PetaPixel

The Beastgrip Lets You Add SLR Lenses & Accessories to Almost Any Smartphone

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There are all kids of systems for clamping a lens onto a phone, but few are as versatile as the Beastgrip, a Kickstarter project about halfway to delivery stage. Not only will the gadget work with just about any smartphone, it’ll also adapt lenses and other accessories you may already have for your SLR.

The rig consists of a sliding frame that will securely clamp your phone into position so its lens is lined up with the Beastgrip’s 37mm threaded lens mount. From there, it’s up to your gear bag, wallet and imagination.

Properly sized conversion lenses and filters will work well with little modification. Throw in enough step-down rings and/or depth-of-field adapters, however, and you can work with one of the prime lenses you already have for your SLR. The project page shows compelling results using fisheye, wide-angle, telephoto and macro lenses.

Here’s the project’s Kickstarter video:

But Vadym Chalenko, the Chicago-based inventor of the Beastgrip, didn’t stop at adapting glass to your phone. The rig also includes five standard quarter-inch threaded mounts and a cold-shoe for securing a tripod, speed lights and any other accessory that will fit.

With enough gear and desire (and hopefully some necessity) you can turn your phone into something that looks like this:

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The Beastgrip’s modular design has allowed Chalenko to get pretty far prototyping with a 3D printer, but he needs $25,000 to get to production phase. With 24 days left he’s raised just over $11,000 of that and seems to be well on his way to making this a reality.

To find out more of get one of your own, head over to the Beastgrip Kickstarter. A pledge of $70 and up will put you first in line once production starts, and Chalenko expects to have the first Beastgrips in customers’ hands by February.

(via Imaging Resource)


 
  • Matt

    I think there’s a huge barrier of entry when considering the extremely high prices of DLSRs. So in this sense, the Beastgrip is catering to a niche group of people who want to do creative things but can’t afford the usual gear associated with said things. Maybe if Nikon and Canon would price their products reasonably there wouldn’t be this niche in the first place.

  • Matt

    Actually, this works the opposite of what your saying. The lighter the device, the more it translates to body movement.

  • Brian

    I take it you are kidding, right? The average “entry-level” DSLR which still kills any smartphone on the market costs about 1/2 the price of an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy Note 4. I bought a (nearly) pocketable camera for fun… the Canon EOS M… for $350 with an adaptor to take EF and EF-s lenses. This camera takes amazingly sharp detailed photos and kills any phone camera in low light by a mile. It also kills any phone camera in good light. I took a photo of a cat at ISO 1000 (which is nowhere near ‘high ISO’ by today’s standards) with beautiful sharp detail. You can count the hairs on the cat’s face and the whiskers are pin sharp. I would have had a grainy mess off a phone camera.

  • Brian

    I agree with you totally. The sensors in phone cameras are just too small and too noisy in anything but good light. Most phone cameras are not even clean at ISO 400. An iPhone or Galaxy Note 4 cost almost twice the price of Canon’s entry level DSLRs which give incredibly better detail and lower noise, vastly superior handling and are much faster to use.

  • Matt

    But you guys are missing the broader point. Most phones are purchased on a 2 year contract so the cost of the phone is spread out. Also, you can’t text, browse the web, play games, productivity and make calls on a DSLR, making these units an additional investment. Theres a value for cost factor here.

    I’m sorry, I have used entry-level DSLRs as well as top of the product line. The entry-level units produce considerable noise in low light situations, even with good glass on them. You’re not going to get a truly clean photo in low light unless you have a full frame image sensor, and you guys know it.

    As far as tack sharp, are you telling me you can’t get a tack sharp smartphone image? I call B.S. on that one. I’ve seen too many examples of tack sharp smartphone images to follow the legitimacy of this comment.

    I think you guys need to open your minds a little bit. Smartphone tech is moving way faster then dedicated DSLR tech. Purists get on my nerves. Of course, I’d be grumpy too if I’ve spent my life’s savings on all that gear and glass just to get a suitable photo.

    BTW, have either of you heard about Samsung’s NX1? Would it be such a stretch if Samsung started porting some of its tech into their smartphones?

    Come on guys, stop being so definitive here. We all should be supporting innovation as we stand to benefit from it the most.

  • Matt

    Has the world always been this pessimistic, or has the web just attracted a forum for all this ambiguous grumpiness?

    My lord, the negativity around here is ripe. The guy is trying to do something positive for a niche market. If you worship Canon and Nikon simply move on. You’re not the niche he’s trying to attract.

    Personally, I think the product sets an exciting stage. I think it speaks to a growing movement in tech. Whether the purists like it or not, smartphone tech is only going to improve exponentially. Whereas DSLR tech has remained incrementally stagnent for a great while.

    I actually know this guy. He’s following his dreams. Even if people think it sucks he moves forward anyway. These negative people could only hope to possess a shred of this guy’s integrity and determination, and ingenuity.

    BTW- He’s aware of form factor and these are early models. However, that doesn’t make the mechanics of this model any less intriguing.

