Gadget of the Week: Phone Add-On Lenses Make A Perfect Stocking Stuffer

I just love the gift-giving season. I get so much joy out of trying to figure out how I can surprise or delight my loved ones with a trinket or treat that they never even knew they wanted. This year, because the absolute explosion of mobile photography, I'm going to stuff every stocking on my list with a cool lens add-on for their smart phone.

Forget filters (or add them in later), these little lenses allow you to take amazing, interesting, bizarre and even professional-quality photos from your phone. Whether you want to spend a little or a lot, there's a lens sure to please every smart phone user on your list.

Jelly Lens iPhone Filter

Choose from three different jelly lenses, wide angle, starburst or kaliedescope, each with different photo effects. A couple of the lenses are sold out on Fred Flare, but if you're feeling lucky, you can try ordering a set of 12 (!!) from China, via ebay for about $13. Reviews mention that they don't stay on your camera particularly well, but for that price it's a fun gift none-the-less. (They also work on different phone models.)

The Photojojo Phone Lens Series

I love browsing Photojojo, and they're an extremely reliable online source for photography supplies. Their series of three lenses: wide angle, telephoto and fish eye are sturdy, affordable and work on both iPhone and Android devices. Each lens runs between $20 and $25, but why not buy all three for $50? Above is an example of what the Macro lens can do.

Holga Lens & Filter Turret for iPhone 4/4s

This multi-lens turret is actually a whole case for your phone, but is unfortunately only available for the iPhone 4 models. Spin the dial and you can play with 9 different options, from the Dual Image Lens, 60mm Macro Lens, Heart and colors as well.

360 Degree iPhone 4/4s Lens

At $50, this is a pretty significant stocking-stuffer, but a very cool toy. This lens/case snaps onto your iPhone 4/4s and allows you to take 360-degree panoramic images.

[Image credits: Fred Flare, Photojojo, Urban Outfitters.]

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