Review: Moment 58mm Tele Lens (2018 Version)
I originally wrote this review of the Moment Tele Lens back in 2015. A few things changed since then, except one: The Moment Tele is still a great telephoto lens for iPhone photographers, and it's one of the three Moment Lenses I use regularly.
Here are some sample photos I shot using different iPhone models and different versions of the Moment Tele Lens (click for a larger view):
In 2018, Moment released the latest version of their Telephoto Lens, now called "Moment 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 several good reasons to invest in the Moment Tele lens. For example, in low light situations or to get an almost 4x optical zoom if you pair the Moment telephoto with the optical telephoto and use an app like ProCamera app for switching lenses.
The Moment 58mm Tele Lens is small and light
Okay, with a price tag of around 100,- USD the moment lens is a premium lens, but 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 telephoto lens 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 somewhat bigger, and the focal length is 58mm compared to 60mm of the old lens.
Mounting the Moment Tele Lens to your iPhone
The first Moment Tele lens required a small adhesive plate 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 several 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 Tele lens instead of the iPhone zoom lens?
If you have one of the latest iPhone models, you may wonder why using the Moment telephoto lens 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 different apertures. 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 precisely correct, you'll get the idea.
As the aperture of the telephoto 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 sensitivity (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.
So, In low light situations, I use the Moment 2x tele lens mounted over the iPhone wide-angle lens instead of the built-in zoom lens.
Combining the iPhone Tele with the Moment 58mm Tele Lens
But there's another benefit of using a Moment 58mm Tele lens with your iPhone: You get an almost 4x optical zoom.
iPhone owners are probably happy to hear that using the new Moment cases you can mount the Moment 58mm Tele Lens over your 2x iPhone 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.
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 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 only due to the f/1.8 aperture 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 that allows you to switch to the 2x tele lens manually.
Here's how to switch to the 2x tele lens in ProCamera:
- Tap the Hamburger navigation in the lower right corner
- Tap the tele icon in the lower toolbar.
Though the Moment 58mm telephoto lens is not cheap, it's an excellent lens for iPhone photographers no matter which iPhone you use for your photography.
- For "single lens "models it adds a 2x telephoto lens.
- If you have one of the newer two-lens iPhone models, 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.
Here are all the Reviews of the Moment Lenses I use with my iPhone: