pretty well, and gives me a bit of extra reach when I am desperate for it, without sacrificing pixels in an after-the-fact crop. Digital zoom on the iPhone SE2020 (and I assume most iPhones) seems to use the computational power of the phone’s processor to do an even better job of eliminating digital artifacts when you zoom in. At least under 2x, I can really see no decrease in image quality. It is pretty amazing, and turns the excellent Sirui 60mm into an effective 120mm lens…long enough for some telephoto macro effects. iPhone SE2020 with the Moment thin case and the Sirui 60mm lens, native camera app with 2x digital zoom. Next I am going to try a bit of digital zoom with the 10x macro lens. 🙂
I am really impressed with the quality of the Sirui 60mm lens when mounted on the iPhone SE2020 and the Moment thin case. This is actually taken with the native Apple Camera App at 2x digital zoom, giving me a nice close up at 120mm equivalent. I am beginning to see the appeal of a phone with multiple cameras and different focal lengths from ultra-wide to moderate telephoto. Something like the iPhone 12 Pro model…but I am a long way from replacing my SE. 🙂 For now I can deal with switching lenses as needed. The Moment thin case makes it easy.
The trick with the Sirui Macro lens is getting the right distance. It has a very narrow range of focus. It also has a little translucent “hood” that gives the approximate distance for closest focus, which might be useful for coins and such, but is less useful in nature. It is a matter of moving the phone closer and further until you get a sharp image on the screen…and if your subject has any dimension to it…until the parts of your subject you want in focus are in focus. And, again, I find that using a camera app that allows you to set the shutter speed is a big help, as you are generally at an awkward angle to hold the phone as steady as you might like while touching the shutter icon, or pressing the volume buttons. iPhone SE 2020 with the Moment thin case and the Sirui 10x Macro lens.
One of my hopes for the Sirui 60mm “portrait” lens was that I would be able to use it for telephoto macro shots…to capture butterflies, dragonflies, flowers, and other small subjects from a reasonable distance. 60mm is not much reach, but it is way better than the native semi-wide angle lens on the phone. Add 2x digital zoom, which, on my iPhone SE 2020 at least, produces images which are quite good…all but indistinguishable from non-digital zoom images…and you are out to 120mm and a reasonable working distance for telephoto macros. This is an easy shot, in that the subject was not going anywhere fast…or anywhere at all. It is not dragonfly season yet, but I hope to get a chance to test the Sirui 60mm on a moving target soon. I am certainly pleased with the level of detail in this shot. iPhone SE 2020 with the native camera app in Auto, Moment thin case, and Sirui 60mm. 2x digital zoom.