olloclip Lens for iPhone | Product Review

olloclip lens solutions for iPhone. Sounds a bit interesting, you might be thinking iPhone camera has a lens so why I should buy another lens. Because, iPhone does not have a wide angle, fish eye and macro lens. And it is impossible to have them in a mobile camera. That’s why olloclip lenses take the action. Olloclip offers three types of lenses for the iPhone; wide angle, fish eye and macro. And they are engineered in a way that, you don’t have to carry then separate and avoid the risk of losing them.

Unfortunately, iPhone does not provide an adequate wide angle and it can be a problem some time. Especially, if you are taking the photos of cars or anything that is wide, you either need to walk away from the object or sacrifice the cropped out object. However, when you start using olloclip wide-angle lens, you don’t need to sacrifice any cropping or move further away from the object. You place the lens and take the photo, it is that simple. And the results are so good that, in many cases you will not use your digital camera to take photos.

Fish-eye is the second lens of the olloclip. Its function is very simple, it is fish eye. However, fish-eye always have some issues, regardless of what lens or camera you are using. You need to know where to use it. Otherwise the result will be really bad and you may blame this to lens or the camera. However, the fish-eye lens needs experience. You should see the picture and try to understand if fish-eye is suitable or not. And if it suitable, no one will ever understand that it is take with a fish-eye lens. The results from the olloclip fish-eye lens was fantastic and no one ever realised that it was taken with a fish-eye lens.

The last lens of the olloclip is the macro lens. Yes, iPhone has a macro function but it is limited. By screwing off the wide angle lens from the olloclip, you have the macro lens. And the results were amazing! Many people thought that, I used a DSLR to take those photos but I was only using an iPhone 5 and olloclip macro lens. The details on photos increased very dramatically and you will be shocked from the results.

Overall, the olloclip lens for iPhone is a perfect solution to improve the quality of the photos taken by the iPhone. Inside the package will have a dust case for the lens and it is very easy to carry with you. Moreover, the lens was engineering so precisely that, it is very easy to place to iPhone. I am very happy with the lens and took more than 400 photos with these lenses.

I took the photos in Birmingham, UK. The Cube, University of Birmingham, Bullring Shopping Centre and new Library of Birmingham.


1000th Pin in My Car Board at Pinterest #PinItForwardUK

1000th pin in my car board at Pinterest. I have been using the Pinterest nearly two years and I always had the stamina to pin car photos. And finally I reached a milestone number, 1000! And I celebrate this with a retro beige Fiat 500 taken at University of Birmingham.

And don’t forward to check #PinItForwardUK.


Leica X2 Product Review

The X2 is the latest compact camera from Leica housing a DSLR sensor (APS-C CMOS), and offers full manual control like that found in a DSLR camera. Thanks to dials placed on the X2, it is really easy to change the shutter speed and focal length. In many compact cameras and some DSLR cameras, these functions are frequently hidden under the menus where you really have to browse through the menus just to change the shutter speed. In my personal opinion, the design of Leica X2 is really ergonomic and makes it extremely easy to control the settings.

The principal functions of the Leica X2 are namely automatic program (P), automatic aperture priority (A), automatic shutter priority (S), and manual setting (M). You choose the appropriate menu by selecting the A mode on the dial or by selecting the desired values. Of course, you need to be familiar with photography to get the most out of these settings; otherwise the results may not be at their full potential. However, having these easy controls will also allow you to become familiar with the fundamentals of photography with ease.

The main advantage of the APS-C sensor within the X2 is the improved image quality thanks to the ability of larger sensors, which bring in more light than those, which are smaller ones. Even in low light conditions. Moreover, you don’t need to bear the extra weight of a DSLR camera, and fundamentally the Leica X2 is a camera with a DSLR sensor, which can fit right into your pocket.

The Elmarit 24 mm f/2.8 ASPH lens is Leica made as well and is comprised of, 8 elements in 6 groups, as well as 1 aspheric element. The 8 elements are a major plus for improved picture quality, when you have less elements in a lens, the light received by the sensor gets better. Moreover, the f/2.8 value (it goes up to 16) enables the sensor to receive more light, which creates blurred backgrounds.

Also, the Elmarit lens gives you amazing results and extreme sharpness and detail on the pictures. This does not happen coincidently as Leica is renowned as one of the best lens manufacturers in the world and their lenses are used in a wide range of areas.

