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ShiftCam Traditional 10x Macro ProLens review

The ShiftCam Traditional 10x Macro ProLens takes intricate photos, better than any phone's built-in macro camera

ShiftCam Traditional 10x macro lens
(Image: © Hannah Rooke)

Digital Camera World Verdict

As you'd expect, the ShiftCam Traditional 10x Macro ProLens has a very specific purpose: to take macro photos. And unless that's all you want it for, it's not very useful. That's not to say you shouldn't buy it – if you want to test the waters of macro photography without investing in an expensive lens for your main camera, you can get a feel for the practice with this lens. I was really impressed with the quality of the photos, the in-focus areas were pin-sharp, and unlike when you use a phone's portrait mode the blurred areas looked "real".

Pros

  • +

    Small

  • +

    Well built

  • +

    Cheap for a macro lens

Cons

  • -

    Not very versatile

The ShiftCam Traditional 10x Macro ProLens might leave some folks puzzled. While ShiftCam has been making lenses for camera phones since 2017, during that time the technology in handsets has advanced massively – with many now featuring multiple lenses. 

However, that doesn't mean that the ShiftCam lenses are obsolete – in fact, it perhaps means the opposite. Now that sensors on the best camera phones (opens in new tab) are so much better, you can take even better photos than you could before especially when using the best lenses for iPhone and Android camera phones (opens in new tab).

The ShiftCam Traditional 10x Macro ProLens is pretty impressive, considering that you just attach it over the lens of your main camera. If you love taking photos of flowers, bugs or details up-close, the macro lens will enable you to do that with nothing but your phone. 

These lenses aren't a replacement the best macro lenses (opens in new tab) that you would use on a mirrorless camera or DSLR, but they do offer a convenient and cheap way to get into macro photography if you don't have the budget to invest in lots of kit. 

(Image credit: Hannah Rooke)

ShiftCam Traditional 10x Macro ProLens: Specifications

Magnification: 10x
AR Coating: Multilayer
Deformation: -1%
Min Focus Distance: 10-15mm
Mount: M12 x P0.75
Material: Cinematic Hand-crafted Glass, Aluminium
Netweight: 41.8g
Length: 33.5mm

ShiftCam Traditional 10x Macro ProLens: Key Features

Obviously, the main feature of this lens is that it can shoot macro photos with 10x magnification. It has a really close focusing distance of 1.5cm, so you can get super-close to your subject – however, I found that can be a downside as well. 

I was incredibly impressed with the quality of the photos and how much detail they picked up. When I took a photo of my hand, it even picked up little bits of dust and fluff that I could barely see with the naked eye.

It's compatible with almost every smartphone and can be connected using either the universal adapter or a phone-specific adapter, which fits inside your phone case, enabling you to screw the lens onto the front of it. 

(Image credit: Hannah Rooke)

ShiftCam Traditional 10x Macro ProLens: Build and Handling

One of the things I love about the ShiftCam lenses is how well built they all feel. The 10x macro lens is made from metal and is not much bigger than a large coin in diameter. For such a small lens, it really does pack a punch and you'll be surprised at just how good it really is.

It comes with a magnetic plastic lens hood, for a bit of extra protection, and you can buy it either on its own or in a Macro Lens Kit that also comes with the 75mm long-range macro lens, or in a Complete Kit with all six ShiftCam lenses.

ShiftCam Traditional 10x Macro ProLens: Performance

Before using the ShiftCam lenses I'd never even really thought about investing in lenses for my phone, but if they're all as good as the ShiftCam Traditional 10x Macro ProLens I can really see why people do! 

I really wasn't expecting to be so impressed with the macro capabilities on a lens that is so small and just screws onto your phone lens. The one downside is that unlike some of the other ShiftCam lenses, such as the 75mm telephoto or the 18mm wide-angle lens, it isn't very versatile. 

If you were shooting macro and then wanted to start shooting portraits you would have to remove the lens completely, which luckily is a quick and easy job. 

ShiftCam Traditional 10x Macro ProLens: Verdict

If you're after a macro lens and either don't own a DSLR or mirrorless system or just can't afford to splash out for an actual lens, the ShiftCam Traditional 10x Macro ProLens is an excellent alternative. You are limited in that it can only take close-up macro photos, so if you want to switch between shooting portraits, landscapes and macro you will have to take the lens off and on again, but you can leave the mount on your phone to save some time.

Considering the size, I was really impressed with the quality of the photos and how much detail it's able to capture. It's got a really small focusing distance, so you do have to get really close to your subject (which isn't the easiest thing to do if you're trying to photograph a bee, for example), but most of the time that isn't a massive issue. 

(Image credit: Hannah Rooke)

Read more:

Best lenses for Apple and Android phones (opens in new tab)
Best iPhones for photography (opens in new tab)
Best camera phones (opens in new tab)

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Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.