Smartphone manufacturers have significantly improved camera performance over the past few years, but there are always trade-offs to be made. If you want to capture more than what your phone can by default, then an external lens from Moment is one option.
People have shared some fantastic shots from the Apple iPhone X, but I wanted to capture landscape shots with more content. The excellent LG V30 has a wide-angle lens as part of its dual camera setup, which is rare for these dual camera smartphones.
Apple's second camera is a telephoto lens to help you zoom into your subject and also capture portrait shots. In December, Moment had sales on its lenses and I pulled the trigger on the new wide lens ($99.99) and a black photo case ($29.99).
Moment photo case
Unlike the clip mechanism I used on an ExoLens kit a couple of years ago, Moment has very nice cases where the lens simply twists securely into place in an opening on the case. The case is a rather sleek protective case that works well as a daily use case even if you are not using the Moment lens.
The photo case is available for $29.99 with two back options; black canvas or walnut wood. I purchased the black canvas case for my iPhone X. The black one is polyurethane coated canvas while the walnut one is stained and wax coated wood veneer.
The case is made of thin rubber material that wraps around the top and both sides of the iPhone X. Most of the bottom is open, with protection extending just around the corners. You can hook up a lanyard wrist strap too if you want to carry your phone and lens around like a camera.
The inside of the case is lined with microsuede so your phone is protected from scratches. Wireless charging and Apple Pay work just fine. There is also a 12-month warranty on the case.
Moment wide lens
Wide angle lenses are great for landscape shots, travel, real estate, and groups of people. Given that I am on the road a lot and mostly take outdoor photos, this was the only lens I was really looking for to enhance my iPhone X camera experience. It has a MSRP of $99.99, but I picked it up on sale and saved $20.
The new wide angle lens has a 12-month warranty. Technical specifications of the wide angle lens include:
- Chromatic Aberration - <1px at edge
- Design - 5 Elements 4 Groups
- Lens coating - Multi-layer, low flare, broadband anti-reflection
- Magnification Ratio - .63X
- Resolution (Axis) - 300 LP/MM
- Resolution (Corner) - 250 LP/MM
- Tv Distortion - <0.5>
- Weight - 76.2g
- Height - 22.1mm
- Diameter - 39.5mm
Moment has a couple of guidance lines on the photo case so you line up the Moment logo to the side line and the white straight line on the lens with the line on the top of the case. Insert the Moment lens into the opening and then rotate clockwise 90 degrees to lock the lens in place. It is quick and easy to mount and remove the Moment lens.
The lens works with the top, primary lens, on the iPhone X. While there is a slot to position the lens over the lower, telephoto, lens on the iPhone X when you place it there you will just see black blocking the lens whether you have it at 1x or 2x. If you switch to portrait mode, you will see an image in the viewfinder, but the camera cannot focus since the other lens is blocked by the Moment lens. Thus, while there are two slots available, the wide angle lens only works on the upper main camera of the iPhone X for standard photos and video. Portrait mode and 2x zoom is not supported with the lens mounted to the case.
Often we see edge distortion or too much distortion with wide-angle lenses, but this Moment one has been fantastic. I am rather stunned by the edge-to-edge clarity and the ability to produce photos that look great.
The lens is rather heavy at 76.2 grams, but is designed and built with high quality materials. It is held very securely in the Moment photo case and I was always confident in its ability to stay in place while shooting photos.
A substantial rubber lens cover is included to protect the lens with a handy drawstring microfiber pouch to carry the lens when not in use.
You can also purchase telephoto, superfish eye, and macro lenses for the iPhone X. Each works with the same photo case. In addition, these lense work with other phones so you can purchase photo cases for a Google Pixel 2/2XL, Google Pixel/Pixel XL, iPhone 6 and 7, Galaxy Note 8, and Galaxy S8/S8+. I just picked up a Pixel 2 and may soon get a photo case to use my wide angle lens with that phone.