Go to any public place these days and you’ll find swarms of people holding up their cell phones to take photos or video. It all makes those of us who are older feel nostalgic for the days when everyone had cameras.
One case manufacturer has a solution for that. The iPhone RangeFinder from Photojojo.com gives your iPhone 4 or 4S the look of a vintage camera…and it does more than make your phone look good. Just popping the case onto your phone provides a viewfinder, shutter button, and aperture numbers. You’ll also have handy loops for a camera strap, allowing you to hang your iPhone ‘camera’ around your neck, and a mount for a tripod.
The case’s front lens is actually fake, but it, too, serves a useful purpose.
It includes a mirror, allowing you to take photos of yourself more easily. The case’s shutter button actually uses the phone’s volume up button, which signals the phone to take a photo. So your iPhone camera will work as it always has—it will simply provide the features of a traditional camera to do so.
For additional fun, Photojojo.com encourages iPhone RangeFinder owners to use the company’s magnetic cell lenses with the case. These lenses (with or without the RangeFinder case) give your iPhone’s camera professional quality lenses, including a fisheye, telephoto, wide angle, and macro lens. The lens attaches to the back of your phone by magnetically attaching to provided metal rings. This allows the user to easily remove and reattach the lens as needed. All three lenses are available for $49 or they can be purchased separately for $25 (fisheye) or $20 (telephoto and wide/macro). They can be purchased with the RangeFinder Camera. More on that later.
Strangers, passersby, friends, co-workers, and family will all marvel over your camera-style case, and I am not exaggerating,” Juli Clover wrote on AppAdvice.com. “I had a slew of compliments on the case wherever I went, and some people were amazed to see me pick up my “camera” and talk on it. Even in person, it looks like a genuine vintage camera from a short distance away.”
One negative to the iPhone RangeFinder Camera, as Clover pointed out, was its bulkiness.
Younger generations probably can’t imagine it, but their parents carried large, cumbersome still and video cameras along on vacations. Today’s family navigates Disney World with a thin iPhone tucked into a front pocket, but just a couple of decades ago, tourists had to lug heavy cameras around their neck for the duration of a vacation. The iPhone RangeFinder takes us back to that, for no specific reason except to feel as though we’re carrying a camera around. It is nice to get compliments from friends and strangers, but it’s also nice to travel as lightly as possible, especially when a lot of walking is involved.
$55 may be quite a bit to pay for a case, but the quality is undeniable. Users can purchase a set that includes the RangeFinder and all three lenses for only $95. This camera and the lenses might be a choice better suited to professional photographers, since those professionals are increasingly turning toward the iPhone for casual photography, since so many filters are now available to creatively capture everyday events.
Whether the RangeFinder is the case for you or not is up to you. Users have given mixed reviews about the quality of the lenses, but those who have the RangeFinder like it for what it is. A fun case that expresses your love for the art of photography.