Review: Moment Lenses 2.0 (Apple iPhone)

Moment has quite a cult following; the company has created a number of stellar lenses for mobile phones that have inspired generations of new photographers. The Moment Lenses are pieces of high quality glass that attach onto a special case or plate on your phone to change the perspective. In recent years, the telephoto (sort of) focal length they offer has become a bit obsolete, but their wider focal length is quite different. If you need a wide, sweeping view of something, the only other alternative is to shoot panoramic photos of some sort unless you use another add-on lens. But besides changing the viewing angle, Moment lenses tend to add character and charm to an otherwise very sterile aesthetic.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Solid build quality
  • Small
  • Their new case is really nice.
  • Beautiful lens flare
  • Close focusing
  • Large viewing capabilities or pretty telephoto viewing
  • Much better design to resist fingerprints than the previous lenses

Cons

  • Nothing really honestly. If you really would want to complain about something, it could be the price. But if you’re going for these types of products, they’re pretty fair.

Gear Used

We tested the Moment Telephoto (60mm, so not really Telephoto) and Wide (18mm) with the Moment iPhone case and the Apple iPhone 6s.

Tech Specs

Moment doesn’t really give any sort of hard tech specs. So you’re honestly just better off going to their website and checking them out for yourself.

Ergonomics

The Moment lenses are a much different breed than the previous ones. These lenses, while still using more or less the same case, have a completely different exterior though similar ergonomics. For starters though, the optics are larger. Moment incorporated these to get better image quality overall. They also come with their own rubber lens caps that goes over the front of the lenses–or this in this case in front of the front element.

Those front elements on both the wide and the portrait optic are pretty big. In the case of the wide, it’s very convex and otherwise looks like a fisheye. But it isn’t a fisheye at all.

Here’s what the side of the lens looks like when it’s mounted to the iPhone case. Like the previous versions, they mount using a twist and lock system. It’s unlike the screwmount system Zeiss uses with their ExoLenses. Instead, you line some stuff up, twist and it’s all set. It’s a much quicker system.

Build Quality

Everything about the Moment lenses is an upgrade. The build quality is much more solid and the exterior texture of the lenses is a bit course to let you grip onto them better. Each of the lenses are also heavier. Additionally, the mounting system is stronger and the elements I believe are coated with substances that prevent smearing and smudging. They work out really nice in real life use.

Ease of Use

Screwing the lenses onto the phone and shooting is simple enough. Moment has their app that they encourage you to use, but I’ve never really seen the use for it. I’d much rather just use the lenses the way they are with the Apple camera app. You get some beautiful lens flare, good colors, and an overall simple experience. Then when I’m done taking a photo, I import it into RNI films, apply a filter, and send it off to Instagram or Facebook.

It’s really just that simple. It’s not meant for you to think too much about.

Image Quality

Apple iPhone and mobile images in general aren’t going to be the sharpest. But if you ensure you’re shooting at a low ISO, wipe the lenses off to get them clean, have good lighting, and do a bit of editing/post-production, then you’re going to get nice photos. It’s the same as your DSLR or mirrorless camera, shoot RAW and tweak the image to your liking. I’ll let you be the judge. But remember: if you’re shooting street photography, you’re probably going to do processing. If you’re shooting a landscape, you’re doing processing. Adobe Lightroom is super powerful these days on the phone and phones are shooting great RAW photos.

Moment Wide Angle Lens

Moment Telephoto Lens

Conclusions

I really like the Moment lenses. The second iteration of them can help me yield great photos all across the board. But I’m truthfully torn between them and the Zeiss option. Zeiss gives me a case with a tripod mount and a mount for a shotgun microphone while still being portable. Moment gives me a case that doesn’t try to cut the creases of my hands apart. Both of them have great optics. To each their own. If you’re doing more serious work with your iPhone involving accessories like microphones, go for Zeiss. Otherwise, Moment is surely the way to go when it comes to optics.