The ISO levels on the Leica X2 are; 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, and 12500. However I never needed to use more than ISO 400 as the APS-C sensor receives a lot of light in any conditions. Even in low light, the Leica X2 produces very good pictures. Back to ISO levels, it is not good to use high ISO levels, because this increases the noise level in the picture and reduces the quality. Therefore, go for the lowest ISO level, mount the cameras on a tripod, reduce the aperture value and increase the shutter speed. For the X2, Leica should have a lower ISO than ISO 100, because in many cases the camera receives more than enough light and I felt the lack of a lower than ISO 100 level.

Image saving formats are DNG and JPG with fine and super fine levels. However, the Leica X2 does not enable you to save solely to DNG files, but you have to save with a JPEG copy as well. Unfortunately, this consumes memory space and extra work to delete JPEG files when you transfer the pictures into your computer.

Lastly, I really like the gold-coated USB connection port and the battery performance. Gold is the most conductive material and improves the data transfer speeds! Other disadvantages of the X2 include no video recording facility, but this is of course not critical for everyone. Another point is that the macro focus range starts from 30 cm and sometimes you may struggle but not a big problem as well. Many people never use macro function at all.

Every product has downsides but you can compensate these with the superior advantages. This is especially relevant to the Leica X2, which boasts great ergonomics, ease of use, and superb picture quality, which of course cannot be ignored. Also the battery performance was more than adequate. I did not need to recharge the battery for two days.

Finally, Leica X2 is an excellent camera from packaging to picture quality. You will not be disappointed with your purchase, and also you will have a DSLR performance that can fit into your pocket without any extra weight and a complex menu structure. Also, during the events I attended with Leica X2, you will be treated as a professional photographer and receive plenty of attention!

Photos were taken in: Birmingham City Centre, University of Birmingham Business School, Main Campus and Vale Village Mason Hall, London SMMT.

The price of Leica X2 is £1500 and more information is available on Leica’s website.
The rest of the photos are in Cars & Life Facebook Album.
Night Photos
Train travelling around 200 km/h

Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe at University of Birmingham Campus

Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe, probably the largest coupe you could find on earth! Phantom Coupe is really really big car with a timeless and elegant design. I have just spotted a Phantom Coupe in the University of Birmingham campus. I have no idea who owns the car, but don’t be surprised if it owned by a student :)

Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe is not the fastest coupe or the best handling one. Because, that’s a Rolls Royce and those figures are not on their interest list. Also, the Rolls Royce owners’ interest. The magnificent look and state-of-art comfort hinder the performance figures and you will not bothered if a Ferrari over takes you.

Just to remind, you can adjust different temperature for the higher and lower deck of the centre console in Rolls Royce Phantom!

Here is the technical information of Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe. V12 engine with 460 HP and 720 Nm of torque. 8-speed automatic gearbox with the top speed of 250 km/h, only needs 5.8 seconds to reach 100 km/h. And all Phantom range is made from aluminium! Consumption? It is a lot! I don’t think that Rolls Royce owners are bothered with the consumption figures :)

Car of the Day #34 Electric Smart For Two

This is car is not available for consumers to buy. It is one of the test cars around the UK and used by University of Birmingham. 


Aston Martin Bang & Olufsen

For many years I was expecting to see the raising loud speakers of Aston Martin Bang & Olufsen sound system. Hopefully, yesterday I had chance to spot an Aston Martin during the career event at University of Birmingham and the Aston Martin’s team was very kind to let me record the show :)

Car of the Day #4 Commer

I recently saw this vehicle in University of Birmingham. Actually, it is the first I saw this brand with my eyes. I heard the Commer but never had the chance to see it for real! I am not sure but this car can be Commer FC produced from 1960 to 1982.

Fuel Cell, this is real cell :)

For long time, I was waiting to see a hydrogen car. I know they don’t very different rather than the normal ones but I would like to see how it drives and how it looks like. Hopefully today I saw three of them at the same time. They weren’t production models but at least they were hydrogen powered cars.
They were looking very nice for prototype and actually looking better than many Toyota cars! However the interior is a total catastrophe! Of course, it is pointless to expect to see very high quality interior from an university prototype. These cars have a range of 160 km. And very silent! Actually they are too silent and you may not even notice that a hydrogen car is approaching to you.
Finally, I really don’t know where they fill up the car. It is sure that, they are filling up them somewhere but I didn’t see.