Your smartphone’s camera is pretty great for what it is, but its fixed focal length limits the kinds of shots you can get. Luckily, several manufacturers have stepped with up universally compatible clip-on lens kits for just $10-$15, and the results are surprisingly great.

There are a bunch of these things out there from the likes of Aukey, Mpow, and VicTsing, but they all tend to offer the same three lenses: A fisheye, a wide angle, and a macro. I personally own the VicTsing model mentioned above, and I took a few sample photos of my desk to give you an idea of how it works.

iPhone 6s Plus camera (no attached lens):

Wide angle:


Macro (that’s a 4K monitor, so those pixels are tiny):

Professional photography tools, these are not. If you click above to see the full-sized images, you’ll notice plenty of blurriness around the edges of the frame. But if one of these kits can help you get even a handful of vacation photos that you wouldn’t be able to capture otherwise, then I’d say it’s well worth picking up a set for under $20.

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