Smartphone add-on lenses aren’t new, they’ve been around for quite some time adding a new layer of versatility for content creators. Knowing that, it would make anyone wonder what’s different and special about the Pro Cinema Wide G4 lens from the company Black Eye.
To be blunt about it, there’s nothing terribly different about it versus some other equivalent offerings in the market. Essentially, you slap the add-on lens over your phone’s existing camera to get that wider view. Strangely enough, the newer Pro Cinema Wide G4 lens extends its coverage to a 120-degree view, which is actually less than previous HD Wide Angle lens from the company that reaches an even wider 160-degree view. Okay, so we’ll let that one slide, but to Black Eye’s credit, the Pro Cinema Wide G4 lens features enhancements that aren’t found with the previous model.
Testing it out with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, we noticed that you really can’t use the lens with a case on the phone – just because it requires a flush connection to reduce distortion. There’s a sweet spot where everything comes into a sharp view, so it takes a little bit to find it. Once we’re able to find it, we’re given that wider view to capture more of the scene. At the corners, though, we notice a bit of softness and sometimes vignetting, which is a common thing produced by these wide-angle lenses.
Obviously, if your smartphone lacks a dedicated wide-angle camera, like the ones found in the Huawei Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, and LG V40 ThinQ, the Black Eye Pro Cinema Wide G4 will be a huge benefit. We particularly appreciate its wider coverage the most when pairing it with the front-facing camera, since most phones tend to have a tighter view and rarely often feature wide-angle coverage. Priced at $100, however, makes for a tougher sell because it’s a significant investment that the average person is unlikely to budge on. For enthusiasts that are looking to up their game and really appreciate the value of a wider field of view, it may be worth the investment.