  • Brian

    OK, I am going to break down your post and respond to it:

    “But you guys are missing the broader point. Most phones are purchased on a 2 year contract so the cost of the phone is spread out. Also, you can’t text, browse the web, play games, productivity and make calls on a DSLR, making these units an additional investment. Theres a value for cost factor here.” – This is where you and many others are thinking the wrong way in my opinion. You want one product to do EVERYTHING and history has shown that all-in-one devices are usually not the best at doing anything! I don’t want a phone taking my important and/or paid images, it simply isn’t good enough for the job!!

    “I’m sorry, I have used entry-level DSLRs as well as top of the product line. The entry-level units produce considerable noise in low light situations, even with good glass on them. You’re not going to get a truly clean photo in low light unless you have a full frame image sensor, and you guys know it.” – That statement is almost ridiculous, it is basically saying if you are going to get “some noise” anyway, why not use a phone? Why not? Because some noise does not equal HUGE noise. Even an entry level DSLR has WAY WAY WAY less noise than any phone camera and FAR MORE detail, regardless of whether or not it still has some noise. The difference is this: A phone takes garbage shots in low light, period. An entry level DSLR camera will exhibit less noise at ISO 1600 or possibly even ISO 3200 than a phone at ISO 400. You can sit the DSLR on a tripod and use ISO 100 and still get no noise. The DSLR will focus easily in conditions where the phone can barely find focus. One other point on your post: I find it hard to believe you have used any DSLR or you wouldn’t even be in this debate. DSLRs are so far ahead of phone cameras it is an absolute insult to even compare them. The sensors on the phones are just too small, end of story. They are trying to do with software what really needs to be done with hardware (larger sensors and better optics).

    “As far as tack sharp, are you telling me you can’t get a tack sharp smartphone image? I call B.S. on that one. I’ve seen too many examples of tack sharp smartphone images to follow the legitimacy of this comment.” – I have seen very sharp images from many phones, including iPhones and Samsung phones, but view them at 100% on a PC monitor and there is no comparison in the image quality!! Take a shot of a group of trees with your iPhone and an entry level DSLR with a decent lens and the individual leaves are a fuzzy mess on the iPhone and clearly defined sharp edged leaves on the DSLR (unless it was windy and there is motion blur).

    “I think you guys need to open your minds a little bit. Smartphone tech is moving way faster then dedicated DSLR tech. Purists get on my nerves. Of course, I’d be grumpy too if I’ve spent my life’s savings on all that gear and glass just to get a suitable photo.” – My mind is very open. I love technology of all kinds and cannot get enough of it. I have had so many tablets, flagship phones, other electronic gadgets, laptops, PCs, a smart watch, etc. it is crazy. I can understand someone getting excited “for fun” building a DSLR-like device from their phone with attachments, but not for REAL WORK. It not only looks shonky, but cameras have been around for many, many decades and you are basically trying to reinvent the wheel when it already works and works damn well! Why would I want to try to carve a wheel out of wood as a non-carpenter when I can buy a wheel which is not only perfectly round, it is durable, long lasting and has a tyre on it to help smooth out the bumps? Why do I want to tack a load of pieces together to make a phone with a toy sensor and crap optics when I can buy a highly durable device that takes vastly superior images and makes it a hell of a lot easier to do that capturing? I can focus faster and more accurately, track very fast moving objects, meter far more accurately, rattle of 10 shots a second while capturing large high quality images. I have a vast lens and dedicated flash accessory system available to me…. we could go on all day here.

    BTW, have either of you heard about Samsung’s NX1? Would it be such a stretch if Samsung started porting some of its tech into their smartphones? – The sensor size and optics will always hold them back…. until a new sensor technology appears which gives DSLR full-frame quality on a postage stamp sized sensor. I am sure it will come in the future, but once again… the DSLRs will get the same technology on a larger scale and always stay miles ahead. So, if you get 24MP of high quality on a phone sized sensor, imagine what you’ll get with the same technology on a full frame sensor.

    “Come on guys, stop being so definitive here. We all should be supporting innovation as we stand to benefit from it the most.” – I agree with you totally and maybe I came across the wrong way. For fun, I think what the guys are showing in the video is terrific. If I was a teenager or in my early 20s I could see myself buying all the add-ons and doing what they are doing. Being further down the track in age and experience I could never see myself pouring all that many into lenses and accessories though for such an inferior end result.

    On the subject of moving forwards – the DSLRs will follow suit with the phones. I have had Galaxy S phones since the S2 and I have been amazed by Live HDR and quite a few of the other built-in options for shooting a scene and removing people from it, effortlessly, in-camera, etc. I bought an EOS M for fun and it has an HDR mode where it takes 3 shots in rapid succession and blends them into a single shot. Some of the DSLRs have a more advanced version of this with HDR blending options. It also takes 4 shots in rapid succession for night shots and blends them into a single, noise-reduced image for a superior image in the shooting conditions. It is a handheld mode where you shoot at a high ISO, but end up with very little noise. I have not tried it yet, but I will very soon. The HDR works well.