About this project
Taking a great photo of something we feel passionate about gives us an incredible feeling. Whether it's a mountain, the sunset, a child, pet, or building -- we all have something that we love to photograph. We wanted to help people take more amazing pictures by giving them the ability to take photos above and beyond their phones' capacity, so we set out to create the highest-quality mobile photography lenses possible.
OOWA lenses are unlike any other. Our patented free-form technology is uniquely optimized for translating the image circle onto the iPhone's rectangular sensor, resulting in superior image quality.
We are thrilled to finally launch our first set of lenses -- a 15mm wide-angle lens and 2.5X telephoto lens for the iPhone 6 series. We can't wait to see what you capture with them.
(Not an iPhone 6, 6+, 6S or 6S+ user? Click here to help us select our next phone model.)
Find out more about OOWA on these popular sites:
Great image quality is essential to a great photo. In designing OOWA lenses this was most important to us. We developed our own free-form system design methodology. We designed dedicated algorithms to test and quantifiably measure our image quality throughout the photo. We refined and rebuilt our lenses until we were able to achieve a high-end result. Then we started testing our lenses with mobile photographers to see how they performed in a variety of settings and lighting. We are proud to bring you:
- Unprecedented Edge-to-Edge Sharpness
- Minimal Distortion
- No Chromatic Aberration (no color bleeding)
- No Vignetting (no dark corners)
Our 15mm wide angle lens allows you to get more image into your photo. Whether you're trying to grab that epic sunset over a city, or jockeying to cram all your friends into a group shot, our wide-angle will help you photograph more of what your eyes can see. Create unforgettable photos that capture your life in ever-more splendid detail.
If you ever use your digital zoom, stop right now! It's a trick and merely crops and stretches your image, resulting in a lower-resolution photo. Our 2.5x Telephoto (zoom) lens gets you closer to the action without compromising the image. We especially love using this lens in nature, cities and of people. To take a portrait of someone with your phone you would need to be less than a foot away from their face. With our telephoto you can keep a comfortable distance.
Here are some beautiful images taken with OOWA lenses.
When it came to mounting our lenses to the phone, the two most important design considerations were security and the ability to mount them quickly. We chose an elegantly simple case attachment system. The case itself is slim enough to be minimal while still offering adequate protection. The lens mounts directly onto the case via a mechanical bayonet system and has a self-aligning feature so you can easily and quickly rotate to secure it, even with your eyes shut. Once in place, the lens is firmly attached. When you consider that many of our most prized photos capture fleeting moments, Being able to attach a lens quickly could be the difference between that perfect shot and a forgotten memory.
In The Lab
We have entire walls and ceilings in our lab and office covered in dots. Literally like this.
We take photographs of these dots with various products, carefully cut up the image and then examine the image quality of every single dot, at every single position. Compared to the leading competitor OOWA especially at the edges, performs better on measures of image sharpness (Spatial Frequency Response / SFR) and color bleeding (lateral chromatic aberration).
In The Field
The image below was taken with the OOWA 2.5x telephoto lens. The area circled in red is shown close-up to review in greater detail. Notice how the white base of the pavilion has a straight color edge against the black shadows.
The image below was taken with a leading brand's 2x telephoto lens, standing in the same spot. The area circled in red is shown close-up to review in greater detail. Notice how the white base bleeds blue vertically into the black shadows below, and bleeds yellow on the left.
Read more about our image quality in Martyn William's review for PC World.
What are free-form lenses?
The differentiating feature of a free-form lens is that it is rotationally asymmetrical. Traditional cameras use rotationally symmetrical optics, but the phone cameras are much smaller. Simply scaling down traditional optics produces limited results.
The unique shape of a free-form lens enables it to translate an image more precisely onto the phone's small rectangular sensor, resulting in a higher level of image quality throughout.
We offer three reward tiers. Each lens comes with a phone case of choice, a lens cap and a carrying pouch. The phone case is available for the iPhone 6/6s, 6+/6s+.
The Telephoto Lens Kit
This single lens kit is $79. Early birds who purchase during the first 3 days of the campaign will receive this at $65. A flare hood is also included in this kit.
The Wide-Angle Lens Kit
This single lens kit is also $79. Early birds who purchase during the first 3 days of the campaign receive this at $65.
The Pro Kit
This kit comes with both the telephoto and wide-angle lenses at $139. Early birds who purchase during the first 3 days of the campaign receive this at $120.
Our product has achieved very challenging specifications -- specifications not typically found in lens attachments. To help you to push the boundaries of mobile photography, we pushed the boundaries of conventional optics.
We have spent many months refining our prototypes and have worked closely with our selected lens manufacturer to ensure we can achieve mass production. We are confident of delivery starting in November, and into early December -- well before Christmas! Here is our production schedule.
Mass production is a costly process because of the necessary investment in molds and tooling, and because of our desire to order larger quantities so we can secure lower prices. Here is where we need your help. Help us make OOWA a reality.
We are ready to take the plunge. Together with our supporters, we will make history by bringing the highest quality mobile photography lens product into the world, powered by cutting-edge technology. OOWA!
A big thank you to our family, friends, and everyone who believes in us. Your love, feedback, and encouragement continues to make this journey possible.
To the creative eyes who have guided us through this process: Sativa Turner, Tyler Cooper (@whereistyco). We are forever grateful for your good taste!
To our interns: Sofia Samuelsson, Qiu Fanyuan, Loh Ying Hui. We love you and couldn't have done it without you. OOWA!
To the photographers in the world who have shared their passion with us, and given us invaluable product feedback: Tara Van Leerdam (@taravanleerdam), Mark Hirsch (@blockhouseroller_markhirsch), Dewitt Jones, Leonard Lee, Darren Soh, Tan Sock Cheng (@taniasc), Meredith Narrowe
Cameras: Jim Granato at Autonomy16 Productions
Logo Design: Andrew Cloutier
Product Lifestyle shots: Claudia Goetzelmann
Friends we just owe: Chan Yiu Lin, Chris at Humangear, Marcus Scharnowsky, Alexa Lee, Tim Young
Partners in crime you might expect to hear more from: StartX founders Borui Wang at Polarr (Essential tools for pros to edit pictures on the go, no matter if you’re on web, desktop, or mobile) and Tom Zimberoff at Pixterity.
Disclaimer: iPhone, Apple, and Apple logo are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.
Risks and challenges
Bringing a high-quality hardware product to market is not without risks and challenges. This IS the first time that free-form lenses are being brought to market. Given the work we have done, however, and the team and partners we have in place in preparation for such a launch, we are confident of delivering this project on time, and to the quality we expect.
The design of the free-form attachment lens products is complete. We’ve spent the last few years refining our manufacturing technology and identifying the right suppliers, and have proven with our current prototypes that we can achieve amazing image quality. In fact, because we developed the free-form optical testing algorithms used in production validation, we have an intimate knowledge of what it means, and takes, to ensure consistency of product testing and quality.
Things do go wrong and get delayed. Material delivery could be delayed, tool-cutting iterations could be more numerous than expected, and inconsistent process parameters could cause quality fluctuations. What we can rely on is an extremely experienced team who have collectively delivered tens of millions of units a month of product previously, and are up to the task of solving potential unforeseen circumstances during the manufacturing process. Besides, because we are an optics company at heart, we are more deeply involved in manufacturing than most other companies, and bring our core technology expertise to bear.
Based on our experience and discussions with our manufacturing partners, the target delivery date is mid November 2016 through first week of December. Shipping earlier than this is certainly a possibility given the buffer we have put in place, and we will do all we can to ensure that supporting OOWA is an excellent experience for you.
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