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ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit Review: Upgrade your iPhone Photography Game

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit Review

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit

4.0/5 Buy from ShiftCam

iPhone already offers the best camera you'll ever have in your pocket, but ShiftCam's line of lenses makes the best even better in most cases.

The ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe kit includes seven lenses, three filters and a ProGrip mount. The kit also includes a universal lens mount, but the iPhone 15 case can be ordered separately if desired.

This review will focus on each product included in the Deluxe Bundle and how they improve the quality of your iPhone photos. Lenses and filters can be purchased separately, so you'll find links to individual products at the end of each section.

ShiftCam is an interesting company that offers a wide selection of accessories for everyone: from a regular video blogger to a professional photographer. I previously reviewed the company's SnapGrip, which is lens case compatible, as an alternative to ProGrip.

It's an expensive system, costing just over $1,700 if it's not on sale, but that's if you buy the whole kit. Some users may only require one or two lenses for their expected use case.

Review of the ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe kit — seven lenses for your iPhone

Apple said that owning the iPhone 15 Pro Max is like having seven cameras in your pocket. With seven ShiftCam lenses, you can increase the capabilities of the iPhone camera, but not one to one.

iPhone 15 Pro Max has multiple built-in camera options

We'd like to say that seven lenses for seven cameras means 49 camera combinations, excluding filters on the iPhone . However, not every lens will provide acceptable results for every iPhone camera.

In fact, in most of our tests, the main camera is the best option for lens mounting, despite the fact that there are mounting points on both the main and telephoto lenses. Moreover, the telephoto is 120mm, which makes most of the attachments useless.

We can't test the lenses on the iPhone 15 Pro with the 3x lens, but it also isn't very good in low light, and adding an external lens makes that worse. So, while we can't test it, we're confident we'll see similar results.

Testing of each lens showed consistency in detail, saturation and the absence of unwanted distortion. We used a simple red and white pokeball to test the lenses and easily compare white balance and saturation.

We also included a ruler in most shots to provide a basis for distortion.

16mm wide-angle lens

16mm wide-angle lens has an aperture of 0. 5 Magnification x, which allows the user to fit more into the image. The result is similar to the built-in 0.5x ultra-wide-angle camera on the iPhone, but without edge distortion and with the benefit of the main camera's larger sensor.

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe kit review: 16mm wide-angle lens

The ability to ditch Apple's standard 24mm focal length can be a lifesaver in several situations. This will be useful in limited space near the subject, when taking group photos, or when trying to fit a particularly large piece of architecture into the frame.

There was no noticeable loss of color saturation; the camera focused perfectly. The minimal increase in noise resulted in some loss of texture detail in the black band in the middle, but the difference is minimal.

The subject is in a moderately bright room with a dark background, so this is not the most optimal place for filming. The distance from the subject will help eliminate any noticeable differences between using the iPhone lens and the attached ShiftCam lens.

This will be true for all attached lenses. The slight reduction in light output due to the addition of layers of glass will mean an increase in noise in most situations, but this should not be significant.

No edge distortion means the entire image can be used. Additionally, unlike some lens attachments, there is no vignetting around the edges.

The 16mm lens does not work with the 120mm telephoto lens on the iPhone. This causes the image to become hazy and out of focus.

Buy the LensUltra 16mm Wide Angle Lens for $129.99 from the ShiftCam Store.

75 mm long range macro lens

75 long lens mm Range Macro Lens is not a type of lens I've had experience with before. This allows the user to get as close as possible without physically pushing the lens into the subject space.

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit Review: 75mm Long Range Macro Lens

Unlike the iPhone's built-in macro mode, the 75mm macro lens allows you to get closer to your subject without losing resolution.

The iPhone's macro mode can be scaled, so we tested the same frame framing between the software macro and the physical ShiftCam lens. The result is strikingly different.

The iPhone image was well done, even if noise caused artifacts around the edges of the ball. This is coupled with a small 2.5x digital zoom in macro mode to achieve an equivalent focal length of 75mm.

