Sandmarc Macro Lens Review
I want to photograph all of these super small things, but it’s just impossible! What am I doing wrong?!
You can’t get those super-close-up shots crisply in focus without a mobile macro lens – the technical specs of the phone just won’t allow it. Yes, I know about Apple’s new Macro Mode, but not everyone has the top-of-the-line new iPhone. If you’re like me and you don’t, you’ll need to add something to your phone’s camera.
While there are loads of macro lenses for smartphones on the market, only a few provide super high-quality results. One of those is the Sandmarc Macro Lens.
For around $100, Sandmarc provides you with everything necessary to start snapping shots of super small objects with their macro lens’s 10x optical zoom capability. The Sandmarc 10x Macro Lens is definitely worth considering for mobile photographers and filmmakers alike.
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Table of Contents
An Overview of the Sandmarc Macro Lens
The macro lens from Sandmarc is ideal for capturing intricate details like logos, textures, or anything the size of a fingernail. The lens is small and lightweight compared to the rest of the Sandmarc iPhone lenses, but that doesn’t make it any less useful. The lens offers 10x magnification, which is on par with most mobile macro lenses.
If you regularly take close-up shots, you’ll need this macro lens for its optical zoom and improved working distance.
The macro lens is indeed a bit harder to use than other Sandmarc lenses, but it’s not so challenging with a few nifty tips. It requires more effort because the plane of focus is around an inch. To explain, when attached to my iPhone 11 Pro, the Sandmarc 10x Macro Lens’s minimum working distance (i.e., closest distance from which it can find focus) is 0.6 inches. The maximum working distance, on the other hand, is 1.3 inches.
Because of this tight range of focus, it’s best to use the macro lens when your mobile is mounted on a tripod with a smartphone mount. Keeping both the smartphone camera and the subject still will help ensure that the photo’s subject is crisply in focus. You can use the lens hood that comes with your purchase to help with finding the optimal working distance. The lens hood for the Sandmarc Macro Lens also diffuses light to help ensure that shadows and highlights are maintained.
If you want the Sandmarc lens shipped inside the US, you have three options from which to choose.
- USPS shipping: For free, 3–5 business days
- FedEx/UPS Overnight: For $29, one business day
- FedEx/UPS second day: For $19, two business days
Canadians are a little less lucky; their shipping costs more and the lens takes longer to arrive.
- Standard shipping: For $19.95, 3–7 business days
- DHL: For $40, 2–5 business days
If you want the lens shipped internationally, you’ll have the same shipping options as Canadians, but standard shipping will take slightly longer.
Sandmarc Macro Lens Specs
- Equivalent Focal Length: 25mm
- Diameter: 38mm
- Height: 15mm
- Magnification: 10x
- Weight: 25.4 g
- Glass: Multi-coated
What You’ll Get With The Sandmarc 25mm Macro Lens
The Sandmarc macro lens comes with a litany of accessories. The package contains the following:
- Macro Lens
- iPhone case of your choice
- Clip-on mount
- Lens pouch
- Front and rear lens caps
- Lens hood
Sandmarc includes two different means of attachment their lenses: an iPhone case and a clip-on mount. The iPhone case is fitted exclusively for the lens, featuring threaded grooves that enable you to screw the macro lens in place accurately. It is worth noting that the phone case that comes with your purchase (the Standard Case) is not as impressive as the Sandmarc Pro Case, which is an additional $40. The latter is better because the threading is improved, the design is more aesthetically appealing, and the case is just better. If you want to learn more about the differences between the Sandmarc Standard Case and Pro Case, then watch this video.
When purchasing, you choose the case according to your iPhone model. The case attachment may not be too reliable, though, because the lens may fall off.
If you’re afraid of that, you can always opt for the clip-on mount instead. The macro lens attaches directly onto it, and it latches onto your phone to provide security and keep the lens from falling.
The clip-on mount also has another benefit; it allows you to attach the Sandmarc lens to any smartphone, even if it’s not an iPhone. It may not sit accurately on the camera, though, because it’s designed for iPhones.
Lastly, the macro lens comes with a plastic light diffusion hood that helps with lighting. The hood diffuses the light, so you don’t need to be concerned about the shadows you cast on your subject.
The Pros of Sandmarc Macro Lens
The Sandmarc macro lens is convenient, high-quality, and moderately priced. If you’re still not sure if it offers good value, here are its pros.
A lot would say that the iPhone camera’s zooming is its Achilles’ heel, and I agree. Try shooting a small flower with an iPhone, and you’ll end up with a blurry mess of a photo that’s out of focus. That’s why the Sandmarc macro lens is widely sought-after.
When you attach the lens and its hood, you can zoom in to close details without reducing the image’s quality. You’ll be able to capture all the tiny details, thanks to the shallow depth of field.
Optimal Working Distance
With the Sandmarc Macro Lens, you’re able to get closer to your subject than you can without the lens. This improved working distance means that you’ll be capturing shots that you never could without the lens. While the plane of focus is tight, you’ll be blown away by what getting a little closer to your subject will do for your smartphone photography.
The Macro lens is ultra-lightweight, weighing in at 25g, which means it’s small enough to store in your pocket or any cavity in your bag.
While the lens is lightweight, it isn’t too delicate. You don’t need to be concerned about breaking the lens or having it fall off when shooting.
The Cons of Sandmarc Macro Lens
Two improvements could be made to the Sandmarc Macro Lens. The first of them pertains to mounting the lens and can be improved by upgrading to the Sandmarc Pro Case. The threading on the Standard Case is too easy to misthread, and it causes serious issues while shooting. I actually did a mounting test between the Standard and Pro cases and found the latter to be 40% more efficient.
Is The Sandmarc 10x Macro Lens Worth It?
The macro lens can make a world of difference as long as you know how to use it. It requires decent light, and you’ll need to work reasonably hard to find focus. Consider reading our guide on smartphone macro photography to ensure that your expectations for the lens are up to snuff.
But these issues aside, the lens offers excellent value for money.