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Cameras

iPro turns an iPhone into an interchangeable lens camera

German lens manufacturer Schneider-Kreuznach has announced a series of lenses designed specifically for use on the iPhone.

German lens manufacturer Schneider-Kreuznach has announced a series of lenses designed specifically for use on the iPhone, released through Schneider Optics.

The iPro lens system is a specially designed aluminium case that lets the iPhone 4 or 4S accept interchangeable lenses in front of the existing camera optics, with the ability to add a handle to its base to stabilise shots or mount on a tripod. Using a bayonet mount to lock each lens into place on the iPro case, the range launched with both a wide-angle and fish-eye lens.

(Credit: Schneider Optics)

Unlike other interchangeable lens solutions for the iPhone, the iPro has been specifically designed for the smartphone and is a complete system in itself. Wide-angle shooters get a 35 per cent wider field of view than the standard iPhone optics, equivalent to a 30mm lens. The fish-eye optics provide the characteristic distortion by increasing the field of view to 165 degrees.

The handle also doubles as a lens storage case, making it easier to protect and swap them on the fly. Shooting video with the lenses is possible, too, though as video recording mode on the iPhone uses less of the sensor, the field of view is reduced.

Representatives from Schneider Optics told Ars Technica that there is a 2x telephoto lens in the works, which will be available soon.

An image taken on the regular iPhone lens, left, and fish-eye, right, shows the degree of distortion available with the iPro. (Credit: Schneider Optics)

The iPro system, which includes a fish-eye and wide-angle lens, plus case and handle, is available for US$199 through the Schneider Optics website.