Compare this with the crisp image with nice bokeh captured with the ShiftCam 75mm macro lens. The texture of the black plastic is visible, and the edge of the ball fades as it moves out of focus range.

Surprisingly, the 75mm macro lens also performed well when combined with the 120mm telephoto lens. The Pokeball doesn't have a lot of interesting detail in the macro range, so we took a photo of a nearby cleaning cloth.

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit Review: 120mm Camera with 75mm Macro Lens

At this distance it is easier to focus by physically moving the camera to the desired position. than trying to click and focus. The small diagonal focus bar moves dramatically at this zoom level, but it's not difficult to take a handheld photo.

Buy the LensUltra 75mm Long Range Macro Lens for $129.99 from the ShiftCam Store.

Traditional macro lens with 10x magnification

A traditional 10x macro lens works similarly to Apple's built-in macro mode, but again with all the benefits of the main camera. However, you have to almost touch the subject to take a photo thanks to the minimum focal length of 10 to 15mm.

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit Review: Traditional Macro Lens with 10x Zoom

The natural bokeh of a macro lens is the first thing you'll notice. The background fades into a blur, as do parts of the object depending on its size.

Because the iPhone's macro mode is a software trick using the main and ultra-wide camera, most of the image is in focus. The resulting image may not be as bright due to the lack of natural bokeh.

A 120mm telephoto lens does not work well with a 10x macro lens. This results in blurry highlights and an inability to focus.

Apple's software trick is a great example of computer photography that can come in handy in a pinch. However, for more detailed, detailed images, a 10x macro lens will almost always win.

The lens hood can be removed if it gets in the way when shooting, but this will also help determine the minimum focusing distance.

Buy the LensUltra 10x25mm Traditional Macro Lens for $129.99 from the ShiftCam Store.

60mm telephoto lens

60mm telephoto lens acts as a physical alternative to a digital lens 2x zoom 48 mm. Like the other lenses in the set, it allows the user to take advantage of the main camera's sensor without any software tricks or cropping.

Review of the ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe kit: 60 mm telephoto lens

The portrait range in photography is from 35mm to 75mm, and the best lens for which the shooting quality is highly controversial among photographers. A 60mm lens is a little longer than a typical 50mm portrait lens, so the subject will be a little closer with more bokeh in the background.

Compared to the 2x mode on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the 60mm telephoto lens easily wins. It only works in combination with the main camera, but the effect is worth it.

Those who like Apple's software portrait mode will benefit from the 60mm lens, which provides more natural bokeh. Of course, the software version allows you to adjust the depth, but this is not a problem if, thanks to the lens, the objects have clear outlines and a soft background.

Optical zoom also helps when photographing distant objects. This could provide a different perspective on a remote corner of nature or increase your chances of catching an elusive pet.

The 120mm 5x zoom on the iPhone 15 Pro Max goes further, but it comes with some sacrifices in quality and aperture. Again, the main camera paired with an external lens such as a 60mm telephoto will easily win, at least in terms of resolution and noise.

Buy the LensUltra 60mm Telephoto Lens for $129.99 from the ShiftCam Store.

200 degree fisheye lens

One of my favorite lens features Fisheye is the ability to see the right spaces in completely new ways. The 200-degree fisheye lens from ShiftCam is another quality piece of glass that will expand your shooting capabilities.

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit Review: 200-degree Fisheye Lens

Distance from the subject means less distortion while maintaining a wide 200-degree field of view. The closer an object is to the edge of the lens, the more distorted it is.

Get closer and everything will curve around the central sphere. It allows you to take ultra-wide-angle shots of tall buildings or wide-angle selfies with a group of friends.

Unlike other fisheye adapters, the 200-degree fisheye lens allows you to capture images without vignetting. This means less cropping and higher quality images for every frame.

