- Jan 14, 2018 at 5:53 pm #3512397
Diane PinkersBPL Member
@dipinkLocale: Western Washington
I realize this may be anathema to real photography enthusiasts, but I wondered if anyone had messed around with lenses that mount to a smartphone to improve the range of photos. I’m specifically looking at Moment lenses, that click into a mount integrated into a case. The photos and videos published on the web look cool. This would be a compromise to carrying a separate point and shoot. I’m not expecting DSLR quality, but the one thing I miss about my Canon sometimes is the zoom.Jan 14, 2018 at 6:43 pm #3512401
Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Good question. Reach is why I went back to interchangable lenses.
I think you need to see and try one in a store and test the ergonomics and ease of use.
I read a lot of reviews in November online thinking I would give one as a Xmas gift and decided not to since the reviews were mixed. There are lenses which attach to your phone’s lens and lenses that are independent subsystems that work using your phone as the control interface. And if you end up with two devices, unless you really do all your post image capture processing on your smart phone, why not just make the second device a camera?
For example, there was a lot of excitement about the launch of the Olympus product which is really a small camera controlled from your phone. For just one review, see :https://www.pcmag.com/review/344008/olympus-air-a01
For a paper overview, see the offerings on the B&H.com site. Let us know what happens.Jan 14, 2018 at 7:50 pm #3512406
I own the olloclip lens system. I’ll update with a link to the particular setup. I liked that I ended up with four lenses in one, two of which were macro lenses.
I didn’t like that they are designed to go on a particular phone. Now that I’ve upgraded from the iPhone 6 to the 8+, it doesn’t fit my new phone.
Build quality is meh. The lens coating started wearing off on my first trip out. It’s not hard to bump the lens out of alignment and get blurry images. In bright daylight, it’s easy to miss that it’s out of alignment and not catch it until you get home and see that your images and footage is blurry.
I recently purchased a Moment lens case for my phone and will soon buy a few lenses for it.
In theory, I like that when I upgrade my phone or switch to Android, all I’ll have to do is buy a new case.
I like that it’s near impossible for the lens to be accidentally knocked out of alignment.
Important to me, Moment has filter adapters that are available for pre sale.
Build quality is supposed to be excellent.
Con is cost compared to other phone lenses.
I’ll post an update as my lenses come in.
Please forgive the fat thumb autocorrect typos
Jan 15, 2018 at 7:42 am #3512504
- This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by Ian.
Funny you should post this Diane. I was just emailing Ian about this Saturday night. I’m considering selling my a6000 and buying a few Moment lenses for my iPhone. With the telephoto I’d get 4x optical zoom – not too shabby. Since each lens only weighs 1.5-3.5 ounces, and I always carry my phone anyway, to get some extra photographic capabilities I’d only be carrying an extra 7 ounces for three lenses (no interest in the fisheye), and a much easier carry.
It’s either that or buy a Sigma 18-300 for my a6000 (which is 1.25 pounds itself) or the new Sony 18-135 due out in Feb. at 11 oz., or the Sony 18-200 at 18.5 oz. Can’t make up my mind. But really leaning toward those Moment lenses.Jan 15, 2018 at 1:15 pm #3512509
Diane PinkersBPL Member
@dipinkLocale: Western Washington
If I carry my camera, then I have the weight of the camera, plus batteries. My camera doesn’t charge via USB. Since I always have my cell phone anyway, it does make sense to be multipurpose. I have a Galaxy Note 8, so I can store photos via memory chip. I’m still working out battery life and recharge requirements, though.Jan 15, 2018 at 1:43 pm #3512512
I’ve had great results with Photojojo’s old magnetic mount lenses on older iPhones but they aren’t compatible with my iPhone 7 (or higher).
I’ve been tempted by Moment’s system but the expense, fragility and weight don’t seem worth it to me for my trips. I don’t want to worry about keeping dust and water out of them and it just seems like adding a fiddly and complex layer on top of an activity where I’m try to keep things simple and use gear that is unobstrusive. That’s a very personal statement and not meant as a criticism of those that use this system or similar systems.
For now I will continue to take photos using only my phone. My photographs range from adequate to excellent and I find using the phone as camera unobtrusive to my experience.Jan 15, 2018 at 3:46 pm #3512532
I’m more confused than ever about the 8+ lens system. Per this image, there are two separate lenses (28mm wide and 56mm “tele”). I’ve always assumed this was the case just from looking at it.
