Sweet Little Lenses

I recently bought a couple of lenses for my iPhone’s Camera. Made by a company called Moment, these accessories attempt to improve on the quality of the tiny lenses and camera in smartphones. I thought I’d give them a try, and I was surprised at how good they are.

The 58mm and 18mm (equivalent) Moment lenses sit on the screen of my iPhone 7 Plus.
The 58mm and 18mm (equivalent) Moment lenses sit on the screen of my iPhone 7 Plus.

Each lens is about the size of a golf ball, and attaches to the phone via a shaped opening in the proprietary Moment case. They are heavier than they look like they’d be. They mount firmly, and stay attached through the shooting process.

Both lenses seem to be very well-made from steel and optical glass, and the lens surfaces seem to be multi-coated.

The phone with a Moment lens mounted is awkwardly unbalanced, but I was able to work around that.

This is the Moment 18mm on my iPhone 7. It's not well-balanced, but I got used to it.
This is the Moment 18mm on my iPhone 7. It’s not well-balanced, but I got used to it.

The real reason I love these new toys is image quality. The default lens on my smartphones isn’t very wide, and the wide angle Moment lens is supposed to be equivalent to an 18mm on 35mm photography. I love a good wide angle because it allows me to bring the viewer deeper into the scene, creating a sense of intimacy and expressing near-far relationships more effectively.

The only flaw with the 18mm is its tendency to exhibit flare and ghosting with the sun in the frame or near the edge of the frame. Some photographers find this intolerable, but so far, I’ve been able to use it as a narrative tool to illustrate  the brightness of a scene.

This image was made in October in Chimayo, New Mexico, and shows the way the 18mm Moment lens can flare (lower right) with the sun just outside the image area.
This image was made in October in Chimayo, New Mexico, and shows the way the 18mm Moment lens can flare (lower right) with the sun just outside the image area.

I haven’t played with the Moment 58mm (equivalent) as much, but I expect it will be a great tool in the toolbox as well.

When reading reviews before purchasing, I read about a small grey bag that came with the lenses, and thought to myself that I would probably not use them, or if I did, I would probably lose them, which I promptly did. Accessories like bags, pouches, lens caps, and cleaning clothes are distractions to my photography, and I never use them. They get in the way, and when I’m ready to shoot, I’m ready to shoot.

In conclusion, I’m having a great time with these small, well-made lenses, and recommend them to anyone wanting to up their phonetography game.

These two small lenses are surprisingly well-made, and fit firmly on the Moment case.
These two small lenses are surprisingly well-made, and fit firmly on the Moment case.

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