What's the best macro lens for iPhone?

Trying not to break the bank, so maybe chime in on the best for under $50, and also the best ever (any price). Looking to photograph small stuff that’s sedentary (plants) and mobile (bugs).

One important question is, do you have a case on your phone? If so (I certainly do – an otter box case) then some of the more expensive clip-ons won’t fit. But I can’t risk the damage to my phone when I am out and about in rugged conditions, so I have to have a good solid case on it.

Also, realistically speaking, how likely are you to lose the clip-on lens? I put mine on and take it off all of the time and therefore I am quite likely to lose it.

If I were you, I would be inclined to start with a really cheap clip-on (you can get a set of lenses for under $10) and then upgrade as you go along. They all take a little bit of getting used to, because you have to brace yourself against something to keep the image steady.

The main thing is that some have a very narrow range of focus, are very unforgiving. And that does not depend on price.

If you’re willing to use a custom case, I recommend the Ztylus Revolver series without reservation. https://ztylus.com/collections/revolver-m-series

Also mentioned in this thread.

how about nurugo? https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/21238082 she uses a lot nurugo to capture butterfly eggs! and she mentioned me it works very well.
I use a 4 dollars macro lens from a trinkets store, it works well and if it breaks, it will not make me feel bad, here is one example from this cheap lens https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/22428350. Bad quality is maybe because my Iphone is 5c, not sure about this point.

@carrieseltzer – How good is the custom case that comes with the Ztylus Revolver? I use my iPhone X on sandy beaches a lot, and in mucky and rugged conditions, and sometimes when it is drizzling. And I do drop it fairly often!

@susanhewitt the iPhone X/XS is pretty water resistant so I don’t worry about drizzle, but if I spent a lot of time on sandy beaches I’d probably want a case that protected the screen. The one they have now protects everything else well (including screen edges). I also drop my phone and it hasn’t landed on the screen yet :-)

I think anyone who would like a more protective case option should write to Ztylus and request it! I’ve written to request a “naturalist revolver” without the useless fisheye lens.

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Thanks Carrie, I may do that!

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oh, looks like there IS an SE case… https://ztylus.com/products/iphone-se-combo
may have to get one though for wet days i’d still need to go back to the otterbox case or a plastic bag…
the otterbox case i got about a year ago has a plastic screen that covers it and it got so scratched up that it can’t be seen in the sun or glare at all. Should be OK if it’s wet out i guess.

(i have an SE not 6X. Looks like they are running out of these or not making them anymore so i should get one, with some birthday money I have :) )

most new phones are water proof, or at least water resistant, to a fair degree. I wonder if just wrapping the phone in a couple layers of cling film would suffice, as it would protect from most scratches, repel moisture, and can be replaced as soon as it becomes compromised. I think through cling film the capacitive screens still work, i’ll go and test that now! In fact, I might try it on my phone on the next “safe” outing I do, to see how long it lasts under normal use.

Oh, interesting. It seems mine is fairly waterproof too. I do put it in a plastic bag if super wet conditions such as rain or splashy canoeing. I work in wetlands so often a phone could be dropped into water though i haven’t ruined one that way. The old iphones were very water sensitive and i damaged one by letting some snow fall in my pocket when i was shoveling snow.

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I remember going canoeing in the sea with one in my pocket (c2010)… one of those “what was I thinking” moments

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