Review: Moment’s wide angle V2 lens take mobile photography to the next level

Moment has updated their stunning and vastly popular wide angle lens with several important changes that greatly improve its performance, especially on the iPhone 7 Plus.

It’s no secret that people are snapping countless photos with their phones everyday. It’s incredibly easy to pull it out and shoot whatever is right in front of you. While the cameras in our iPhones have come an astounding way in the last several years, there is always room for improvement.

Moment brings professional level lenses, to the iPhone. It isn’t unlike a DSLR where you can swap lenses based on what you’re shooting. Whether you are shooting a far away pic, a sprawling landscape, or are getting up close with macro photography, they have a lens for it.

Moment lens system

Moment has a whole ecosystem of products for photography. They have four lenses available. A wide angle, a telephoto lens, a macro lens, and a fisheye lens (that they’ve dubbed the Superfish lens). To go alongside that, they have their excellent phone cases, which is how you mount the lenses to your device. They have straps, magnetic lens caps, carrying cases, and more.

Everything has the same excellent build quality and design aesthetics, which is important to photographers.

New mounting system

In the past, you would mount your lenses with a small metal plate, affixed to the rear of your phone. To be honest, I actually preferred this method. It allowed you to use any case you’d like as they could easily fit over the plate.

For better or for worse, the iPhone 7 (and 7 Plus) changed that. Moment had to redesign their mounting plate, and it forced the lenses to be just an imperceptible amount further away from the sensor. Which caused slight vignetting and distortion around the edges of photos taken with certain lenses. Now, to be fair, the distortion was minimal. Many wouldn’t even notice. But Moment is full of perfectionists. If you are spending that much on a high-end lens, you don’t want any loss of quality.

So Moment went to the drawing board and came out with a whole new mounting system. It has several improvements, and one step back compared to the previous. The bad news first: you must use their cases to use the lenses. The mounting plate is gone, and instead they’ve built the mount into the case itself.

On the other side however, it is wider and stronger than ever. For the Plus users, you can now actually affix the lenses to not just the standard 1x lens, you can connect them to the 2x lens as well.

That means if you have the 2x tele lens, you can put that on the existing built-in 2x lens, and get even more zoom, without any loss in quality. That also ups the iPhone 7 Plus zoom to a crazy 20x. Or you can use the iPhone’s zoom lens, but use the Moment wide angle to get best of both worlds.

What’s new

Aside from the new mounting system, there are a few other changes to the wide angle lens.

To fix the distortion and vignetting on the images, the lens is now larger than ever. If you compare the Moment wide angle lens to something like the Olloclip lens, it is night and day. There is literally no curvature, discoloration, or quality loss in the photos from Moment. Olloclip on the other hand is full of it.

One of the reasons behind the high quality of the Moment lens is because, like an SLR lens, it is made up of several pieces of glass. In fact, there are 5 different glass elements that make up the interior of the wide angle lens. The exterior is all metal, and immediately gives a sense of quality. It’s actually surprising how hefty the lens is.

Moment app

Moment seemingly has thought of everything. The iOS app is the last part of the equation, which gives you several manual photo controls for taking the best possible photos. Not only that, but it writes metadata to the photo for you. You can tell the app which lens you are using, and that will be included in the EXIF data for you to view in your photo editor later. This makes it easier to sort your photos based on how they were taken.

The Moment app also can connect to their battery photo case. This is their step-up case that has a built-in external battery, and includes a bluetooth shutter button. You can hold your phone just like a camera, and click the shutter button on the top right corner.

Sample photography

That was a lot of talk to precede probably what you are here to see. Some sample photography to tell the difference between the stock iPhone camera, and with the wide angle lens. We’ve included a few comparisons shots with the Superfish as well, since it is essentially a 180º wide angle lens.

Wrap up

Mobile lenses may not be for everyone. And there is clearly a price (and quality difference) between the Moment lenses and the more widely seen Olloclip or Aukey lenses.

Personally, I love photography. There are so many times these lenses come in handy. The wide angle is fantastic for landscapes, or capturing tall skyscrapers, for fitting everyone in a group shot. They are small enough I can keep them in my pocket, and the quality is unparalleled.

If my options are carrying around my DSLR or a couple Moment lenses, I’d choose the moment lenses eight out of ten times. It is convenience without compromise in quality. Sure, it isn’t the same as a DSLR, but I can carry this for a night out a lot more easily than a DSLR, and still get great photos.

If you consider yourself to be quite the mobile photographer, and would like to pick up one for yourself (or all 4 as I’ve done over the past two years), you can find the new lenses exclusively on Moment’s online store.