In this GoPro macro lens review, I test the Orea 12.5 magnification lens for GoPro Hero3+ and Hero4.
introduction to GoPro macro photography.
Since then, I received my order of macro lenses (AGPtek and PLR Optics). These are both 58mm macro lenses and require a lens adapter for the GoPro housing. The adapter allows any 58mm filter (macro, UV, polarizing, filters) to be mounted on the waterproof housing.
The Orea macro lens (with 12.5x magnification) comes in two styles:
- AGPtEK Orea Lens (For this to work, you'll also need the adapter mount.)
- Mounted directly on the camera (no housing): Orea 12.5x Lens (Available in the US only.)
Both lenses will mount on the GoPro Hero3+ and Hero4 cameras.
I own the AGPtek 58mm lens that mounts on the waterproof housing. This AGPtek lens is made by Orea.
Why Use a GoPro Macro Lens?
Using a macro lens is a good idea because without one images are fuzzy if the subject is any closer than 12 inches.
The game changes when you add a macro lens.
GoPro Macro Lens Review
With the macro lens, you can get within 2.5 inches of what you're shooting. This means you can capture amazing detail!
2 Tips for Using Your GoPro Macro Lens
- If you move any closer (or farther away) you'll get a blurry image. Keep the camera about 2.5 to 3 inches from your subject.
- Keep your subject in the center of your composition or it will be distorted and blurry.
In the following images, you can see what the macro lens does to the field of view and how it distorts the edges of the photo. This is also a great example of how blurry close-up images are without a macro lens. Both photos were shot at about 3 inches.
To see a larger image of the above photo, click on the image and once you are on a new page click again.
As you can see in the above image, the edges of the lens are visible in the bottom photo. You'll need to crop your photos to get rid of that.
Miniature roses shot with the Orea GoPro macro lens
How to Mount a GoPro Macro Lens
This macro lens needs a ring mount to be mounted to the GoPro.
I use the AGPtek foldable ring mount. The mount has a hinge which allows you to swing the lens away from the camera. This design allows you to easily take both macro and normal GoPro photos. And because it's magnetic it won't swing open on its own.
Although the product listing says that this adapter will fit the Hero3 case, it won't. The lens area of the older Hero3 waterproof housing is too large. You'll need the new style housing of the Hero3+ and Hero4 to use this adapter.
This ring mount can't be mounted directly to the GoPro, it goes on the outside of the waterproof housing. Because of the way the lens screws in, the lens cap can't be used while it's on the GoPro.
I really like being able to swing the lens out away from the camera. The lens is about 2.5 inches wide.
By swinging the lens out, you can use it to measure the distance between your subject and the camera. When the outer edge of the swinging mount ring is close enough to touch your subject, you know your subject will be in focus. When setting up a shot I center my subject, swing the lens half way out till it's touching (or almost touching) my subject, swing it back and take the shot.
For the photos in this post, I was shooting indoors. Learn more about how to capture great indoor GoPro photos.
I enjoy snorkeling and I'm excited to using this lens underwater. I think I'll need to tether it so I don't lose it.
Orea Macro Lens Picture Quality
I chose to shoot in the 12-megapixel Wide field of view mode. The 12-megapixel picture quality makes it easy to crop in and really highlights the details of the subject.
I also prefer shooting in Protune Flat because it captures more detail in the shadows and highlights. This makes it easier to bring out the true colors of your photo during editing.
I used the Pedco UltraPod II tripod for stability. Mounting your GoPro on a tripod decreases camera shake and helps you get a crisp photo.
Using a remote shutter release will help with this as well. If you don't have a remote for your GoPro you could use the GoPro app on your phone or tablet.
Learn more about GoPro macro photography.
Overall, I'm happy with this lens. It's really easy to mount and use, and I love the quality of the photos.
Having a GoPro with a viewfinder (like the screen on the Hero4 Silver) would make macro photography a lot easier. But it works fine with the GoPro app on my tablet.
I can't wait to dig in deeper with macro photography and video. It's going to be fun!
And that's my Orea GoPro macro lens review. Watch for more on GoPro macro photography in upcoming posts.
Is GoPro Macro Photography for You?
What do you think: Will you give GoPro macro photography a try? Please share your thoughts and tips by commenting on this post.
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Summary of GoPro Macro Photography Tools