Torsten Curdt’s weblog

Spy Lens Review

IMG_0668In January when my Spy Lens finally arrived I promised a review. I figured I need a better opportunity to really try it out extensively. This opportunity came up with my recent trip to Marrakech. So here it goes…

The Spy Lens is a really intriguing idea. Many people behave very differently with a camera pointed at them. That is – when they realize a camera is pointed at them. So quite often you get the most authentic pictures when the people are not aware. There a few things that help taking such pictures: being lucky, being quick, a long lens and… the Spy Lens. This lens comes with a mirror inside and lets you shoot around corners in an angle of 90 degrees. As you are not pointing a big lens directly at the person, it should be easy to catch the pristine and authentic moments we are after.

While the build quality feels solid you need to be aware that the lens is only available at a 58mm diameter. Now my standard zoom lens has a diameter of 77mm. While you can of course use a converter it heavily limits your view in the wide angle. Plus it looks quite strange. Unfortunately “strange” gets people curious …and aware. Which is exactly what you try to avoid with this lens. Maybe less of a problem if you have the right lens combination. Another problem is the dust though. The mirror is a dust magnet! So you better be equipped to clean up that mess. And because you have no lens cap you have to clean it a lot. The handling you have to get used to. Rotating the mirror and finding the right frame is really not that easy. Especially if there is movement or if there is little time.

For me the Spy Lens failed the reality test. While I am sure you can have fun with it, it is really nothing more than a toy. But frankly speaking I did not expect anything more. I bought it for fun. And I am sure you can have fun with it. Just don’t get your hopes up to high. It’s not the holy grail for authentic shots. But it is a fun gadget.

  • Avenue
    Thanks for the review. I know this is like the most generic of comment fundamentals but I am truly thankful. No one write a review on these things they simply describe and include a affiliate link!

    I was almost about to purchase one of these for my Fuji s100fs from Photojojo especially after seeing the video they have on their site, But of course they wont speak on the dust issues and I can imagine that being an annoying issue. Plus pointing that hole at someone hell I might as well point the camera at them then (although I still love the idea). *shrug* Not into the voyeur thing but I want to add an occasion street shot to my Photoblog. Hmm I still may conside this in the future but not right now thanks.
  • nbc
    Exactly why I stick with my Canon S5 IS : you can move the screen so that nobody knows if you're actually taking a picture. It's very good for portrait.
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