A moment please, to talk about Moment lenses.

Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
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They call me Hans
They call me Hans Regular Member • Posts: 468
A moment please, to talk about Moment lenses.

TL;DR I bought lenses for my Pixel 2 from Moment inc, here's the review you never asked for.

The best camera is the one you have with you, right? And, 9 times out of 10, that camera is more than likely a smartphone, right? (Also, 80% of all statistics are made up on the spot).

"So why not try to make that camera more versatile?" I said to myself, as I tried composing yet ANOTHER shot of latte art at my favorite downtown Portland café. And so, I decided to go all-in and purchase all 4 of the lenses from Moment inc. Y'know, the 20 or so guys and girls based in Seattle that make trendy smart phone lenses you can switch out like an ILC.

Now, you might be thinking: "Hans, buddy, pal. $400 plus shipping? For lenses for a phone? Are you serious my dude?"

Why yes, yes I am, friend. Here's the deal; I've been taking pictures for a bit now (today is actually my 5-year anniversary, cheers), but last year, I picked up surfing and snowboarding. And since doing that, photography just hasn't had the same...allure. It just doesn't give me that feeling that both of those sports do. It used to, but not anymore. Plus, lugging a wet suit, booties, gloves, a towel, clothes, and surfboards to the beach is a bit of work, let alone bringing a camera. Don't even get me started on snowboarding. So, I found that, when I was actually taking pictures, it was with my phone, not my ILC.

Plus, it helped that I had a spare $1000 lying around (long story, but it involves fires, insurance, and a lot of receipts).

So, without further ado, here is my review of the 16mm, 60mm, 170-degree FOV, and macro lenses from Moment, for the Google Pixel 2. A review no one has done before, because no one asked for it.

The 16mm equiv. wide.

Photo courtesy of fstoppers. I'm not about to be THAT guy that takes pictures of his phone with his ILC.

This is Moment's most popular lens for the Pixel 2, and for good reason. Because of portrait mode, you're essentially getting two lenses with this guy, a 16mm equiv, and then a 24mm with the 1.5x crop portrait mode gives you. I mean, sure, you could say that about all of Moment's lenses, but it's executed best with this one in particular.

I wasn't expecting much from any of these lenses, frankly. I've tried those silly clip-ons before and, while they're interesting, leave much to be desired in the image quality department, and thought these would be the same ball game. The reviews and sample photos had excited, but I still had reservations. I was wrong. And I was floored.

Hamilton Mountain trail, WA. Edited in VSCO to look like film, because I'm hipster trash.

I took the 4 of these to my favorite hike in the Columbia river gorge to put them through their paces. Then a few days later into Portland for some street photography. The lenses really feel well made, and that's not an exaggeration. They're heavy, and well-constructed. Not like DSLR prime lens heavy, no, more like a mid-tier weight you'd find with one of those novelty desk scales. Felt like it was made out of the same material too, sans that smelly brass odor.

But on the hike, you don't even notice them. Each is so small that I could fit all 4 in one jacket pocket, with their cute lil' lens caps and bags, though I decided to put each into a specific pocket as to not confuse them.

Pool of the winds, Hamilton Mountain trail, WA.

The quality of the glass itself blew me away. Again, I was expecting clip on quality, not this. Moment claims tha the 16mm has "5-layer aspherical optics", though you'd think after 5 years of me shooting, I'd know what that means. Whatever they're doing, it's working. Edge to edge focus seems pretty good for a $100 lens. Of course, it would be nice to compare this with an ILC lens of similar value and construction. Feel free to donate to the cause.

This is probably my favorite shot with this lens.

In terms of gripes, I really don't have any. If I had to nitpick, I'd say they need to redesign the lens cap. The lens itself has the weird, wave like design on the ends of the metal around the glass. But, the lens caps have the same design. So, when you but the cap on the lens, it just doesn't *quite* want to go in. Nor does it really want to let go when you're taking it off. This resulted in me almost dropping the lens at least once.

False summit of Hamilton Mountain, overlooking North Bonneville, WA. Elevation of about 2500'.

I can see why this lens is almost always back ordered on the website. It's versatile, solidly made, and takes excellent photos. If you wanted to get at least one lens from Moment, this would be the one.

Here, have a couple more shots.

I feel like the artist's quote here isn't as deep as they were hoping it would be. But hey, it makes for some great composition.  Somewhere in downtown Portland, OR.

MAx traveling west along Morrison street, Portland, OR.

The 60mm equiv.

Taken from...somewhere on Google. I dunno, call the copyright police.

Compared to the 16mm, the 60mm is...rough. Of all of the lenses in the lineup, I've had a more frustrating experience with this guy. Moment claims that lens works great for """"Dramatic landscapes""""", but as you'll see below, I'm not sure this thing is suited for landscapes at all.

Hamilton Mountain trail, looking towards Beacon Rock, WA. I went out of my way to make this picture look like it was shot in the 20s.

The lens has a noticeable sharpness fall off as you move away from the center. I'm not sure if this was done on purpose during design, or if it's just a side affect of having such a small, compact telephoto lens. Regardless, when it comes to landscapes, I really don't find this lens to be advantageous at all. For the composition of the above photo, I wanted everything to be relatively sharp, primarily the dead tree in the foreground, the evergreen off to the right in the middle, and the snow covered cliffs on the Oregon side of the gorge.

