Moment V2 Phone Lenses Review
Words & Photos by Chili Dog
Whether you consider yourself a photographer or not, you probably use your phone to shoot photos. For mountain bikers documenting their adventures, the Moment lens system is a pretty sweet tool. Regular readers may recall our review of the original Moment phone lenses a few months back. Click here to read the review. Since then a lot has changed in the phone world, and Moment wanted to keep pace. The new lenses now accommodate the iphone line up to the current 8 and X, as well as several Andriod platform phones like the Google Pixel, Galaxy S line and the Nexus. Four lenses are offered: a macro for close ups, a 60mm telephoto that offers 2x zoom over the normal phone lens, an 18mm wide angle and a 170-degree fish eye. Moment also offers a camera app that works with the lenses.
Let’s rewind for a second though. Why on earth would anyone want to purchase an additional lens for their phone? After all, the Moment stuff isn’t cheap so this won’t be an impulse buy. Simply put, a standard phone lens is limiting for people that like to get creative. Want to get low and show off just how massive that jump is? Pop on a fish eye lens and add drama to the shot. Need to fit more into a scene? Screw on the wide angle and suddenly everything fits in the photo. It’s a great way to get the most out of the camera we use most often – our phone.
When it came to designing the new lenses, Moment started from square one altering the entire form factor of the lens, the optical elements and the mounting design. The new mounting system has a larger diameter to better accommodate slight misalignment, which used to be a source of vignetting and blurring with the old system. Thankfully for those with the old lenses, Moment offers the adapter plates to easily mount the original lenses to the new cases and mounting plates. Moment also changed their cases. They now offer a larger battery pack case with a shutter button and the minimal case we tested with just the mounting mechanism and a strap location.
Sadly it is now mandatory that the case be used on the iPhone platform to mount a new Moment lens, but fear not since these are some seriously well-designed cases. With the new case and larger lens mount diameter, vignetting and misalignment are non-issues. The thin, minimalist case we tested features a soft rubberized body, with a screen bumper on the front and tactile buttons on the side. The rear can be ordered with a denim or wood texture, which aside from looking classy offers enhanced grip. It’s by far my favorite case that has ever adorned my phone and it’s protected it from some pretty sizable falls. I did still manage to bend the phone slightly while go-karting however.
The lenses mount to small metal tabs in the case using a turning motion that will be familiar to anyone who has ever changed a real camera lens. Thanks to the all-metal construction, the connection is firm, secure and can’t be undone even if the phone is dropped or otherwise tossed around in a gear bag or pack. The lenses themselves are constructed of metal with glass inside. They aren’t the lightest, but it’s very apparent they are a high quality product. The glass elements on both sides are also recessed, which helps protect them from scratches or damage.
170º Fisheye Lens
As someone that was very familiar and happy with Moment’s original lenses, I was blown away by the improvements in image quality with the new system. I can’t stress enough that these lenses are in a league of their own. Sure, there are cheaper options out there from companies like Pixter, Olloclip or any number of cheap Amazon knock offs, but the image quality simply doesn’t compare. There is absolutely zero degradation in image quality from the new lenses, which have noticeably improved sharpness, clarity and overall performance compared to their original counterparts. While the original wide angle suffered from minor vignetting, the new model has zero imperfections in the image and more mid range contrast, which yields a sharper image overall.
The fisheye is also in a league of its own. Several other companies offer fisheye lenses for mobile phones, but none come close to the sharpness and quality of the Moment. There is absolutely zero softness or blurring in the corners of the frame, and little to no artifacting or ghosting. Another notable improvement from the previous lenses and from anything else on the market is the image quality when shooting into direct sunlight. Typically this will produce unsightly lens flare with poor quality glass, but on the new lenses it’s minimal and doesn’t take away from the photo. My one complaint from the testing is that the system still suffers from dust accumulation. Since the inner lens mounting surface and the case itself are recessed to protect them from scratches, dust builds up over the glass. If not cleaned regularly, especially when they are in a dusty short pocket, the dust will hinder picture quality.
18mm Wide Lens
The Wolf’s Last Word
I’ve been using the new lenses for a few months now, and I’m absolutely in love. I literally don’t go anywhere cool without bringing them along. Whether you’re into video, photo or just like to mess around and take pictures of your buddies shredding, the Moment lens system will completely elevate your game. As mentioned last time around though, these lenses aren’t cheap. The Wide comes in at $99.99 and the Superfish at $89.99. What you say, there are cheaper phone lenses to be had? There sure are, but you get what you pay for. As a nifty little tip, Moment also does holiday sales and discounts, so keep an eye out if you’re interested in pinching pennies. These are by far some of the highest quality phone lenses on the market, and I would have zero regrets spending my own hard earned money on a set.
Moment Wide: $99.99
Moment Superfish: $89.99
Moment Photo Case: $29.99
iPad: Air, Air 2, Mini 3-4
Google: Pixel, Pixel XL
Galaxy: S5-S8, Note 3-5