Review: The Moment Lenses (Wide and Tele)

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If you had told me a while back that interchangeable lenses for a phone were capable of creating some incredible photos, I would have laughed. But today, I’m a wiser man–and know that mobile phones are highly capable of creating beautiful images in the right hands. But with so many options out there, what should you consider?

A company called Moment is responsible for a huge movement on Instagram and EyeEm and overall is responsible for helping photographers deliver even better photos than what they previously were capable of. Best of all, they do this in the form of wide angle and portrait lenses that can be used with a multitude of phones.

By designing lightweight, durable lenses that also mount fairly easily to your phone, the Moment lenses are easily to get very addicted to.

Pros and Cons

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Pros

– Great, sharp image quality

– Pretty darn good build quality. We dropped one twice and the entire element moved but was easily fixed back into place.

– Small and lightweight

Cons

– The mounting plate is a bit tough to use and get used to

– Keeping them clean is a bit tough

– Would LOVE the ability to use very small ND filters or something similar with these lenses

Gear Used

We tested the Moment lenses with the Google Nexus 5 and used Camera FV-5 to shoot RAW images with them.

Tech Specs

Tele

Taken from the product listing

CHROMATIC ABERRATION <1PX AT EDGE
DESIGN 4 ELEMENTS 4 GROUPS
LENS COATINGS MULTI-LAYER BROADBAND AR
MAGNIFICATION RATIO 2.0X
RESOLUTION (AXIS) 300 LP/MM
RESOLUTION (CORNER) 150 LP/MM
TV DISTORTION <0.25%
WARRANTY 12 MONTHS EXCEPT E.U. (24 MONTHS)

Wide

Taken from the product listing

CHROMATIC ABERRATION <1PX AT EDGE
DESIGN 5 ELEMENTS 4 GROUPS
LENS COATINGS MULTI-LAYER BROADBAND AR
MAGNIFICATION RATIO .63X
RESOLUTION (AXIS) 300 LP/MM
RESOLUTION (CORNER) 250 LP/MM
TV DISTORTION <0.5%
WARRANTY 12 MONTHS EXCEPT E.U. (24 MONTHS)

Ergonomics

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The Moment lenses are these small things that are designed for your equally small camera. The Pentax Q has nothing on this. The lenses come in small cases that designate their focal length. You’ll generally want to keep these around.

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The lenses are pretty small and very solidly designed. In fact, this entire product shoot was done with the Wide lens. In the photo above, you can see the company’s portrait lens.

Build Quality

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The Moment lenses are incredibly solid, though I didn’t think the same of the mounting plate at first. Without looking at the instructional videos online, I simply put the lenses in and tried to give them a twist. They didn’t budge at first and so I though that they went into the mount and stayed there without being screwed in. At that point, keeping the lenses in was always a task in and of itself. But after some extra gripping power and losing the fear of messing up my phone’s camera, I was able to properly mount the lenses in.

As for the lenses, during this time I dropped a lens twice onto the floor, about a five-foot drop. The single element popped up a bit but was easily put back in. After this, I cleaned the lens with some isopropyl alcohol and used a lens cloth to ensure that it kept delivering great images. Indeed, it continued.

Ease of Use

Pro Tips // 01 // Getting Started from Moment on Vimeo.

After you figure out how to mount the lens in (we’ve included the company’s video in this review) you’re pretty much just straight shooting. The lenses themselves have no controls and your camera maintains all of that.

Autofocus Performance

In our tests, we found that the Moment lenses indeed sometimes messed with the camera’s natural autofocus performance in the equivalent light of a standard gym that one goes to. In situations like that, Camera FV-5 has a manual focusing mode that makes things so much simpler to do.

Image Quality

If you’re looking to step up the game of what your mobile phone can do, then the Moment lenses are seriously your best bet. Granted, you’re going to be possibly uploading the images to VSCO or Instagram afterwards, but why not start out with the best image quality you can get to begin with?

Indeed, the quality that Moment offers is top notch.

Sharpness

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The sharpness of these lenses is fully realized in the JPEG setting where you’ll get some incredibly sharp images with very sharp optics. When shooting in RAW, you’ll begin to see how the image quality can fall apart. Luckily, Adobe Lightroom Mobile is incredibly powerful as is Adobe Lightroom. In RAW, you’ll be able to nerf all image noise and preserve a ton of details in the images without anyone knowing.

It’s seriously magical. And for what it’s worth, the wide lens is much sharper.

Bokeh

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Though I never really thought that I’d be able to get bokeh with a lens on a camera phone, but the portrait lens really lets you do this–especially as you get closer to a subject. The bokeh is pretty beautiful as it is, but could use contrast to make it really come out.

Color Rendition

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As it stands, the Moment lenses fall a bit flat when it comes to color rendition. Instead, you’ll really need to rely on your camera’s editing program. In most cases, this shouldn’t be much of a problem.

Color Fringing

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In our tests, we couldn’t really find very much color fringing and any that we found was easily removed with post-production. However, the Nexus 5 can sometimes fringe and I’m amazed at how much the lenses cut it out.

Extra Image Samples

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Moment Lenses Review (1 of 16)ISO 1001-180 sec at f - 2.4

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Conclusions

Likes

– Small size

– Durable grip onto the lenses

– Lots of new creative possibilities with your phone

– Great image quality

Dislikes

– You’ll probably end up shooting loads and loads with these lenses and therefore fill up your phone’s memory very quickly.

The Moment lenses are really, really incredible. If you’re a DSLR or mirrorless camera user trying to get more creative with another tool, they’re totally worth looking at. For what it’s worth, I much preferred the wide optic, but to each their own. These lenses are sharp, offer beautiful bokeh, and even though the color rendition isn’t the great right out of the camera, that can easily be fixed in a world where everyone edits their images and applies their favorite filter before uploading.

Phoblographer-Star-rating

We give the Moment Lenses a five out out five star rating. We recommend that you try them too if they’ll work for your phone.