iPhone 16 Pro expected to get Pro Max's Tetraprism lens

Posted:
in iPhone

Apple is predicted to expand its use of the Tetraprism telephoto lens from the Pro Max model of iPhone 16 to the iPhone 16 Pro.

The cameras of the iPhone 15 Pro Max
The cameras of the iPhone 15 Pro Max



The iPhone 15 Pro Max is the only model in the range to include a Tetraprism lens, which helps increase the optical zoom range of the telephoto lens from 3x to 5x. Though the iPhone 15 Pro missed out, the iPhone 16 Pro may join the Pro Max in using the component.

In a report discussing the smartphone camera lens market seen by AppleInsider, Trendforce claims that camera specification upgrades are continuing to drive device upgrades among consumers.

After the good reception of the iPhone 15 Pro Max and its Tetraprism telephoto lens, industry sources expect there will be an increase in the use of periscopic lens modules in response.

For Apple specifically, Trendforce believes that the camera technology will spread from the iPhone 16 Pro Max to the iPhone 16 Pro, making it a feature for the entire Pro series.

This is not the first time there has been claims about a Tetraprism expansion. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has repeatedly claimed since September that both iPhone 16 Pro models will use the same Tetraprism lens, with other reports corroborating the rumor.

The use of Tetraprism by Apple could influence the rest of the market, though cost considerations will cause Android smartphone vendors to more segment their offerings.

For mid-range devices, a cost-effective fixed-focus or single-fold periscope system is expected to be popular. High-end clustering inner-focus modules or similar complex versions are anticipated for high-end modules.

Rumor Score: Likely

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    The Google Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 pro will receive the sam lens this year as most people (at least with the pixel) are buying the regular model instead of the pro (in Asia).
    williamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 9
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,248member
    I give credit to Apple designers in their effort to expand the camera capabilities of iPhones but there comes a time when designing exterior sets of lenses might be a better option for many users. Traditional camera users have always purchased exterior lenses to meet their specific needs. I have some Sandmarc external lenses and will probably purchase their brand new 6x, focusable telephoto lens. This lens screws into the Sandmarc case, properly positioning the lens in relationship to the iPhone camera lens. I know iPhone users might want everything within the phone but there comes a time when there won't be enough room to put quality camera components inside such a small device. Of course having both would serve everyone's needs.
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  • Reply 3 of 9
    Actually was disappointed in the use of Tetraprism since it doesn't allow for any intermediate focal lengths. Periscope zooms, OTOH, allow for a lot more flexibility.
    sloaah
  • Reply 4 of 9
    rob53 said:
    I give credit to Apple designers in their effort to expand the camera capabilities of iPhones but there comes a time when designing exterior sets of lenses might be a better option for many users. Traditional camera users have always purchased exterior lenses to meet their specific needs. I have some Sandmarc external lenses and will probably purchase their brand new 6x, focusable telephoto lens. This lens screws into the Sandmarc case, properly positioning the lens in relationship to the iPhone camera lens. I know iPhone users might want everything within the phone but there comes a time when there won't be enough room to put quality camera components inside such a small device. Of course having both would serve everyone's needs.
    Will never happen. That’s a niche market for enthusiasts whereas the iPhone is a generalist appliance. Take it to the bank. 
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  • Reply 5 of 9
    sbdudesbdude Posts: 256member
    rob53 said:
    I give credit to Apple designers in their effort to expand the camera capabilities of iPhones but there comes a time when designing exterior sets of lenses might be a better option for many users. Traditional camera users have always purchased exterior lenses to meet their specific needs. I have some Sandmarc external lenses and will probably purchase their brand new 6x, focusable telephoto lens. This lens screws into the Sandmarc case, properly positioning the lens in relationship to the iPhone camera lens. I know iPhone users might want everything within the phone but there comes a time when there won't be enough room to put quality camera components inside such a small device. Of course having both would serve everyone's needs.
    Might be the smallest potential use case I've ever heard for an iPhone. I get that with computational photography, we're reaching SLR quality photographs on a phone, but no self-respecting professional will be giving up their mirrorless for iPhone with a focusable lens hanging off the back of it.
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  • Reply 6 of 9
    The tetraprism lens is one step forward for Apple marketing but one step backward in quality for most photographers. Problem is, this fixed focal length telephoto doesn't kick in until you're at 120mm or above. That leaves the 24mm main lens to handle everything from 24mm to 119mm. And since it is also a fixed focal length lens, that 5 to 1 zoom range isn't handled by actual optical zooming but by sensor cropping and computational photography. The results aren't bad, per se, but Apple Insider's own review (as well as others online) documented the visible quality differences between the 15 Pro and the 15 Pro Max in the 77-119mm range, since the 15 Pro's telephoto lens kicks in at 77mm. The differences aren't subtle, the 15 Pro unquestionably produces better images and that 77-119mm range is extremely useful for general photography. Of course, the Pro Max tetraprism is immediately better starting at 120mm, but it's better at a focal length and above that will not get nearly as much use, unless you regularly shoot sports and wildlife. It is hard to justify something that is demonstrably worse in the majority of situations as "an improvement." 

    It would be great if the press stopped referring to iPhone lenses as "zoom" lenses... they are fixed focal length lenses with no ability to optically zoom. 
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  • Reply 7 of 9
    I’d like a 10x optical zoom. I’m tired of poor quality with digital zooming. 
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  • Reply 8 of 9
    Anilu_777 said:
    I’d like a 10x optical zoom. I’m tired of poor quality with digital zooming. 
    As far as I know, there are no optical zooms of any ratio--to say nothing of 10x!--in any phone camera. There would be MANY challenges to putting moving optical elements into a case as thin as that of a phone camera. Of course, they'd also have to figure out how such a lens could handle being dropped as phones often are and still maintain alignment of those movable optical elements. Perhaps with more advanced AI, phone cameras will be able to produce image quality equal to opitcal zoom without the need for moving optical elements. We're not there yet, but "digital zoom" is a far cry today from the total crap quality it once was. 
    muthuk_vanalingamjbdragon
  • Reply 9 of 9
    Please, Apple, don't make this change at the expense of a 3X or 4X camera. 5X is (mostly) a gimmick for bragging rights. It is sometimes useful, but 72mm is useful far more often, and that camera could use some improvements. 
    beowulfschmidt
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