For a few years now I’ve been using my iPhone as my camera. While I was never a diehard camera enthusiast, I have owned SLR and Micro Four Thirds cameras in the past. Don’t get me wrong; in many ways those fancier (and more expensive) cameras are way better than an iPhone, but I never could muster up the will to carry those cameras around except in the rarest circumstances. When I realized I was taking 99% of my photos with the iPhone, I decided I should get better at using the iPhone to take photos. I even put together a bag of gear for taking iPhone photography.
An item in that bag that I have never covered properly here are my Moment lenses. Moment makes some really nice third-party glass to give you more options when you take photos with your iPhone. They have an assortment of lenses ranging from zoom to macro, and they all use a clever screw-on mechanism that lets you attach your lenses onto a special iPhone case made by Moment with mounting points. I have really come to enjoy these lenses and want to share some of the details.
There are several different Moment lenses available.
The Wide Lens
This is my favorite Moment lens. If you get just one Moment lens, this is probably the one for you. It gives your iPhone a wider view (about two times more picture) while still keeping things in your image straight without fisheye.
This lens takes great wide, landscape shots, but it is also useful when your big, crazy family is gathered around the kitchen table. I also found this lens useful when shooting video.
The Superfish Lens
If you want a fisheye look, Moment has a lens for that too. I’ve never been a fan of fisheye-style photos, but I tried the Moment Fisheye lens while on vacation with my family and took several photos that I'm really happy with.
The Macro Lens
A macro lens is a pretty specialty item, but they are fun to have in your bag. With this lens, you can take a very detailed photo of objects at a focal length of less than an inch. That is NOT a photo you’ll be able to take with the native iPhone lens system. Here’s an image of the stitching on my WaterField Bag.
The Tele Portrait Lens
This is a 60mm lens that seems like a copy of the zoom lens on all of the two-lens iPhones; however, it really isn’t. I mount this lens on the 1X lens mounting point on my iPhone and use it as a portrait lens. It’s sharp in the center and drops off toward the edges in a way you can only really do with glass.
This is Moment’s newest lens. I don’t have one of these ... yet; however, I am looking for an excuse to buy one. This lens is primarily for use in video and gives you horizontal lens flares. It’s a cool idea and not something you would expect you can do with an iPhone.
The Mounting System
I really dig Moment’s lens mounting system. People have tried lots of ways to mount third-party lenses on iPhones, and I haven’t been impressed with most of them. Clipped lenses fall off and misalign. Lenses that require you to stick or glue anything to your bare iPhone are just wrong as a matter of principle.
Moment has an iPhone case with mounting points embedded in them. In turn, the Moment lenses have screw threads at their base so you can just screw the appropriate lens into your Moment iPhone case. When you’re done with the shot, you can unscrew the lens and replace it with another or just keep the case on without the lens.
The cases are nice, but nothing amazing. When I was on vacation, I kept the Moment case on my iPhone 24/7 because I was constantly taking shots.
One of the best parts of this is that when Apple comes out with a new phone, you just need to buy the updated case, and your lenses will continue to work. That way, the most expensive parts, the glass, move forward with you to future iPhones. It’s an excellent solution.
Use Under Fire
I’ve been using these lenses now for four months, and I'm really happy with them. The Moment lenses take great photos and open up my options far beyond what I get when just using the native camera on the iPhone. I'm sure this will make some readers cringe, but when I'm going out, I’ll often make sure my iPhone has the Moment case attached, and then I’ll put the lenses in my pocket (the lenses come in little microfiber bags so they’re safe and always close) so I can then get the lens out and on to the phone with little trouble.