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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.