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Travel Lens Getting Started Guide - All You Need to Know

Welcome to the Spivo family! We’re stoked to have you come along for the ride and hope we can creatively encourage you and your friends to explore more of this beautiful planet!

In this blog, we'll cover everything you need to know about your recent purchase, as well as provide some tips to improve your photos, and some shots you can try on your next adventure. The Travel Lens is great for capturing great selfies with a background, fitting entire landscapes into a shot or for capturing more people in the shot, amongst other things. Let's get started!

What's included with your Travel Lens

Each Travel Lens comes with the following items:

  • Travel Lens (Wide Angle and Macro combination)
  • Protective Lens Cap
  • Universal Clip
  • Microfiber Pouch
  • Cleaning cloth

How to align the Travel Lens on your phone

Let’s start by going over how to properly attach the Travel Lens to your phone using the universal clip. Remove your Travel Lens from the Travel Pouch and take off the Lens Cap. With your thumb and index finger, open the Travel Lens using the clip and place it on your phone's selfie camera or rear camera. If your phone has two rear cameras, use the Travel Lens on the wide-angle camera (not the portrait or telephoto camera). On iPhones, this is the camera closest to the corner.

The best way to ensure lens alignment is to stare directly into the lens and align the inner circle of the Travel Lens to your phone lens. Once aligned, go to your camera app and inspect the image. You’ll notice you're capturing a lot more through your camera and it looks much more realistic and comparable to what your eye sees. When inspecting the image, pay attention to the four edges of your phone screen. When the Travel Lens is properly aligned, there shouldn’t be any dark areas in any of the corners. Make small adjustments to the lens position to get it to be just right.

Still seeing dark spots in the corner(s) of your phone? This might be because your phone case is too thick. To ensure optimal photos and videos quality, the Travel Lens needs to be as close as possible to your actual phone camera. Generally, thinner style phone cases work well with the Travel Lens. To test if your existing phone case is too thick, remove your phone case and mount the Travel Lens without your case to see how the image compares.

How to use the optional Slim iPhone Case

Our Slim iPhone Lens Case allows you to directly mount the Travel Lens to the iPhone instead of using the universal clip. The main advantage of using the case is to keep the Travel Lens mounted for longer periods of time where you'll be taking photos at a moments notice. 

To use the Travel Lens with the case, you’ll first need to remove the Travel Lens from the universal clip by turning the Travel Lens counterclockwise.

Next align the corners of your phone to the phone case and press to insert your phone into the case. Screw the Travel Lens clockwise into the thread on the phone case and you’re good to go! Do not over-tighten the Travel Lens as it could lead to damage to the screw threads over time. 

To remove the iPhone case, push one bottom edge of the case away from your phone, then push the top edge on the same side of the phone. At this point, you should be able to easily remove your phone from the case. Do not pull on directly on the Travel Lens to remove the phone case as this could damage the screw threads or the case itself. 

How to use the Macro Mode

The Macro Lens portion is found at the base of the Travel Lens. This type of lens is great to photographing small living objects such as flowers, bugs, water droplets, etc. The Macro Lens itself is contained within the Travel Lens body and is located on the side of the Travel Lens with the smaller diameter. To reveal it, hold the Macro Lens portion firmly, and turn the wide angle lens portion counterclockwise to unscrew it. If you’re unable to unscrew it after a few attempts, try wrapping elastic bands around the lens for added grip when unscrewing for the first time to help break the factory seal.

The Macro Lens offers a powerful 12 times magnification of your normal phone camera. This allows you to capture stunning details of objects you’ve probably never looked at that closely before. For the Macro Lens to focus properly, you’ll need to get very close to the subject you want to photograph (likely closer than you’d think!). With most phones, placing your subject approximately 0.25-0.5 inches (6-12mm) away from the Macro Lens will yield great results. Once within range, move the Macro Lens around to focus on different aspects of the subject. Even the most subtle movements will expose stunning details of your subject. When you’re ready to take your photo, hold your phone as steady as possible or rest it on a surface to achieve a picture-perfect result.

Generally, subjects or surfaces with some sort of texture photograph quite well macroscopically. Try the Macro Lens on a raw wood table, a basketball, any type of pottery, or a paint brush. Similarly, living options such as insects, flowers, fruits, and vegetables can be very appealing to the inspecting and curious eye. Give it a try right now with the closest object you can find within reach!

3 quick tips for your success

1. Ensure all lens surfaces are swiped clean. This includes your actual phone camera, the outer/inner macro lens, and the outer/inner wide angle lens.

2. Hold your phone as steady as possible when taking photos or videos. Although this might seem inherently obvious, paying special attention to this will help you capture crisper images with more detail. For the best results, we recommend using our Flexible Tripod Grip especially for videos such as timelapses and slow-mos. 

3. Take selfies using the rear camera. Your much higher quality photos will thank you. You won’t see the shot so it might take a few tries to get the perfect selfie, but we think it’s worth it.

4 shots you should try on your next adventure

Take selfies with a dope background

The Travel Lens allows you to capture almost twice as much in your image. Make the most of it by capturing a selfie of yourself and an awesome background. To make it look extra epic, position the camera high above you to make everything else look smaller. Remember to position yourself such that you don’t block the best parts of the background and to shoot the selfie using the rear camera for the best result.

Try first-person perspective shots

Since the perspective offered with the Travel Lens is so similar to what you’re seeing, make the most of it by capturing images from the first person perspective (i.e. what you’re seeing). These are great for showing what it looked and felt like to be there. Take pictures of your feet dangling over a ledge or from your chest with one or both your arms out. Your Instagram will thank you!

Capture water droplets with the Macro Lens

This is a classic macro subject that rarely disappoints. Water droplets can be found in so many different places, but we hardly ever stop long enough to observe their true beauty. Get into inspector gadget mode and set your alarm a little extra early. Morning dew or frost makes just about any subject look fascinating. If you not a morning person, get creative and find water droplets in unusual places such as spider webs, wire fences, or any surface that condensates frequently (think windows, glasses, a cold beer, etc) 

Photograph the whole landscape

It is considerably easier to capture the entire landscape when using the Travel Lens. Before taking photos at your spot, ask yourself these three questions:

- Is the horizon level?
- Where is the focus?
- Is my subject of interest in the thirds of the shot?
- Is the image too bright or too dark?

Better yet, make yourself a shot checklist on your phone or take a photo of these suggestions to serve as a reminder when adventuring! Far too often we get caught up in the moment and forget even the most basic principles.

That’s all for now! Remember, no one became a great photographer overnight. The key is to start, and you’ve done exactly that by purchasing a Travel Lens. Get out there, explore, and have fun! Be sure to tag your adventure shots with @Spivo and #Spivo for your chance to be featured on our socials.

Happy Adventures,



Dec 29, 2018 • Posted by Thelma

Great tips! One question though: Can i use the travel lens with a selfie stick?

Jan 02, 2019 • Posted by Spivo

Great question Thelma! You can absolutely use the Travel Lens with the Spivo 360 swivel selfie stick or any other selfie stick for that matter. Feel free to ask any questions on our live chat or email ( Cheers -Marc

Feb 06, 2019 • Posted by Andrea Branco

IS it normal for the lenses to block the flash? When I try to take a pic with flash the whole pic just looks bright white

May 07, 2019 • Posted by Spivo

The Travel Lens will block the flash on the back camera. An alternative, is to mount the Travel Lens on your selfie camera which uses the bright screen as a flash. I hope that helps – Andre

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