When I select “2x” tele option on my camera and place my finger over the wide angle lens, the picture is completely obscured. When I have it in 2x tele mode and place my finger over what is supposed to be the tele lens, there is no impact on the image.
I’m wondering if I’ve somehow changed a setting somewhere along the way where it’s using a digital zoom instead of an optical one, but I’m not seeing that option in settings.
I haven’t been able to google my way to an answer yet.
Update: when I obscure what is supposed to be the telephoto lens when I select 2x, the picture is unobscured. When I select portrait. A feature that’s supposed to use both lenses, I get the same field of view as the 2x option. When I cover the tele lens in portrait mode, the picture is now completely obscured.
I do understand that the portrait mode somehow uses both lenses but I don’t understand why the normal non portrait 2x feature isn’t using the telephoto lens.
Update #2: I think I found the answer. When I tried the above experiment, I was indoors. The wide angle lens has a constant aperture of f1.8 and the tele lens has an aperture of f2.8. It seems that in low light conditions, the iPhone will default to its wide angle lens and add a digital zoom to take advantage of the wider aperture.
When I took my phone outside, both lenses were working as advertised and I could use the optical 56mm lens and not digitally (crop) zoom in.
From looking at the mounts on my Moment basic case, there’s some metal hardware over the wide angle lens that isn’t there over the telephoto lens. I won’t know until I get my wide angle lens, hopefully next week, but it seems I can only mount the lens over the wide angle and not the tele.
(See top picture; it won’t let me insert the picture here from my phone)
*IF* this is true, then it stands to reason that 8 plus users are only achieving 4x zoom with the Moment Telephoto lens by combining the 2x zoom if the lens and another 2x digitial zoom. If that’s the case, then you might was well just zoom in with the phone’s optical zoom and crop in while editing.
For me, I’m going to buy the Moment tele lens anyways as I don’t see an easy way to mount an ND or CPL filter over the phone’s telephoto lens without removing the case and using a different system. The 8 Plus’ tele lens is 56mm and the Moment lens is advertised at 60mm, so a negligible amount of more reach.
I’ll update once I’ve made the purchase and have had a chance to experiment with the results.Jan 15, 2018 at 8:32 pm #3512594
If I understand it correctly, the Moment app allows you to choose which camera lens the phone uses, so you can ‘force’ it to use either camera lens regardless of light, etc.
“If that’s the case, then you might was well just zoom in with the phone’s optical zoom and crop in while editing.”
I get where you’re coming from, but as you know, optical is always better than digital from the same sensor. I’ll spend a hundred bucks for a 4x optical instead of using a 2x optical and 2x digital.Jan 15, 2018 at 9:01 pm #3512612
iPhone 7 user here Manual will let you choose the lens on a + or X. It’s a great app although I find myself using the built-in Camera application most of the time.
Manual – RAW custom exposure camera by Will Global https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/manual-raw-custom-exposure-camera/id917146276?mt=8Jan 15, 2018 at 9:24 pm #3512620
Regarding the 4x vs 2x on the 8 plus…
That will all depend on if you can mount the Moment telephoto lens over the iPhone’s telephoto lens. You’d need both of them to work together to get that 4x optical zoom. From looking at my case and not having one of their lenses on hand, I’m not so sure it can be done but I do hope so. I should know within the week.
Mattew and Doug,
I use Pro Camera with the same result. It will activate the phone’s telephoto lens regardless of lighting vs the native camera app that is designed to choose digital or optical depending zoom on the conditions.
Edit to add: Same is true for Filmic Pro. There is a digital zoom option but you can choose which of the two lenses to start out with.
Jan 15, 2018 at 10:19 pm #3512636
- This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by Ian.
Rex SandersBPL Member
@rexLocale: Central California Coast
My thoughts on the Moment lenses:
In brief: didn’t work well for video, glue-on mount was a pain, and I don’t use those lenses any more.
— RexJan 15, 2018 at 10:26 pm #3512638
“glue-on mount was a pain”
The new system uses a dedicated phone case instead of the glue-on mount, so at least that part should be ‘resolved.’ Interesting about the video part – Moment shows some pretty good video shot with their lenses and the Filmic Pro app, fwiw.Jan 15, 2018 at 10:26 pm #3512639
Thanks for weighing in Rex. They adopted a new mounting system and there’s a way to retrofit your old lenses to the new system. Let me know if you have any you’d like to sell off.
