My Favorite Smart Phone Tripod Mounts

Square Jellyfish smart phone tripod mount with conversion plate for an Arca-Swiss compatible tripod head.

After seeing too many incidents when smart phones popped out of their tripod mounts and came crashing to the ground, I decided it was time to write this article.

Posted Dec 16, 2017. Revised and re-posted November 16, 2018.

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The Chinese Lens Rip 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.

Posted Sep. 12, 2017. Updated and re-posted November 15, 2018.

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The Chinese Lens Rip Off! Part Three

This is pretty much the same kind of rip off I have written about before. Take a cheap smart phone lens that people can buy at Amazon for $16.99 or less, jack up the price to $56, make outrageous claims, and see how may people you can sucker into buying the item at the higher price. They even used the same “questionable” technologist who has multiple identities.

Posted Oct. 17, 2016. Revised and re-posted June 3, 2018.

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Same Guy, Several Different Names, Several Different Ads, Several Different Products – The fake German engineer used in the Chinese lens rip off ads

Screen captures from three different ads.

Same photo, three different names, and three different ads for three different products. Does this make you suspicious?

Update: September 12, 2017. I heard from the REAL Simon Greig. Details below.

Originally Posted June 20, 2016. Revised and re-posted June 2, 2018.

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The Chinese Lens Rip Off! Part Twelve. Lens Comparison Test Three: “Shoot the Moon”

 

Side by side comparison test: Chinese lens vs telephoto lens and teleconverter on a DSLR.

Almost every day I see ads for the same plastic, cheaply made Chinese lens, and the ad often uses the same faked photo of an impressive picture of the moon (see examples below). I decided to do a “shoot the moon” comparison test. As you will see in the results that follow, it is impossible for this Chinese lens to take the moon shot used in these ads.

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The Chinese Lens Rip Off Series, Part Eleven. The Same Lousy Lens With Many Different Names

HD Zoom Pro Lens Ad

Don’t get ripped off. The quality of this lens is so bad and the reputation of the company is so awful that the people who market this lens have to keep coming up with new names for the lens and new web sites to sell it. So far I have found 16 different names for this lens and it is sold with the same fake information on dozens of web sites. Continue reading

The Chinese Lens Rip Off Series, Part Ten. Good Luck Trying to Get a Refund

HD Pixel Pro ad on Facebook

Don’t get ripped off on an overpriced, lousy quality lens from an unscrupulous company that has an “F” rating at the BBB. Good luck trying to get a refund as you will read in Annie’s story below. I see ads like this on Facebook almost every day. These ads are costly so they must be making a lot of money. These companies change names and addresses all the time to keep ahead of the bad reviews, so be careful out there.

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The Chinese Lens Rip Off! Part Nine. Comparison Test Two: 8-18X Telephoto Phone Lens vs 12X Telephoto Phone Lens

8-18X telephoto lens on an iPhone SE.

If you haven’t done so already, read this article first: Don’t get ripped off! Part Seven. Comparison Test One: Telephoto Phone Lens vs DLSR and Zoom Lens. It will explain the background and methodology behind this comparison test.

I purchased the 8-18X telephoto lens to check it out. Like the lens in Comparison Test One, it is another Chinese lens for smart phones. The ads for this lens say this lens is amazingly sharp. It is being sold for $59.99. That is an outrageous price of course. I found one on Amazon for less than $12. I knew when I bought it that it would not be worth $12. I had read other online reviews for this lens which point out how bad it is, but I wanted to see for myself.

Posted Sep. 22, 2017. Revised and expanded Dec. 12, 2017.

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The Chinese Lens Rip Off! Part Seven. Comparison Test One: Telephoto Phone Lens vs DLSR and Zoom Lens

12X telephoto camera phone lens vs DSLR and zoom lens. Click for a larger version.

I see the ads for smart phone lenses on Facebook almost every day. You click on the link and you read an article that says their telephoto smart phone lens has “been tested, and found to equal or exceed the photos produced by such top makers as Zeiss, Leica, Nikon, Canon and Sony.” It is all utter nonsense of course, meant to fool clueless people into spending $56 or more on a poor quality lens that they could buy for as little as $4.00. So I decided to buy one of these lenses on the cheap and do my own comparison test.

Posted Sep. 18, 2017. Revised and expanded Dec. 12, 2017.

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The Chinese Lens Rip 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.

Posted Sep. 12, 2017. Updated Feb. 12, 2018.

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Depth of Field and Hyperfocal Distance App for iPhones and iPads

Simple DoF app for iPhone and iPad

My favorite depth of field app for the iPhone and iPad is the “Simple DoF Calculator” by Dennis van den Berg. It is fast, accurate, and simple to use. Best of all – you can set the Circle of Confusion (CoC) to the value of your choosing. In this screen capture of my iPhone the app is marked with a red square.

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