But because of that fall-off, it just doesn't have the same compositional feel that I had intended. Overall, I was disappointed with the end result, going as far as to purposefully edit the image to make it look like it was shot a hundred years ago, in an attempt to salvage the photo.

Hamilton Mountain trail, WA.

That being said, I do see some real potential from this lens in the portraiture department. That sharpness falloff the irked me in these landscapes would make for some interesting shots, if the subject was a human, or human face.

False summit of Hamilton Mountain, looking towards Beacon Rock, WA.

Perhaps I'm getting frustrated with this lens for the wrong reasons. The lens, if used properly, is probably really excellent. However, it's billed as a versatile platform to take photos, and I just don't believe it is. This is a portrait lens, and only that. And to maybe prevent some more frustration from other users in the future, Moment should probably change the marketing strategy for this product. But hey, that just, like, my opinion, man.

The 10x macro.

Pretty sure this is from Amazon. Shhhh.

Oh this lens is F U N !

Okay, up until now, never really had an interest in macro photography. Like, it was cool to look at but aside from that, I didn't really want to take macro pictures. Just didn't think I had the eye.

This lens has - ehem - changed my perspective on macro.

This was my first photo I took with my macro. A house plant's stem, My House.

Of the 4 lenses moment offers, the 10x has the smallest footprint, but, arguably, generates the most interesting and quality photos. On my hike, I found myself looking more closely at my surroundings, in a way that I don't think I could've done if I had an actual macro lens for my ILC.

See, the previous two lenses I've talked about could be replaced by a well rounded super zoom (Like my m.zuiko 14-150mm for my EM5ii). That's a lens I would take on a hike in a heart-beat. but a Macro? Who takes a niche lens like that into the Pacific Northwest wilderness?

This guy. When it fits in your pocket.

A (dead?) fly rests on the stamen of a wild daisy(?).

Okay, back to the quality of the lens. I mean, look at that. The areas that are meant to be in focus are tack sharp. I'm not sure if this is a common trait with macro lenses, but it's incredible that this was taken with my phone. I actually fooled one of my friends and told her "Yeah I took this with my Olympus" and she remarked about how sharp it was. Then I gave her the ol' 'gotcha!' and blew her mind, telling her this was with my Pixel 2.

A wild succulent? Maybe?

And for all I know, she probably went out and bought one. This is, after all, the cheapest lens you can get at $60. Find me a lens that's this sharp for that price.

No, really, if you could, that would be great. I really wanna experiment with this on my ILC...

Slug fren. He was in the middle of the path, so I moved him to a boulder. But then he got PO'd and did that sticky, gooey thing that gastropods do. I named him Ralph.

But, I must say, focusing is limited to where you can physically orient your phone in relation to your subject. I've found the auto focus to be a bit difficult with this lens.

Also, and this is a real nit pick, but the bag the lens is stored in is a little too tiny. If you keep that clear hood attached to the lens, it can hardly fit through the draw-string hole. If you detach it and store them separately, the drawstrings aren't able to close all of the way, letting more dust and what not into the bag. Again, a nit pick at worst.

I can't wait to use this thing more.

The 170 degree superfish.

I'm not even trying at this point.

Talk about Niche.

Much like the macro lens, I had never really had any experience with fish eye lenses. However, unlike the macro, I found very few instances in which I could utilize this.

My doggo Gridley ft. my foot.

I can see the potential to do some action or sports photography (of the extreme variety) with this lens, but unfortunately, I broke my shoulder in January, so snowboarding is out of the question. And these lenses (or my phone for that matter) aren't exactly ocean-proof, so there goes surf photography as well. I guess, in the meantime, it's good for pets.

That same house plant from the macro photo.

However, I did find that I did like to use this lens when I wanted to make the composition seem large, or opposing. But I literally only had two instances where I did this. This photo...

It's like the trees are judging me.

...and this one. This one I really liked.

I don't not like the lens, I just don't really have an opinion on it yet. The construction and optics look to be about the same quality as the 16mm wide, but other than that, I really don't know what say about this lens. A revisit will need to be in order.

So, why make this long """review"""" of these products? I certainly wasn't paid to do so.

Because this argument keeps popping up: "$100 for a lens for my phone?? GTFOH that's RIDICULOUS."

But, is it?

Think about it. For about $400, you can get one, maybe two lenses of varying type and quality, depending on your camera mount. And that's IF you have a camera.

But if you already have a Pixel, Iphone, or Samsung, you have the camera. And for $400, you can have 4 really, really decent lenses. And considering I'm not a professional, or have aspirations of making money off of what I do, that was a no brainer for me.

So, thanks for reading. Feel free to critique my photos I posted, and I look forward to reading the comments. Happy shooting!

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"You buy an (RX-7) FD for the same reason that you shoot with a manual lens, when an auto focus will do just fine...you do it because it's hard. Because it's a challenge."
-Regular Car reviews

 They call me Hans's gear list:They call me Hans's gear list
Sony RX100 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus 14-150 F4-5.6 II Rokinon 12mm F2.0 NCS CS Google Pixel 2
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