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What a view: Aukey Super Wide Angle lens quick review: Connect

Aukey is a mobile device accessory maker that has been in the clip-on lens business for quite some time. We’ve had a chance to try out one of the company’s latest models, the ‘Super Wide Angle’ lens which at 238 degrees offers quite an extreme angle of view. It’s compatible with any smartphone but we’ve found it to work best with the latest iPhone generation as the back of the lens neatly slots onto the iPhone’s lens protrusion, holding it firmly in place. On devices with a smooth, non-protruding camera-module, such as the Motorola Moto X Force / Droid Turbo 21 which we also tried the lens on, you might have to optimize the position of the lens by moving it around very slightly, using a trial and error approach, until the preview image on the screen shows the best sharpness.

The lens attaches onto any smartphone with the help of a plastic clip. The lens is constructed with 6 optical elements.

The lens is made from six optical elements and with its metal housing feels, for a smartphone accessory, reassuringly solid and weighty. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the plastic clip that holds it in place. It did its job without any issues during our testing but doesn’t look like it was made to last a lifetime. There is also a plastic lens cap that should always be on the lens when it’s not in use. Due to the bulbous shape of the front element it is extremely prone to fingerprint smearing.

As you can see in the samples below the angle of view is quite extreme, making it virtually impossible to keep your finger and sometimes feet out of the frame. On the other hand, the lens is great for capturing a very large portion of your surroundings without resorting to panorama modes or similar software tricks. It can also make for fun selfies in confined spaces. Looking at the samples it’s clear that optical quality should not be your number one priority when shooting with the Aukey lens. Images are generally softer than the standard output of the iPhone camera but sharpness is acceptable at the very center of the frame. That said, sharpness drops off quickly as you move toward the outer regions of the frame and corners are extremely soft. On the upside, lens flare and other artifacts are well controlled.

The lens can also be used with the iPhone’s panorama mode but as you can see the stitching algorithm gets confused by the changed angle of view and actually ends up capturing a 720 degree image.

iPhone 6s Plus panorama

Of course you can also shoot video footage with the lens attached to your smartphone below. The clip below was recorded with an iPhone 6s Plus. As you can see the video footage suffers from the same image quality issues as the stills but, thanks to the lower video resolution, they are not quite as intrusive. Nevertheless the Aukey lens is an option for video shooters who want to to squeeze as much scenery as possible into their frames. Just take into account that on most smartphone cameras digital video stabilization will slightly crop the picture and therefore reduce the angle of view.

As mentioned above we also tried the lens on the Motorola Moto X Force / Droid Turbo 22 with its 21MP camera. It’s more difficult to position the lens correctly on the Moto than on the iPhone and the end results we got were generally softer than on the iPhone. Still, the Aukey lens gives you the same enormous angle of view as on the iPhone and popping it on the front camera can be lots of fun as well.

Conclusion

Overall the Aukey Super Wide Angle lens is fun accessory that can provide entertainment when taking images of groups of friends but also allows you to capture small confined spaces in one single shot, making it an additional creative tool in the box. Unfortunately the optical quality isn’t fantastic but in line with other accessory lenses. As long as you can live with the image quality limitations, the Super Wide Angle is fun to use and doesn’t break the bank.

It is currently available for $42.99 on Amazon.com3

Pros:

  • Very wide angle of view
  • Good build quality of lens
  • Compatible with most smartphone cameras (although works best with iPhone)
  • Lens flare is well controlled

Cons:

  • Slightly flimsy attachment clip
  • Exposed front element prone to scratching and fingerprints
  • Fairly strong image softness away from center of the frame

References

  1. ^ Moto X Force / Droid Turbo 2 (connect.dpreview.com)
  2. ^ Motorola Moto X Force / Droid Turbo 2 (connect.dpreview.com)
  3. Amazon.com (www.amazon.com)

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2015 F1 Fanatic Gift Guide and Black Friday deals

Whether you re seeking a gift for an F1 fan or looking to treat yourself to a Formula One video or book, F1 Fanatic has got over a hundred recommendations to suit budgets of all sizes. And with the Black Friday sales event kicking off tomorrow (November 27th), there are some extra bargains to be had on race tickets, team merchandise and much more.

Jump to: Videos | Games | Books | Merchandise | Pictures | Race tickets & trips | Models | Fun stuff12345678

Support F1 Fanatic when you shop with Amazon

Whatever gifts you re buying and whenever you re buying them, if you re shopping with Amazon please consider supporting F1 Fanatic when you do. All purchases made via the search boxes below will contribute towards F1 Fanatic at no cost to you.

You can also find these search forms via: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/amazon9. You can also Support F1 Fanatic when you shop with Amazon USA10.

Videos

Official 2015 F1 season review

The official Formula One season review video is essential viewing for every F1 fan, particularly as it often contains lots of previously unbroadcast footage. This year s video is due out on December 21st.

More F1 season review DVDs

Complete your collection with videos from earlier seasons. Still not enough? Find all the official F1 season reviews here11.

F1 films and videos

Five years on from the excellent Senna movie, the re-release of 1992 documentary Ayrton Senna: Racing is in my Blood gives an eye-opening insight into how he was viewed before his untimely death in 1994. It s among the pick of the video releases for Formula One fans this year.

And if any of the recent F1 cinema offerings passed you buy, now s the time to catch up. Senna is unmissable12, Rush is highly recommended13, and even the flawed 1: Life at the Limit has its moments14.