Doug messaged me some specs of the tele lens and apparently it is designed to be used over the phone’s tele lens for the 4x total optical zoom.Jan 15, 2018 at 10:27 pm #3512640
I use Filmic Pro for video. You can set and lock in your white balance with that app.Jan 16, 2018 at 3:58 am #3512696
I got one of these Moment cases with a lens as a holiday gift. I’m waiting for my case to arrive (had to send back the wrong size), but I’m glad to see a thread here as it means I can follow along figuring out how to use them effectively.
As to the Tele Lens on the iPhone plus models, this is direct from the moment description:
”Works over either lens on the iPhone X and iPhone 7 Plus / 8 Plus for a 4X zoom.”
… plus every review I have seen confirms 4x optical zoom. It is what I am looking forward to the most for backpacking photos … although I am also excited to play with the Superfish. Don’t be a hater Doug!!! 😉Jan 16, 2018 at 6:22 pm #3512761
Thanks Christopher. I was looking at the specs for the case and should’ve looked at the lens specs.Jan 16, 2018 at 11:40 pm #3512814
BTW Ian, when you were doing your finger lens experiment above, which camera app were you using?
I downloaded the Moment camera app for my iPhone 7plus, and even indoors in poor light when I toggle the app to the telephoto lens, it switches to just that lens. (You can choose wide, both, or Tele) I have however read that the native camera app makes a choice based on lighting, and that the luminosity decision is derived from what is coming into the wide angle lens.
Dont know if that helps.Jan 16, 2018 at 11:42 pm #3512815
PS: here is where I was reading about the native camera app although it should be noted this is about the iPhone7 plus. I don’t know if it’s completely applicable to the newer models.Jan 17, 2018 at 1:31 am #3512839
I have an 8plus and the issue was with the native app. I use it out of laziness from time to time, and likely never again now that I see it uses digital zoom without notifying the user.
I have a few other photography apps like Lightroom and ProCamera where “2x” uses the Tele Lens instead of digital zoom.Jan 19, 2018 at 3:38 am #3513204
My wide angle lens was waiting for me at home tonight.
My out of the box impressions are that it’s a solid piece of gear. I also confirmed what everyone else already knew, that I can mount the lens over the native wide or Tele Lens on my 8 plus.
I’m not entirely sure why there’s a metal piece on the mount over the wide lens and not the tele ( perhaps to shim it?), but it’s not important.
Mounting the lens is a piece of cake and it feels really secure. I’m looking forward to taking it on a test drive tomorrowJan 19, 2018 at 4:09 am #3513205
That small metal piece ‘depresses’ as you ‘screw’ the lens on, popping back up when the lens is seated, as if it’s locking the lens in place. No idea why they didn’t put it on the other mount.Jan 19, 2018 at 4:14 am #3513208
So here’s what I’ve discovered so far, just by buying the Moment Wide Angle lens and having the ability to mount it over both of my phone’s native lenses, I now have 18mm, 28mm, 35mm, and 56mm focal ranges covered. Once I buy the Moment Tele Lens, I’ll add 60mm and 102mm to the list.Jan 19, 2018 at 4:17 am #3513210
I’m definitely glad I bought their lens pen. I can see how the rear portion of the lens can collect dust and lint.
I’m glad the lens cap is included. I thought I read somewhere that you had to buy it separately, but it’s good that this isn’t the case.Jan 20, 2018 at 9:15 pm #3513441
So here’s a quick idea of how the different focal lengths look on an iPhone 8+ with/without Moment lenses (pics are my backyard. Yes, I have a mole). All are handheld with me shivering a bit, so focus is not perfect.
First two pics are without lenses – ‘regular’ shot and telephoto shot:
Now two photos with the wide angle lens, one from each camera lens:
Now one of my hand as I change lenses. How do you turn off the volume button from acting like a camera button!
Telephoto lens, one from each camera lens (notice vignetting when used on ‘regular’ camera lens):
And finally the macro lens, used on the camera telephoto lens:Jan 20, 2018 at 9:36 pm #3513443
Great stuff Doug!
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