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit Review: Fisheye Lens Provides Wide View

Apple has an ultra-wide camera on the iPhone with 0.5x magnification that allows achieve a subtle fisheye effect when the subject is close to the subject. As with macro mode or portrait mode, it's good in a pinch, but a physical lens will always be better.

Buy the LensUltra 200 degree fisheye lens for $129.99 from the ShiftCam store.

1.33x anamorphic and 1.55x anamorphic

Shooting photography and video with anamorphic lenses can provide unique perspectives and effects. It just takes practice and editing to get it right.

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit Review: Anamorphic Lenses

I have no experience with anamorphic lenses, but this is actually a simple effect that needs to be edited in software to achieve the desired result. The sample images here show what the image looks like when captured and what it looks like after the distortion has been compensated in software.

The end result is a more panoramic view of the subject in some frames. It really depends on your end goal. Some use anamorphic lenses to achieve a different style of bokeh.

The light caught within the bokeh will take on different shapes depending on the direction and strength of the anamorphic lens. The lenses we tested have 1.33x and 1.55x multipliers.

Highlight highlights also become more pronounced when viewed through anamorphic lenses. Photos and videos will become much more cinematic, although it will require some skill to achieve the desired end result.

For example, video shot with any anamorphic lens can be exported in a cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio. It's like panoramic mode without having to use software to stitch the pieces together.

ShiftCam's LensUltra 1.33x Anamorphic Lens costs $149.99. The 1.55x anamorphic lens from ShiftCam costs $169.99.

Review of the ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe kit — three filters, two adapters, unlimited combinations

The ShiftCam Filter Kit includes three filters with adapters for anamorphic lenses and camera mounts — they are attached to standard lenses without an adapter. There is a circular polarization filter (CPL), a variable neutral density (VND) filter with a range of 2-5 stops, and a VND filter with a range of 6-9 stops.

Review of the ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe kit: VND and CPL filters

VND filters provide exposure control over a range of stops. If you've ever been outdoors in a very bright area and noticed that everything gets washed out by the sun, VND filters can help.

Rather than artificially reducing exposure using a software exposure slider, a VND filter can help you achieve your desired exposure level. And they help not only in bright situations.

For example, if you want to take a long exposure shot of a stream while leaving the shutter open, you want the likelihood of the image being overexposed. The VND filter reduces exposure when capturing moving stream.

The CPL filter serves as a glare filter using polarization. The camera captures what it sees, but reflective surfaces and water vapor in the air can cause some sort of haze, glare, or flare.

Polarization eliminates this problem. If you've ever worn polarized sunglasses, you already know their effect.

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit Review: Take More Dramatic Photos with ND Filters

These filters are useful for creating more dramatic shots than straight glass can provide. The included adapters allow you to use them with any lens or directly with your phone camera.

ShiftCam's CPL filter costs $79.99. The 2-5 stop VND filter costs $89.99 and the 6-9 stop VND filter costs $89.99.

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit Review — ProGrip

ProGrip is included in the LensUltra Deluxe Kit, but could easily complement a standalone review. The handle acts as a power bank, Bluetooth shutter, free-standing charging dock, and tripod mount for iPhone.

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit Review: ProGrip Charger and Shutter Button

The symmetrical clip design ensures it will fit any iPhone model, making it more future-proof than some accessories. It's not as easy as SnapGrip to add and remove an iPhone, but it's more durable.

Since lenses add weight to the iPhone, I find using ProGrip to be more durable. There is no danger of the iPhone falling out of its grip due to the MagSafe magnet not holding in place.

Notice in the previous photos that the iPhone was attached to a MagSafe mount on a tripod. If your iPhone remains stationary, it's quicker to rely on magnets rather than a screw-in mount.

ProGrip works best away from the studio.

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit Review: ProGrip Can Use SnapGrip-Like Upgrade

The grip has a 6,400mAh battery that powers the installed iPhone via Qi wireless charging — There is no MagSafe here. Additionally, a USB-C port on the base allows you to charge devices like AirPods.

