Smartphone camera filter comparison

SuncrestReef

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For the past year I've been using the AquariClip orange filter for my iPhone Xs to shoot quick photos in my tank or at the LFS when I don't feel like taking the time to break out my full Nikon DSLR & macro lens.

Screen Shot 2019-07-22 at 9.11.07 PM.png

The AquariClip does a decent job -- but not a great job -- at filtering out the blue light in photos. I have two complaints about the AquariClip:

  1. It only has a single small hole to line up with my iPhone camera lens, but my iPhone Xs has two lenses, so it blocks the view from the telephoto lens.
  2. The orange filter causes anything pink or orange to appear yellow in the photos.
I decided to shop around to see what other filter clips are available. The two most popular filters seem to be the PolypLab Coral View Lens v2 ($34.95 at BRS), and the IceCap Stackable Lens Kit ($29.99 on Amazon).

IMG_6715.jpg

Each kit comes with a clip that fits modern multi-lens smartphones, and have filters and macro lenses that screw into the clip. The IceCap includes a yellow filter, an orange filter, and a large (bulky) macro lens. The PolypLab kit includes only a single silver-greenish mirror finished filter, and a slim macro lens. Both also include a lens cap and a small cleaning cloth:

IMG_6716.jpg

I only had a few minutes today to test each one out, but tomorrow I will do a more in-depth test of each filter. Here are some sample shots of my pink & purple lobo with each one of the filters. For reference, here is a photo from my Nikon camera showing what the lobo looks like to the naked eye:

1160016500_Lobo2Ccopy.thumb.jpg.ed03b8a53262100ba9bb092dee70e7da.jpg

Here it is with the PloypLab filter:

IMG_6718.jpg

This is with the IceCap orange filter:

IMG_6719.jpg

This is with the IceCap yellow filter:

IMG_6720.jpg

And here I used both the IceCap orange + yellow filters stacked on top of each other:

IMG_6721.jpg

I'm disappointed that none of them accurately show the correct pink color of the lobo. This last photo with the orange + yellow filter seem to most accurately show the sand and coralline algae colors.

I also did quick test using the add-on macro lenses. The results are pretty impressive:

PolypLab filter + macro:
IMG_6732.jpg

IceCap yellow filter + macro:
IMG_6726.jpg

Tomorrow I'll experiment a bit more with these filters to see if I can get better results.
 
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SuncrestReef

SuncrestReef

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Whats the best filter set up for the Nikon dslr you use to compare.thanks

I don't use a filter on my Nikon. Instead, I adjust the camera's White Balance setting to compensate for the blue lighting, and for this shot in particular I also adjusted the spectrum on my Radion lights to increase the white light intensity.
 

maxwell

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Hi ,
I was not questioning the shot just a general opinion on the best filters to use on a Nikon set up as I have a mixture of lighting and unable to get great macro shots and the WB on the camera does not always do it for me.
 
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SuncrestReef

SuncrestReef

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Hi ,
I was not questioning the shot just a general opinion on the best filters to use on a Nikon set up as I have a mixture of lighting and unable to get great macro shots and the WB on the camera does not always do it for me.

I simply don't have a filter for my Nikon, so I can't answer your question.
 
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SuncrestReef

SuncrestReef

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The photos I posted yesterday were primarily to compare which filter came closest to reproducing the true colors of my pink & purple lobo. Today I snapped photos of several different corals to see how the filters handle a wide range of colors:

PolypLab:

B63C9BFA-8A61-4DD1-A837-7E4255E49440.jpeg

IceCap with yellow filter:

19D88BA0-C069-4058-8B63-EE15571B3FA9.jpeg

PolypLab:

E7A5B15B-ED4C-413C-B27B-52E74076A0C1.jpeg

IceCap with yellow filter:

4D044341-1984-41B9-9EAE-09021ABC9AF6.jpeg

PolypLab:

C9C04DD7-986E-48AB-9882-6CFEB51A21DE.jpeg

IceCap with yellow filter:

8D171EA8-6B50-446B-82C4-D2AD8F3F5643.jpeg

To my eye, the IceCap with yellow filter seems to show much more accurate colors.

I also like the IceCap macro lens better, even though it is pretty bulky:

82DE14D7-885E-4F9B-B043-9E6A730EE4DF.jpeg

Here are some macro shots with the IceCap:

F5A89119-E18A-4E48-AAA9-A9F29513433D.jpeg

1C5E6DB5-7F34-438B-A274-A002D90E85C7.jpeg

C148CB00-DF81-4961-BAB2-E3D2973F7793.jpeg

22D68D86-CADD-40CE-8F12-8D01E3913F7D.jpeg

C4589D25-75D4-40B9-90DD-669DCEF495B8.jpeg

537000CB-81E6-4ADC-A5B0-9A82856B6849.jpeg
 

Peace River

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This great stuff!!! I have been considering one of these lenses. Thank you for this review!
 
Maxout

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JustAnt

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This one just came out from ReefingArt...

Comes with 6 lenses. I was about to buy the IceCap then I saw this one. Has anyone used it?
@ReefGeekSergio24 just got it and is trying it out. Sent me some me pics and they looked nice. Maybe he can comment on his experience so far.
 

ReefGeekSergio24

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This one just came out from ReefingArt...

Comes with 6 lenses. I was about to buy the IceCap then I saw this one. Has anyone used it?
I was also debating to get the icecaps or poly lab lenses, but I stumbled onto reefing arts new 6 pack lenses system ,it was not that hard to decide after that , more lenses give you more options for the right spectrum of your tank, you might have to play around with it a little longer but you will not be disappointed, I will show you guys some pictures later before and after pics!! I love them and still trying out new combinations , fun product!! Highly recommend
 

Reefer_Rob

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I was also debating to get the icecaps or poly lab lenses, but I stumbled onto reefing arts new 6 pack lenses system ,it was not that hard to decide after that , more lenses give you more options for the right spectrum of your tank, you might have to play around with it a little longer but you will not be disappointed, I will show you guys some pictures later before and after pics!! I love them and still trying out new combinations , fun product!! Highly recommend
Agree 100%
I just ordered the Reefing Art kit.
 
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