Review: Moment Tele Lens (updated for 58mm 2018 version)

I originally wrote this review of the Moment 2x tele lens back in 2015. A few things changed since then, except one: The Moment tele is still a great tele lens for iPhone photographers that I use regularly.

Here are some sample photos I shot using different iPhone models and different versions of the Moment Tele Lens

In 2018, Moment released the latest version of the Tele Lens, now dubbed “Tele 58mm Lens”. The 58mm is the equivalent focal length over an iPhone XS wide angle lens.

Even if you have one of the new iPhone models with a built in Tele lens, the Moment 58mm Lens may be worth an investment.

Though Apple added a 2x optical zoom to the iPhone 7 Plus in 2016 and to the iPhone X in 2017, there are still a number of good reasons to invest in the Moment Tele lens; be it in low light situations or to get an almost 4x optical zoom if you pair the Moment Tele with the optical Tele and use a proper app for switching lenses.

The Moment 2x tele lens is small and light

Okay, with a price tag of more than 100,- USD the moment lens is a premium lens and it’s worth every cent of the price tag. The lens is made of high quality, 6 element, glass. Still, the lens is small and versatile so it fits into the pockets of your trousers or jacket. Here are the dimensions of the new 58mm Tele Lens:

  • Weight: 73.1g
  • Height: 27.58mm
  • Diameter: 39.5mm

The current Moment 58mm Tele lens is the third iteration of the lens and was released in 2018. The main differences between the old and the new Moment Tele are:

  • New mounting system (compared to the very first Moment Tele Lens). Gone are the days of attaching an adhesive plate to your iPhone. The lens now mounts to an affordable Moment mounting case that comes with a wrist strap mount. That alone is worth the money for the case.
  • The new lens has a slightly larger diameter of the mounting system.
  • It’s slightly bigger and the focal length is 58mm compared to 60mm of the old lens.

Here are two sample shots I took right after I got the first Moment 2x tele lens with my iPhone 6 back in 2015:

I applied a little sharpening to the following photo using Filterstorm Neue iTunes App Store Link.

Mounting the Moment 2x Tele Lens to your iPhone

The first Moment Tele lens required a small adhesive to be attached to your iPhone that had a bayonet mount to attach the lens to your iPhone. Those days are gone.

Today, Moment sells a number of affordable cases that are required to mount the Moment lenses to your iPhone.

I strongly encourage you to get one of those cases even if you don’t use a Moment lens simply because those cases have one essential feature for iPhone photographers that all other cases are lacking: You can attach a wrist strap to the case!

If you still have the mounting plate I can assure you that it will come off really easy. I removed the plate from a few iPhones (6, 6S, 7, 7plus) when I switched iPhone models. Just make sure to follow the guidelines in this video from Moment.

One word from personal experience, don't use the hairdryer at the hottest level. Use a moderate level that's still warm and try every other minute if you can already peel off the plate.

When to use the Moment 2x tele lens instead of the iPhone zoom lens.

If you have one of the latest iPhone models, you may wonder why using the Moment Tele still makes sense. The answer is: „aperture“ and „low light“.

The aperture controls how much light hits the sensor at once after you press the shutter release on your iPhone. The wide angle and tele lenses of iPhone have a different aperture. The aperture of the tele lens in your iPhone plus is smaller than the one of the wide angle lens.

Though the following is mathematically not exactly correct, you’ll get the idea.

As the aperture of the tele lens of the iPhone plus is smaller, less light hits the sensor. So your iPhone (or you if you use a camera app with manual controls) has to compensate for that by either lowering the shutter speed (approx. by cutting half exposure time) or by increasing (doubling) the light sensivity (ISO) of the iPhone camera sensor.

In a low light situation that would mean either a blurry shot (because you didn’t use a tripod) or a grainy and noisy shot because of high ISO.

Conclusion: In low light situations I recommend to use the Moment 2x tele lens mounted over the iPhone wide angle lens in favor of the built in zoom lens.

Combining the iPhone 2x tele with the Moment 58mm tele lens.

But there’s another benefit of using a Moment 58mm Tele lens with your iPhone: To get an almost 4x optical zoom

iPhone owners are probably happy to hear that using the new Moment cases your can mount the Moment 58 Tele lens right in front of your 2x iPhone plus tele lens giving you almost a 4x optical zoom! Here are two sample shots that I took of the Chrysler Building in New York from the Empire State Building. For the first one I only used the 2x tele of the iPhone 7 plus. For the second one I mounted the Moment 2x tele lens right in front of the iPhone 7plus 2x tele lens.

 
Chrysler Building photographed from “Top of the Rock” with iPhone 2x Zoom

Chrysler Building photographed from “Top of the Rock” with iPhone 2x Zoom

Chrysler Building photographed from “Top of the Rock” with iPhone 2x Zoom + Moment Tele using ProCamera App.

Chrysler Building photographed from “Top of the Rock” with iPhone 2x Zoom + Moment Tele using ProCamera App.

 

Note that this works best with objects that are really far away. If you use the combination of both lenses on a nearby object, the big aperture of f/1.8 of iPhone will cause blur at the edges of the photo. However, this is not a flaw of the Moment Lenses and simply due to the big aperture of f/1.8 of iPhone.

Note that can’t use the built in iPhone camera app for this setup. If you tap „2x“ in the iPhone camera app on your iPhone, the camera app decides by itself if it uses the optical lens or generates a 2x digitally zoomed photo. So you need a camera app like ProCamera (reviewed here) that allows you to manually switch to the 2x tele lens.

Here’s how to switch to the 2x tele lens in ProCamera:

  1. Tap the Hamburger navigation in the lower right corner
  2. Tap the tele icon in the lower toolbar.

Conclusion

Though the Moment 58mm tele lens is not cheap it’s a great lens for iPhone photographers no matter which iPhone you use for your photography.

  • For „single lens“ models it adds a 2x tele.
  • For iPhone plus X-series users, the ability to combine the 2x built in zoom with the Moment 58mm Tele lens is a great way to get an almost 4x optical zoom.
  • For iPhone plus or X-series users who want to take 2x zoomed photos in low light situations.

If you havent’ got a Moment Lens yet and think or buying one, you can get 10% off your first purchase from the Moment online shop by buying your Moment Lens through this link from the Moment online shop