“The best camera is the one that is with you.” — Chase Jarvis
Then I travel, I don’t like to take a big camera rig with me. While I cannot claim to be the best photographer in the world, I do enjoy taking photos during our travels. However, the best part of traveling is the EXPERIENCE, and I have found the more time I spend fiddling with a camera, the less time I have to enjoy the experience. Like most working adults in the free world, it is very rare when I do not have my smartphone on my person. The brainiacs at Moment Lens have recognized that fact and have created a smartphone camera case and a set of professionally crafted lens, taking mobile photography to a new level.
Moment makes 4 different lenses (18mm Wide Lens, 60mm Telephoto Lens, 25mm (10x) Macro Lens, and a recently released 15mm Superfish lens). Primarily for Apple iPhones, these lenses are for serious photographers, expertly designed and made with cinema quality glass. These lenses are designed to create images that are clear edge to edge, minimal distortion, and of high contrast.
I have 3 of the 4 Moment Lens, so my review will be on those lenses (I don’t have the Superfish lens, I don’t shoot a lot of those types of shots).
18mm Wide Lens
This is my favorite Moment lens and my “go to” lens. When we are traveling or hiking up in the mountains, this lens is always attached to my iPhone. Like most travelers, I love panoramic shots (I want the image to capture what I see), and this lens provides me the best wide angle images with very little distortion and no chromatic aberrations.
60mm Telephoto Lens
I was disappointed in the telephoto lens at first. I have never liked that when you zoomed in with a native iPhone camera app, you were basically cropping the image. Based on the initial reviews I read, the Moment Telephoto lens was supposed avoid that problem and shoot an image that still had all the iPhone pixels in it. However in practice I was not getting clear images and there seemed to be more distortion than I was expecting. However the problem seemed to be more about iPhone stability and less about the lens. Once I attached the iPhone to a tripod and focused, the pictures were outstanding. The problem with that is that it takes time to adequately capture the shot, which can be a little problematic while traveling.
25mm (10x) Macro Lens
While you can take some impressive close up shots with this lens, to me it is a bit of a one trick pony. On one hand, it takes AMAZINGLY close up images in stunning detail, but I have found that you have to be up close to your subject for this lens to focus correctly. And when I say close, I mean that the lens has to nearly touch the object being photographed. I have found that using the Moment lens app for focusing helps some, and the autofocus on the Moment Lens iPhone case is very effective, but really there are not a lot of uses for this lens outside of these extreme close-ups, so I don’t tend to pull it from my case very often.
Moment Lens iPhone case
I read a lot of reviews that indicated how hard it was to add the attachment plate to the smartphone, and some people indicated that the attachment process caused the corner of the iPhone case to break and split open. My advice is, if you are going to spend the money to buy the lens, spend the extra $30-$40 and get the Moment Lens case. To me, it is really what helps take the lens set to the next level. Once the phone is added to the case, the lens attach simply and quickly so there is little time wasted in changing lens.
In addition, the case comes with a shutter button and ability to add a strap to the phone, really taking your phone to that next level, becoming the camera you want it to be. The case integrates well with the Moment Lens app, and now it even works with the iPhone native camera app. It provides solid protection for your phone. It used to be that I would swap my iPhone from the case when I wasn’t traveling, but now I just leave it in the case full time. If you plan on getting the Moment Lens, I HIGHLY recommend that you get the case as well.