Ztylus iPhone Lens System & Case Review

After completing a thorough review of the Ztylus external lens system and case by three different evaluators, we are confident in stating that this is the best external lens system for the iPhone platform that we’ve tested to date. This takes into account the design, the return on investment and the quality of results. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find another company delivering a product with this quality and value proposition for under $100.

Ztylus Review

We tested the Ztylus Lite with their innovative Revolver 4-in-1 Lens Attachment for the iPhone 6. The Ztylus is currently available for the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5S with three different case options: Lite – all polycarbonate, Metal – polycarbonate with aluminum end caps, and a special rose gold edition. The rose gold edition is based on the Metal version but has gold-plated rose end caps and rose gold Revolver. It is very attractive, and should generate interest for someone looking to add an elegant touch.

The clever Ztylus system is modular in design with a standardized mount. Thus, when you upgrade your phone, you don’t have to purchase a whole new system. For example, say you purchase the iPhone 5S Case and Revolver. If you upgrade to an iPhone 6 Plus, you’ll just need to purchase a new case, not a new set of lenses — the Revolver will simply port over to the new case, since the mounts are the same. Brilliant!

Ztylus

Each case has a removable disc on the back, which dismounts, with a simple quarter rotation, to allow the Revolver to click in its place. When not using the Revolver, the disc features a metal “kickstand” for propping up your iPhone for landscape movie viewing. A nice touch, which demonstrates the deep thinking that went into the development of the product line. In fact, each one of our reviewers saluted Ztylus’ savvy approach, which provided many satisfying moments of admiration at the intelligence of the product design.

The ingenious Revolver houses four different lenses, Wide Angle, Fisheye, Circle Polarizer and a Macro. Once attached, the low-profile cylinder rotates into three different positions, each containing a different lens. You select a lens based on the written abbreviation, lining it up with the red dot, and then flipping it out with your thumbnail. The spring-loaded lens pivots out of the protective cylinder and clicks into the case indent in front of the iPhone’s rear camera lens. It may sound involved, but it only takes a few seconds once you get the hang of it. But wait, three positions, four lenses? The W/M lens actually contains both the Wide Angle, which increases the field of view about 20%, and a Macro lens.

Ztylus Modular iPhone auxiliary Lens system
 

The Macro, the favorite of all our reviewers, is accessed by removing a one of the lens elements from the chassis. The secondary lens is held into place with a robust magnetized ring. Keep it in for Wide Angle, remove it for Macro. Our reviewers would have liked to have the magnet ring on the removable element, instead of the pivot, so you could secure it to the Revolver’s metal face when utilizing the Macro, but it’s such a simple and creative way to achieve a two-for-one, that we certainly can’t complain. So how did Ztylus come up with such an imaginative concept for the lenses?

“We were trying to innovate a whole system for smartphone photography, not just lens, but a interchangeable lens system,” reveals Tim Hsu Inventor and Owner of Ztylus. “Since I always worry my lenses may get scratched when not in use, and I hate to carry a lens cap, I invented this flip out system, which will not only protects the lenses from getting scratched, but also make the system cool, attractive and fun to use.”

Ztylus iPhone Macro Lens

 
The Ztylus lenses are produced with high grade optical glass that is precisely ground and polished to exact specifications.  Each lens is then inserted into an aluminum alloy and anodized chassis for durability. In addition to the Wide Angle lens and the Macro, which has about a 18mm focus distance to the subject, there is also a Circular Polarizer that eliminates unwanted reflections from non-metallic surfaces such as water and car windshields. It can also be employed to give more vibrance to colors, as well as add contrast, in certain situations. The Fisheye claims to provide a 180 degree field of view and is great for funhouse style images.

Ztylus iPhone Macro Photo

Our reviewers found the optical clarity of the lenses to range from Good to Excellent on our scale of Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, Excellent, Outstanding. In fact, you’ll be amazed on what you can achieve with the Ztylus system. As mentioned before, the Macro lens is a standout and completely expands the iPhone photographer/videographer’s creative palette. (Photo on right is a Ztylus Macro of a ski glove palm) The Circular Polarizer, while not perfect, can be used with success, if not taxed. While the Fisheye is amusing, and “probably great for 12 year-old selfies,” it was the least utilized. One noticeable absence is a Telephoto lens in the Ztylus assortment. “We didn’t include a telephoto due to the thickness of the lens,” Hsu explains. “It would not fit with the current system. However, we do have a telephoto lens system coming soon based on our current design.”

As an add-on to the lens system, Ztylus recently debuted a LED ring light. “Photography is all about light,” Tim Hsu expressed. “With more light, there will be more story. So we innovated the first smartphone ring light in market and we truly believe it will improve the photography and video production experience for all users.” (For another option, please see our Knog [qudos] Portable Camera Light Review. —Ed.)

The Ztylus lens system for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the iPhone 5/5s is a true winner. The lens/case combo costs a mere $99.95 – compare that with other iPhone lens systems out there that don’t perform nearly this well with a cumbersome, bulky aesthetic. The only caveat we encountered was the “rubberized” surface on the Lite Case displayed wear after only a couple months of use. The Ztylus is the quintessential gift for anyone who loves taking pictures with their iPhone, but pick up one for yourself with this 25% off Ztylus coupon code* (place your cursor hereSOCIAL25). Highly Recommended.

The Ztylus system can be purchased a la Carte, or via Case/Revolver Combos:
» Ztylus Lite Case for iPhone 6/6+: $29.95
» Ztylus Metal Case for iPhone 6/6+: $49.95
» Ztylus Metal Rose Limited Edition Case/Revolver Combo for iPhone 6/6+: $149.95
» Ztylus Revolver 4-in-1 Lens: $69.95
» Ztylus Metal Case with Revolver Combo for iPhone 6/6+: $119.95
» Ztylus Metal Case for iPhone 5/5S (White or Black): $49.95
» Ztylus Metal Case with Revolver Combo for iPhone 5/5S (White or Black): $99.95
» [Please Be Advised: there is a Ztylus system for the Samsung S4, but it uses a different system, and is not modular.]

The Future: We’d love to see the new Ztylus’ Ring Light integrated into the Revolver lens housing, either as a complete unit, or using a magnetic connection to adhere to their modular philosophy. As mentioned above, moving the magnetic ring from the pivot housing to the Wide Angle lens, would allow it to attach to the Revolver case when using the Macro lens, preventing accidental loss.

Cheers:

+ Ingenious

+ Bang For The Buck

+ Build Quality

+ Image Quality

+ Lens Protection

Jeers:

– Early Lite Case Wear

Ztylus Lite Early Case Wear

Ztylus iPhone Lens Review Power Award

The Ztylus lens system for the iPhone can be purchased direct, or via Amazon.
 
 Ztylus 
 
 
*Please Note: Future Filmmaking receives no compensation from Ztylus for providing this Coupon Code. We discovered it, and are passing it along to you — we do not know how long it will remain valid.

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