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Phone Artistry

iPhone Gear

by Uwe + Bettina Steinmueller


E-Book "Phone Artistry 2012 V1"

Art & Craft of iPhone Photography


iPhone Photo Gallery 2012


10/19/2011 Get a grip on your iPhone: Gymbl Pro

The iPhone camera is likely the most used camera on the planet. But holding the camera is a shaky mess. For many still photos this maybe ok but not for video or panoramas. Here the company YOUBIQ created an innovative solution: the Gymbl and the Gymbl Pro (for iPhone 4 and 4S).

The Gymbl Pro comes with three parts:

Case, Grip/Mini Tripod, Tripod Adapter

Attaching the grip/mini tripod to the case is fast and easy. The Gymbl can function as:

  • iPhone Grip

  • Table Top Tripod

Vertical and horizontal position

The key idea behind the Gimbl was to help creating panoramas. That is why the iPhone camera lens is close to the nodal point if used vertically.

If you think that you get a nice case and a very versatile light grip the Gimbl is a good value with great engineering.


09/15/2011 olloclip Attachment Lenses

We covered some attachment lenses before but they were not designed just for the iPhone (which resulted in some vignetting). The olloclip™ attachment lenses are designed specifically for the iPhone 4.

The olloclip is very easy and fast to attach to the naked iPhone 4. There is no vignetting seen in the final images. The olloclip features 3 lens options in one product.

  • About 180 degree fisheye (on side one)

With Fisheye

Fisheye with Hipstamatic

  • Wide Angle (on side two)

Wide Angle

  • Macro (you have to unscrew the wide angle adapter part on side two)

Macro shot (vignetting added in Photoshop)


We found the image quality very good for attachment lenses.

Holding the iPhone 4 is a challenge and the naked iPhone 4 is even more difficult to hold (feels so slippery). Best you use some sort of grip. Right now we found three usable solutions:

  • The glif: Holds well but not sure about rapid movements
  • The Zacuto iPhone Point’n’Shoot: is a kind of must have if you shoot video anyway. We also use it for the GoPro and some P&S cameras.
  • Case used by the Steadicam Smoothee (see below)

Overall the olloclip is beautiful designed and a lot of fun to use.

8/28/2011 Fly your iPhone: Steadicam Smoothee

With the Tiffen Steadicam Smoothee the original inventors of the Steadicam created a solution for the iPhone. It comes with a mount iPone case (4 and 3 are supported with different cases) and is very easy to setup. The design is based on the Steadicam Merlin which is a top pro Steadicam for smaller video cameras.

Instructed by the master

This is a fun image because it shows me with Garrett Brown. Garrett instructs me how to use the Vest/Arm for the Steadicam Merlin. Garrett is the inventor of the original Steadicam and made film history (he received an Oscar for inventing the Steadicam). Handling a Merlin without the vest is hard because of the weight.


The Smoothee is very well engineered and works as expected.

Be aware that using any Steadicam needs a lot of practice. We are right now at the early beginner stage but our friend Peter iNova masters it very well. Watch this video here.

Also watch his "Low Mode" video here which is video 4 of his 4 part Smoothee introduction.


8/11/2011 Lens "Nuggets"

The fixed focal lens on the iPhone is clearly a limitation. Here are some inexpensive attachment lenses sold by Photojojo.

"iPhone 4 Disclaimer: our sticky lens rings don't play well with your sleek, well designed glass backing. But they work swell with a cover!" (quote from their web site).

We attached the provided magnetic ring to our current IP4 shell. This gives the lenses more distance to the built in phone lens. As a result we see some vignetting with all the lenses. That is why we often shoot in square format with the Hipstamatic or 6x6 apps (we like square).

Vignetting with the WA/Macro combo

The magnet is quite strong and holds the lenses just fine. We always tune a bit to get the lenses centered. Here is how we carry them in the field:

Like little lens "Nuggets"

These lenses are fun to use and also can produce very nice images. Here are some of our results.






We like these lenses a lot and the image quality is surprisingly good. With square format and Hipstamatic we don't want to miss them anymore.









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