The “Don’t Get Ripped Off” Series – Overpriced Camera Phone Lenses

The ads show up on FaceBook all the time. They talk about wonderful lenses that will turn your smart phone into a camera that is better than a DSLR costing thousands of dollars. They brag about German engineering, a NASA optical formula, or the testing that proves their lenses are better than expensive lenses from Nikon, Zeiss, Leica, or Canon. The names of the companies change on a regular basis, but the scam is the same. Sad to say, a lot of people actually fall for this nonsense.

In reality the lenses are cheap, poor quality lenses purchased for $2 or $3 each in bulk quantities from companies in China. The German engineer is made up. There are no lens tests. The photos used to illustrate the ads were created with professional level DSLRs and professional lenses by professional photographers. And the images were stolen from the photographers without their knowledge and used without their permission. I know because I contacted the photographers.

The lenses are usually sold for $50 or more (and as much as $224.50).

And it gets worse. As the articles in this series article point out, some people got their credit card bill and discovered they were charged double or triple for the lens and they were also charged $85 for shipping even though the ad said shipping was free. They ended up with a credit card charge over $200 for a lens they could have bought at Amazon for $15 or less. Terrible rip offs are going on out there.

So be careful out there.

Series Links

Don’t get ripped off!

Same Guy, Several Different Names, Several Different Ads, Several Different Products

Don’t get ripped off! Part Two

Don’t get ripped off! Part Three

Don’t get ripped off! Part Four

Don’t get ripped off! Part Five. The fascinating story of cheap, Chinese camera phone lenses.

Don’t get ripped off. Part Six. Video: “Does It Suck?”

Don’t get ripped off. Part Seven. Comparison test: telephoto phone lens vs DLSR and zoom lens.

Don’t get ripped off! Part 8. How much does this lens really cost? $224.50? $2.99?

Don’t get ripped off! Part Nine. Comparison Test Two: 8-18X Telephoto Phone Lens vs 12X Telephoto Phone Lens.

How to Choose the Best iPhone Lenses

More Links

The best iPhone lens kit

The best lenses for iPhone photography

Apexel Set of Four Camera Phone Lenses – This is the set of lenses I bought at Amazon  to test cheap, poor quality Chinese lenses.