Moment Lens Review – An Incredibly Effective iPhone Lens Adapter to Improve Pictures
They say that the best camera is the one you have with you. That’s part of the reason phone photography has become so popular. Social media has made it easy for adventurers to capture and share spectacular images in an instant, or a snap. But when we’re out hiking or skiing, the last thing we want is to carry around more equipment. The good news is we always have our phone. And, the improvements to phone cameras over the past few years are incredible. Even with these improvements, they still can’t capture the whole picture.
Moment Lens – iPhone Lens Adapter
Enter Moment, mobile phone photography and video company. Also, the best addition I’ve made to my iPhone. I started by purchasing their camera app last summer. $6 on the App Store. The added control that this app gives me over my phone’s camera is impressive. But the best part is the Moment lenses. This addition turns the iPhone into something a professional photographer can use.
I can’t tell you how often people have commented, “That photo was taken with your iPhone?” And each time, I answer, yes. Upon receiving my first lens (the wide) in the mail, I noticed how solid Moment lenses are. Especially compared to other aftermarket phone camera lenses which are not as sturdy. No flimsy pieces or clip ons that don’t align with the phone lens.
Before attaching a Moment lens to your phone, you’ll need a Moment case so the lens attaches in the right spot. The cases are beautiful and have an awesome texture. Wood, leather, and canvas options that feel great in your hand and offer a unique look. Attaching a lens is so quick and easy that I don’t even think about it anymore. Twist the lens on, open an app, and begin taking pictures.
The wide lens is an ideal option to start with if you’re looking to shoot outdoor landscapes. It captures twice as much information as the standard iPhone lens. It also lacks the distortion found on other fisheye style lenses. I was immediately impressed. The landscapes captured are amazing. The photos are richer than those taken with the built-in lens and include far more context.
A few months later, Moment debuted the anamorphic lens. A lens only found in high-end film cameras. I didn’t think I would need an anamorphic lens since I’m rarely filming and I’m primarily taking photographs. Then I saw some of the videos and photos that my friend Wil had taken with his anamorphic lens. Unreal for a phone. The flares, the wide captures, pretty spectacular. I splurged and it was worth it. Moment says the anamorphic is “the best lens they’ve ever made” and I find it hard to disagree. The wide-format that the anamorphic captures is unique.
I keep considering buying a mirrorless camera because I love taking photos, but I don’t need to. I had an SLR many years ago and I had to make a point to haul it around when it only captured a slightly better image. Plus my iPhone is much more durable and weather resistant which is important when I’m using it outside so often. Unlike carrying an SLR, I keep a moment lens handy in the hip pouch of my backpack and I’m ready to shoot in seconds.
To sum up. If you already take pictures with your phone, adding the moment app and lens will improve your images. The cases will give your phone an aesthetic upgrade. And, if you have a mirrorless or SLR, you will save weight in your pack by using your phone instead.
Wil Rickard’s 2 Cents:
“The best camera is the one you have with you” is a quote attributed to Chase Jarvis who wrote a book with that title. Chase was one of the first professionals to embrace phone photography. The quote is likely older but Chase shares a lot of other great ideas. My favorites include affirming Ansel Adams’ wisdom that you do not take a photo you make one. Now that thought can lead you on a real philosophical mind trip if you let it. Another that I love is that there are three things that elevate a photograph to a great photograph. 1. Connecting with the subject. 2. Contemplating composition – having a focus, telling one story and eliminating distractions, 3. Using or creating light.
I am lucky enough to spend time in incredible and beautiful places. I make time to play and share it with my son. Of course, I want others to see what we do and give them an insight into our world. If I am lucky it will inspire them to be more playful and explore all the fun they can have too. The thing is I am lazy and I don’t want to cart a bunch of junk around to do this. This is why I love Moment lenses.
If we take Chase’s 3 concepts a lens can help with two of them. A lens with good glass will make the most of available light. The anamorphic lens also creates beautiful flares in predictable places. Most of all though lenses help you compose great images. Composition is choosing what to put into the photo and what to leave out. Using leading lines and the rule of 1/3rds helps you to draw attention to your subject.
In the image above the lines of the ridges and valley, all lead your eye to the subject. Putting him on one of the 1/3 lines helps create the story. The composition directs us to find more interest in where he is going rather than where he came from. The anamorphic lens also gives the cinematic feel. It shows a lot of terrain without stretching it out.
Heck, it can even get my whole belly in a single frame. The app decompresses the image and prevents us from seeing skinny figures like an L. S. Lowry painting.
These days before I go out skiing or hiking I trade my usual case with the Moment one. I screw in the anamorphic lens with its lens cover on. Then I put it in my pocket. So easy, no bulky camera bag. Sometimes I carry a 58mm zoom with me as well so I can get closer to the action. More often than not I hand hold the phone – a gimbal will make for much smoother footage. Using Siri shortcuts I don’t have to take my gloves off. “Hey Siri, shoot a video.” She opens my Moment app, switches it to video, uses my favorite preset and starts recording.
The app allows me to choose between RAW or jpeg for photos (no RAW capability for anamorphic). It also lets me select frame rate and resolution on the hoof. No having to go into the settings. I usually shoot 1080 at 24 fps. But, if I want to slow down the footage I increase the fps. Or if I aim to produce something stellar then I will go to 4K.
I have tried a few different lenses and hands down the Moment Package works better than the others. The glass is incredible, with no fiddling with plastic clips. I still have the lens protector which tells me a lot about how rugged it is and how well it fits. Moment has a great selection of well-chosen lenses. Each one will give you an edge when making creative images. Try them out you will appreciate how your images and video reach your next level of creativity.
Michael loves to ski. No, seriously, Michael loves to ski. Let’s qualify this.
Growing up on the East Coast he found NYC and DJ culture. While working for a massive tech company during the day he played and mixed electronic music at night. Somewhere amid this excess, he found skiing. It was enough to inspire a transfer to Denver. And, after driving over Loveland Pass on his way to ski at Arapahoe Basin for the first time, he realized how good his decision was. He also took up yoga.
60lbs lighter and tons of fun later he recognized how skiing had started him on a journey. He gave up the corporate job, bought a truck and a multi-resort ski pass and took off. #trucklife is like #vanlife only smaller and more frugal. A winter touring the US, Canada, and AK was inspiring. But, he wanted to be home in Colorado, so he moved to Summit County and started working in Outdoor Retail.
Did you guess you can find him skiing in the winter? Backcountry or resort its all good. In the summer he is thinking of skiing, riding a mountain bike, or hiking in the mountains.
You can find out more about his trip skiing 22 resorts or some of his other adventures at www.othersidemtn.com or Instagram @michaelclemente
Wil was born in North Wales and steeped in its rich maritime, mountain and river folklore. In response to the request to “get a real job” he became first a teacher then professor of adventure education.
He then emigrated to where the sun shines for 300 days and snowfalls for 100 (Colorado). During more than 25 years as an outdoor educator, he worked Scottish winter seasons, taught canoeing, climbing, kayaking, and skiing throughout the States, Europe, and Australia. He also regenerated the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Outdoor Education program. His biggest adventure (by far) is fatherhood. It has also been the inspiration for his website www.wherethefruitis.com.
Things he likes to do include (middle) aging gracefully, and skiing (telemark) aggressively. He is happiest outdoors with a good view, good company, good weather/snow and the residue of self-powered adventure; sweat, a manic grin, and wild eyes.