This Lens Can Widen Your View into a Classroom for only $10

Many Edthena users capture classroom video using phones or tablets. They’re convenient and high-quality.

But the filmmakers shooting film-festival worthy movies on an iPhone have a trick… they’re adding lenses to the phone to change what’s captured by the original lens.

Adding wide-angle lens for classroom video allows you to capture more of the action.  It could be the difference between seeing the student in the corner of the classroom throwing his pencil at the front of the room, or not.

And in good news, a movie-studio budget isn’t necessary to get a notable amount of improvement.

The lens we’re recommending

Because your footage of second period doesn’t need to meet the visual quality standards of National Geographic, your lens can be in the “good enough” category rather than the “perfect optical clarity” category.

lens cu shotWe think the LIEQI LQ-065X wide-angle lens is a great option for two big reasons:

  • Portability. It’s easy to add temporarily to any device (and then share with others)
  • Cost. It’s very low cost

We originally ordered and tested this CamKix 3 in 1 Camera Lens Kit, mainly because it was recommended by Wirecutter and easy to get from Amazon.

But then we did some digging and discovered the actual manufacturer is not CamKix.

Guangzhou Fengshang Electrical Appliance Co. makes the lenses under the trade name LIEQI. We emailed with them to confirm they are the original manufacturer.

And it turns out there’s a kit available with just the wide-angle lens (what we want).

And it’s even more affordable!

(PS-If you want to order in bulk from the manufacturer, we can provide their details.)

What a few dollars looks like

Here is a before and after shot when using a LIEQI lens on the iPhone6.

LIEQI Lens inside classroom

It’s definitely not perfect quality, but it achieves the goal of capturing more of the classroom.

Imagine the lesson you were recording was of a reading circle activity on the carpet. Recording with the LIEQI lens would allow you to see the entire circle of students.

(Big thanks to Simone Armstrong of Paul Revere Elementary for allowing us into her classroom to take this picture!)

Some other lens options

We’ve lasered in on the LIEQI option since picking one lens that works on most every device is a good strategy for us. Plus did we mention that it’s super affordable?

If you have more money to spend or don’t want to clip the lens on for some reason, there are many other choices.

Google is your friend on this, but here are two specific picks:

  • Fancier option. For double the money of our recommended pick, you could grab the PhotoJojo Wide-Angle Lens for $20. This lens uses a magnet and a metal ring which is glued to your phone. This means it’s a bit harder to share the lenses between devices. <This product no longer available>
  • Premium option. The Moment Wide Lens, at $100, is pricey. But just like expensive lenses for DSLR cameras, you get what you pay for. This lens will produce higher-quality video since it is engineered to remove the distortion that’s present in cheaper options.

Let us know if any of these options improve the quality of the video you or your teachers capture. And let us know of other tools that teachers might benefit from implementing into their practice of video reflection.

Editor’s note: We’ve updated the yellow-highlighted link to an official listing from LIEQI. Additionally, CamKix has matched the manufacturer pricing, too. We also removed a note to consider a product from PhotoJojo, which is no longer offered. (Oct 2018)

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