There are two things you can count on from Apple each year. First is a new iPhone, which usually arrives in early fall. Second, that iPhone always comes with a better camera than the model before it. Despite these advances, the iPhone camera still has one major limitation: it only comes with one tiny lens. This limitation is why products like the Olloclip 4-in-1 have become so popular. For as little as $60, you can add a fisheye, wide-angle, and macro lenses to your iPhone made from coated glass optics. Olloclip now has a competitor worth considering. Unlike Olloclip, Moment isn’t focused on providing an all-in-one solution at a good price. Instead, the Moment Lens approach is to deliver the best possible glass for your iPhone. For this, the company has introduced three products, the Wide lens, Tele lens, and Macro lens. Each is priced at $99.
How do the Moment lenses perform? It’s time to find out.
Design and Hardware
The first thing you’ll notice about a Moment lens is its solid build quality. Each piece feels heavy (think durable) in your hands. When attached to your iPhone, the added weight of each Moment lens is much less noticeable, however, which is a good thing.
This high-quality comes with an incredible backstory. According to the company, each Moment lens uses the same recipe found in the design of professional cinema glass for HD film. Better still, the lenses are fabricated in the same high precision optical manufacturing facilities that produce lenses for 4K cinema.
From a design perspective, each Moment lens has an elegance about it, a look that carries through to the packaging. Each one ships in a beautiful dark-hued box that includes a mounting plate and a microfiber cloth carrying case. This case is also used to clean your lens.
About that Mounting Plate
One of the big differences between Olloclip and Moment is how the lenses are attached to the iPhone. Instead of a clip, Moment uses a thin, stainless steel mounting plate. To attach, you just peel off the back, line it up with your iPhone camera lens, and push it in place. Once you’ve attached the mount, you add the lens by lining up the gray dot with the gap in the mount, rotating the lens 90 degrees.
Moment notes that this is a non-permanent solution, but one that provides the necessary strength to make sure a lens never falls off. We would agree. During our tests, the mounting plate remained secure. It also looks nice on a naked iPhone. The plate also works with a long list of third-party cases.
If you don’t want to put sticky material on your iPhone, Moment also offers a line of cases that have the mounting plate built in. As a bonus, these cases make your phone work more like a camera when used with the Moment app, which we discuss below. We did not test any of the Moment cases for this review.
Moment mounting plates ($9.95 each) are available for the iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone SE, iPhone 5c, iPhone 4/4s, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini (1-4), iPad Pro (12.9″), Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note 5, and Nexus 5.
We were very impressed with the performance of each lens in the Moments collection. The Wide lens (see above) did an excellent job at capturing landscapes and higher interior shots without distortions. The Wide lens features an advanced optical design that allows it to take in up to 2 times more landscape without bending the image.
The Tele lens (see above) also worked well. It’s intended to capture street portraits and travel photos by putting you twice as close to the action.
We were also impressed with the performance of the Macro lens (again, above) that places you 10 times closer to an object than with the iPhone’s regular lens. Still, getting the perfect shot with this lens did require some patience. Sudden movements ruined many of our shots, although that had less to do with the lens than with our shaky hands.
The Moment App
Alongside the three lenses, Moment offers a free Moment app for iOS. Though not required, the app does enhance the Moment experience.
The Moments app includes three unique features.
First, it includes gestures to better control focus and light. Second, it features a thumb-reachable toolbar so you can quickly switch between photo/video mode, plus turn shooting features on/off. Finally, when used with a Moment case, the app adds DSLR features to your iPhone, including a physical shutter button with half-press and full-press functionality.
The Bottom Line
Rating the Moment Lenses
For folks who want to get serious about taking photographs with their iPhones, we highly recommend Moment lenses. These are high-quality products that are definitely worth the price of admission.
Our recommendation is to buy either the Tele or Wide lens first to see how you like it. If you do, purchase the other two.