Just the other day I bought a Optrix 5 pro for iPhone 5/5s/SE to complement my new iPhone SE and make it a submersible device that I could use to take pictures / video’s on the upcoming holiday and leave my Olympus Tough at home.

Since the iPhone SE makes wonderful pictures and video, I was hoping the Optrix 5 pro for iPhone 5/5s/SE would be good enough.

My expectations were not too high, since this was certainly not the most expensive lens options and it even offered four lenses.

In the box
In the box of the Optrix 5 pro for iPhone 5/5s/SE we find:

  1. The case itself.
  2. A nice lens case for the four lenses and O-rings
  3. Some plastic lens cases
  4. A wrist strap
  5. A cleaning cloth
  6. Four lenses:
    1. Wide lens
    2. Standard lens (0x)
    3. Tele lens (2x)
    4. Macro lens.


The case itself is very solid and feels like it will survive a lot of stress. But it is very bulk, especially with the mounting part on the front that sticks out.

Loading your iPhone is a bit of a struggle, since it has to be inserted in a small case first that is pretty stiff. This case ensures that your iPhone stays in its position and makes some buttons accessible.

When your phone is inserted in the small case, you can insert that in the real case.
This is very easy and the locking mechanism seems solid.

After that you put a O-ring in the lens mount and screw one of the four lenses in the mount.

Your iPhone’s screen is protected by a cover that works pretty well. It does give some reflections and air may get trapped in the case, making the screen hard to use (make sure you press the protector gently when you insert the phone), but overall this works fine.


The buttons are a whole different experience. The on/off button on the top is very hard to operate, as are the volume buttons. (I actually had to press very hard to push the + button)

The home button works fine, although you can’t use the fingerprint sensor (of course).

The silence button is NOT usable, as are headphone jack and the usb port.

Since I was hoping to use the Optrix 5 pro for iPhone 5/5s/SE as a replacement for my Olympus Tough, I wanted to test the lenses to make sure they would be good enough for family shots.

All of the images can be viewed real size via Flickr by clicking on them.

Wide lens

  • Sharpness : ok in the center, very bad just outside of it
  • Distortion : bad (but expected)
  • Vignetting : ok, although I did see a black corner on some pictures
  • Chromatic aberration : Bad, lots of it.
  • Lens flare : bad

Verdict : fun lens, but not too good.

Click on any image to view a larger version!


Tele lens

  • Sharpness : ok in the center, very bad just outside of the
  • Distortion : bad (worse than expected)
  • Vignetting : very very bad. Even in ‘real’ pictures
  • Chromatic aberration : Some
  • Lens flare : bad

Verdict : pretty unusable due to the vignetting.


Standard lens

  • Sharpness : ok, but worse than without the lens.
  • Distortion : ok, but also worse than without
  • Vignetting : bad, too much for me.
  • Chromatic aberration : More than the standard lens.
  • Lens flare : bad

Verdict : mediocre, and certainly the vignetting is too much for a lens that I would use most of the time.

With lens

Without lens (notice the lack of reflection in the second tree)

With lens

IMG_0461-NLWithout lens (also no reflections this time)


Macro lens

  • Sharpness : good enough in the center.
  • Distortion : good enough for macro shots.
  • Vignetting : ok
  • Chromatic aberration : I found none
  • Lens flare : ok
  • Bokeh : Nice.

Verdict : this is the only lens that I liked enough, but it is not too usable, as it can only focus very very close (about 1 cm)

Some distortion

Focus is critical

Nice bokeh and ok for me.

Same flower, same positon, no lens

For photography, the four lenses from the Optrix 5 pro for iPhone 5/5s/SE kit are not good enough to replace my Olympus Tough. Especially the standard lens (that I would use most) degrades the image too much.

Only the macro lens seems like a nice addition that is good enough.


For video the iPhone is a bit more forgiving, since it crops some of the image (making the vignetting problem go away) and uses less resolution, but the other problems remain (sharpness, distortion etc.)

I would say the Optrix 5 pro for iPhone 5/5s/SE did suit my video needs better than it did with my photography needs, and here the quality of the iPhone makes up for some of the lens flaws.

Especially comparing it to my Olympus Tough 830 that is not the best for video.

Since the case covers the microphone, it will pick up more sound from holding your iPhone than I am used to.

Other than that the overall sound is a bit muffled, but not too bad.

For video I could use the Optrix 5 pro for iPhone 5/5s/SE but the iPhone without kit shoots (much) better footage.

Water test
Ok, the real test was (of course) the water test.

Actually the manual insists on testing it for 30 minutes in 20cm of water without your device and to re test after dropping your case.

So I loaded some tissue in the case and secured it and after 30 minutes dried it (to make sure no water would enter while opening the case).

But, I found a wet corner in the tissue, right about where the lens mount was.

water DSC_1895
A little hard to see, but the lower right corner is wet.

So the most important test failed and the Optrix 5 pro for iPhone 5/5s/SE was sent back to the reseller.

I’m not sure why the lenses of the Optrix 5 pro for iPhone 5/5s/SE performed as bad as they did. Maybe they were optimized for the iPhone 5/5s and not the SE, but I cannot test or confirm that.

At least the image quality was not enough for me to give it another try with a replacement and I will keep my Olympus Tough 830 for now.

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