Pics from St Augustine- Heading Home

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It’s time to hit the road home. In fact, I’m typing this up in the passenger seat of our rented minivan as we begin the 13 hour trek back to North Mississippi. It’s been a good trip and a fun vacation despite rain on and off throughout our stay. Oh, and the fact that the ocean decided to remove my prescription glasses on day three. Thankfully, the local LensCrafters was fast and got me a new pair made yesterday. I wasn’t alone either- there where four others who lost their glasses in the water at that location yesterday. That made me feel a little better.

Here are a few more comparison shots from the Sandmarc lenses.

Looking out from a Gazebo

iPhone X

Sandmarc Wide Angle

Sandmarc Fisheye

I had to alter the angles a bit, as the lenses struggled with the harsh contrast in lighting between the inside and outside of the gazebo. HDR helped a bit, adding some detail to the sky in all three shots. You can also see just how much edge distortion there is with the Fisheye lens here. It is more difficult to get a shot that makes sense surrounded by defined lines.

Outside the Gazebo

iPhone X

Sandmarc Wide Angle

Sandmarc Fisheye

Again, both lenses can struggle with bright, direct sunlight. You can even see a bit of lens flare in the Fisheye pic above. However, unlike the shot above, this one does work better with the Fisheye lens. There is a little curve in the Gazebo, but that isn’t as obtrusive, and the curve in the walkway railings actually adds a little interest to the picture. Taken earlier or later, this pic would have been a lot better. However, on a family vacation, you have to take free time when it comes.

Gazebo at Dusk

iPhone X

Sandmarc Wide Angle

Sandmarc Fisheye

This was a MUCH more ideal time of day to shoot the area around the gazebo. The colors are accurate. The contrast is good. All three shots come out much better than the ones from the late afternoon. The only complaint I have is that the Fisheye is so wide that it brings unwanted clutter into the shot. I reframed it here to look better.

The Fisheye shot makes more sense to me with the walkway and flowers fully included and the gazebo more centered.

Here are a few shots with the Sandmarc Macro Lens, taken at around the same time with the same lighting as the last set of gazebo pics.

I do like the pleasing bokeh that the Macro Lens adds. You don’t often get that with an iPhone outside of using Portrait Mode. On the down side, you can also see plenty of softness in these pics. That is fine for adding depth away from the center, but getting some of these subjects in good focus was a challenge. There were several shots that came out very blurry taken along with the ones above. That may be partially due to the fading light outside at the time. It may also be due to the fact that I was using the iPhone’s stock Camera app, which lets you set brightness based on different areas of the shot, but not focus.

I wouldn’t draw any firm conclusions about this lens based on these few shots that were all take at the same time in the same conditions. I will be trying out the Macro Lens further at home using some other camera apps that allow you to manually adjust the focus. I have a feeling that may fix a lot of the problems.

Well, that’s it for this year’s vacation pics. I will be posting a review of all three of these Sandmarc lenses after testing them further over the next two weeks. Now it’s time to settle in for a long, rainy drive home.


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