Photographers know: Without a suitable lens, the desired photo usually fails. A telephoto lens is required for certain types of image composition or for long distances from the object. The comparison clarifies whether and which models are worthwhile for the iPhone.

In order to take a successful photo with the iPhone from a medium to long distance, you need a telephoto lens. Apple only equips the Pro versions of its smartphones with one in the triple camera on the back. With the current 14th generation of Apple smartphones, however, this is also limited to up to three times the optical zoom.

If you want to get even closer, you can use the iPhone’s digital zoom. However, this only succeeds at the expense of the image quality. If this has to be maintained, telephoto lenses for the iPhone can help. And that’s not all: telephoto lenses also give photographers design options in the form of making the background of the photographed object appear more powerful. And that is exactly what can create an incomparable look.

Telephoto lens for iPhone: clipper or case

One thing in advance: As good as the photo quality of current iPhones may be, it cannot completely replace a professional camera – even if it works together with an external telephoto lens. An iPhone does not come with a camera bayonet (or mount) to which a professional camera lens could be attached.

There is currently only one manufacturer that solves this problem: Beastgrip has developed a frame for iPhones on which photographers can attach an adapter that connects to Canon EF lenses. All this is expensive fun and more interesting for professional work with the iPhone.

Ordinary mortals have two other options to choose from: either they opt for a lens with a clip mount or they buy a case for their smartphone that has a small mount system for lenses on the camera. The advantage of the clip holder is a high degree of flexibility and a lower price. Unfortunately, the disadvantage is that the clip lenses tend to slip.

The problem of slipping is solved by iPhone cases with a small mount system – although it is questionable how much this problem occurs in practice. Photographed from the hand, the telephoto lens photo sometimes blurs quickly, which is why iPhone photographers should attach their smartphone to a cell phone tripod or gimbal when working with telephoto lenses. Another disadvantage of the combination of case and lens is that photographers limit themselves to lenses from just one manufacturer.

Beastgrip: The telephoto lens for professionals

First, let’s look at Beastgrip’s ideal solution. The core of the rig is the Beastgrip Pro, which the manufacturer prices at 135 euros on its official website. This is a frame into which the iPhone is clamped. Attention: Depending on which iPhone you are using, you will need additional adapters for the cameras if you want to pair your iPhone with an older Beastgrip Pro. The latest model, on the other hand, includes all models from the eleventh to the current generation. In addition to the expensive frame, you also need the right adapter in the form of the Beastgrip DOF Adapter MK2 (currently sold out) for just under 260 euros.

Photographers mount the adapter on their Beastgrip. It has an EF mount where you can attach EF lenses. If you are thinking of pairing a particularly long telephoto lens with the iPhone, you should invest another 116 euros for the BeastRail Support DOF adapter to stabilize the iPhone set-up. Total costs: 511 euros – without lens and tripod. Photographers shoot by far the best zoomed photos with the iPhone. Of course, this investment only makes sense if you already have the right lenses and want to produce professional recordings with the iPhone.


Beastgrip not only offers expensive, fully professional equipment, but also medium-priced equipment for ambitious photographers, in the form of the Beastcage. This is an iPhone case to which the manufacturer’s in-house lenses can be attached. In a package with a telephoto lens, this is an investment of around 230 euros. This makes Beastgrip one of the more expensive providers of this solution. Incidentally, the manufacturer sells its case individually for 135 euros and the telephoto lens for around 200 euros.

Here, too, buyers want to have done more with the equipment at the end of the day than a few snapshots. The selling point of the iPhone case consists mainly in the manufacturer’s ample additional accessories, consisting of lenses, filters, tripods, microphone and light. This should be interesting for vloggers and journalists who travel a lot and are interested in the highest possible quality images with the most mobile work material possible.

Telephoto lens for iPhone: Wolffims lenses

In contrast, the lenses from the manufacturer Wolffilms are in a more humane price range. Buyers shell out around 100 euros for its 56mm 2X Tele Lens, and the matching iPhone case costs around 20 euros. Unfortunately, the manufacturer does not yet offer a model for the iPhone 14. Here the in-house clipper for the lenses makes sense. This means that photographers are much more flexible when it comes to future smartphones. Wolffilms also offers all kinds of accessories such as tripods and filters for its lenses

Apexel telephoto lenses with clipper

For all those, the telephoto lenses from Apexel are more interesting, which are also somewhat cheaper. The highlight of the manufacturer is to provide its clip lenses directly with a small tripod. This is also bitterly necessary, because with a zoom of up to forty times, the photos blur very quickly when they are shot by hand. iPhone photographers should also note that handling a telephoto lens is not always easy.

Hand-held photography is usually not possible, at least not with the autofocus set, which is happy to readjust itself in the event of small wobbles. To do this, the lens must be placed very precisely on the smartphone lens, otherwise the edges of the photo will remain dark. Speaking of light: taking photos with a telephoto lens for your smartphone in low light is almost impossible without a tripod and an external photo app that allows you to set the exposure time.

Except for the professional system from Beastgrip, telephoto lenses for the iPhone are not yet mature. They serve more as a gimmick and there is a relatively high chance that they will gather dust in the drawer. It makes more sense for ambitious iPhone photographers to rely on an iPhone case with lenses. They offer real added value to capture the next city trip even better.

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