Other motor sport videos

Review all the action from this year s Le Mans 24 Hours which featured an F1 driver in the victorious car for the first time in 24 years. That plus more reviews of other racing disciplines can be found below.

Games

F1 2015 The official Formula One game

In their sixth year producing the official Formula One game, Codemasters brought the franchise bang up-to-date for the latest platforms as well as adding the new circuits and other changes for 2015. You can also play with all the 2014 content as well. Licensing restrictions means the F1 game only features grand prix cars, so if you d like to race something else there s a few other suggestions below plus a selection of steering wheels.

Books

Newest releases

It s been the best year for new Formula One book releases for some time: Mark Webber15 and Max Mosley penned autobiographies while new books appeared on world champions Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell. But before you clear space on your bookshelves or e-reader, check the reviews to find out which of these deserve a place your wish list16.

Required reading

Essential reading: AutocourseLooking for a guaranteed quality read?

These books all scored a maximum five-out-of-five when reviewed by F1 Fanatic:

Autocourse 2015-2016

Autocourse is the essential season review annual for motor racing enthusiasts. While every edition bears the image of the latest Formula One world champion on the cover, inside you ll find coverage of the world of four-wheeled motorsport. But the majority of each annual is given over to in-depth coverage of the grand prix season and superb photography.

Merchandise

Car parts

Layshaft and Gear LampAn F1 car contains an average of 80,000 individual components and teams replace them quickly. These increasingly find their way into all manner of distinctive gift items from wallet to clocks. Memento Exclusives sell a wide range of items built from upcycled F1 car parts some at pocket money prices and others costing several thousand pounds.

Here s a selection of their products:

Team wear

As drivers now keep the same number from year to year, team merchandise doesn t date as quickly as it used to. And there are some great bargains to be found on team kit at the end of a season. Check out the official F1 website s Black Friday deals page17 for several deals.

Race tickets and trips

Races

Where will you watch F1 next year?You can buy tickets for races on the 2016 F1 calendar18 via the links below. Note the calendar is still subject to change and ticket options for the new 2016 European Grand Prix in Azerbaijan have not yet been announced. If you have any questions about going to a particular race, do post them in the forum for each race where other readers who have been to each event may be able to help.

NB.

Tickets may not be available for all races yet.

Black Friday deals on race tickets

As last year the Circuit of the Americas is running a special Black Friday deal allowing you to buy a general admission ticket for six races including the Formula One, World Endurance Champions and Moto GP rounds for $249. The tickets go on sale on Friday at midnight until the following Monday. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is also selling tickets at half price this weekend, meaning a general admission ticket can be had for as little as $23.

Models

Here s a selection of the 2015 grid in model form including Red Bull s test car in its black-and-white livery:

Amazon.co.uk Widgets19

Fun stuff

If you didn t manage to win one of the brilliant LEGO Speed Champions sets in the F1 Fanatic Predictions Championship, it s surely time to treat yourself. The Ferrari F1 truck with racing cars and the McLaren pit stop set are highlights of this officially-licensed range. If you d prefer something a little more advanced, check out the grand prix racer and Le Mans-style Technic sets. A Mercedes versus a Mclaren might not be a very close competition in F1 these days but it s sure to come across well in slot car form. The new App Race Control set from Scalextric features detailed models of each and their latest racing system which even updates your Facebook and Twitter profiles with your race statistics.

Alternatively you can recreate some of this year s better races with Carrera s Formula Run set which features a Mercedes and a Ferrari. Rally fans should check the Scalextric website for some great Black Friday deals on classic rally cars20.

Over to you

Do you have any F1-related gifts in mind for the festive season? Have you spotted any great deals on grand prix gear you want to share with other F1 Fanatics?

Let us know in the comments.

F1 Fanatic earns a commission on products sold via the links to our affiliate partners above, however you are not charged any extra.

References

  1. ^ Videos (www.f1fanatic.co.uk)
  2. ^ Games (www.f1fanatic.co.uk)
  3. ^ Books (www.f1fanatic.co.uk)
  4. ^ Merchandise (www.f1fanatic.co.uk)
  5. ^ Pictures (www.f1fanatic.co.uk)
  6. ^ Race tickets & trips (www.f1fanatic.co.uk)
  7. ^ Models (www.f1fanatic.co.uk)
  8. ^ Fun stuff (www.f1fanatic.co.uk)
  9. ^ http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/amazon (www.f1fanatic.co.uk)
  10. ^ Support F1 Fanatic when you shop with Amazon USA (www.f1fanatic.co.uk)
  11. ^ Find all the official F1 season reviews here (www.f1fanatic.co.uk)
  12. ^ Senna the Ayrton Senna movie reviewed (www.f1fanatic.co.uk)
  13. ^ Rush is highly recommended (www.f1fanatic.co.uk)
  14. ^ 1: Life on the Limit the F1 Fanatic review (www.f1fanatic.co.uk)
  15. ^ Mark Webber (www.f1fanatic.co.uk)
  16. ^ check the reviews to find out which of these deserve a place your wish list (www.f1fanatic.co.uk)
  17. ^ the official F1 website s Black Friday deals page (f1store.formula1.com)
  18. ^ 2016 F1 calendar (www.f1fanatic.co.uk)
  19. ^ Amazon.co.uk Widgets (ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com)
  20. ^ check the Scalextric website for some great Black Friday deals on classic rally cars (www.scalextric.com)
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