The base of the handle is wide enough to hold the iPhone upright on a makeshift stand. The iPhone mount can be rotated for use in portrait or landscape orientation.

There's even a button that you can connect to your iPhone and use as a Bluetooth shutter. It recreates pressing volume up to activate the shutter in the camera app.

ProGrip is an interesting addition to the LensUltra Deluxe kit. Purchase it separately from ShiftCam for $149.99.

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit Review — Universal Lens Mount and iPhone Camera Case Mount (not included)

The LensUltra Deluxe comes with a universal lens mount, which is essentially a simple clip. This allows the lenses to be used with many types of smartphones by aligning the lens above the camera.

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Bundle Review: iPhone Camera Case

It's a less elegant solution than the iPhone camera case, but it gets the job done. Having a universal mount also means it will be compatible with the latest iPhone, pending an update to the ShiftCam line of cases.

The iPhone camera case attaches over the main camera and telephoto lens. It is not possible to complement the ultra-wide-angle camera with a lens system.

If you are looking to purchase the ShiftCam lenses or the Deluxe Kit, I highly recommend purchasing an iPhone camera case. It is inexpensive compared to some cases and can be easily replaced when the lenses are not in use.

Buy the ShiftCam Camera Case for iPhone 15 for $39.99. Be sure to select the correct case size and indicate whether you want to add a screen protector.

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit review — LensUltra Aluminum Case

There are two ways to transport ShiftCam lenses: the included aluminum case or zippered lens cases. Both are included in the Deluxe package.

Review of the ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe kit: aluminum suitcase

An aluminum case is a great way to transport lenses, but it's large and bulky. Luckily, zippered lens cases allow you to carry only what you need for a specific shoot.

The case weighs approximately 5 pounds when fully loaded. It measures 1 foot long, 9 inches wide, and 3.5 inches deep.

The LensUltra aluminum case cannot be ordered separately. It is included in the Full and Deluxe packages.

Upgrading the iPhone Camera

iPhone – an incredible camera that is always with you . The combination of hardware and software allows you to take pictures that were previously only possible with a camera with a large sensor.

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit Review: Add Pro Lenses to Enhance Your iPhoneography

Adding hardware tools to your iPhone's camera setup can help improve the experience. However, not all camera tools are created equally and can end up making the resulting image worse, not better.

The ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Bundle includes a variety of hardware options to help improve your iPhone photography. ProGrip, combined with lenses and filters, offers many possible combinations to suit almost any need.

Whether you buy a few individual lenses or the entire Deluxe Kit, I'm confident it will provide a unique experience for your photography.

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe kit review – pros

  • Well-made glass that does not distort photos.
  • Variety of lenses to suit the needs of any photographer.
  • The included universal lens mount provides compatibility of iPhone of all generations
  • Includes a universal lens mount to ensure compatibility across all iPhone generations
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  • Easy lens and filter mounting system.
  • Unique aluminum carrying case that makes the Deluxe Kit even more premium.

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit Review – Cons

  • ProGrip seems outdated due to clamps and Qi charging
  • iPhone camera case not included

Rating: 4 out of 5

ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit – Great system, though not without its quibbles: We wish this already pricey kit allowed the user to choose the iPhone case they want at checkout, rather than adding a $40 surcharge.

Also, The ProGrip is great for what it does, but the clamp is difficult to handle and the product is in dire need of a MagSafe upgrade. Combining SnapGrip with ProGrip could create a truly smart product.

Where to buy the Kit ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe

If you've been keeping an eye on prices throughout this review, you may have concluded that the full kit will be very expensive. You're right, but purchasing the full set at current discounted prices will save you at least $200 compared to buying each item individually, not to mention bonus accessories like the aluminum body.

The ShiftCam LensUltra Deluxe Kit normally costs $1,720 but is 30% off to $1,199. The kit is in high demand, so orders placed in mid-to-late March will not be fulfilled until supplies restock at the end of April, but those who placed their orders on hold will receive a free two-color ProLED light bar.

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