Review: Moment Wide Lens (18mm, latest Version)

The Moment Wide Angle Lens filled a gap that I had since I turned to iPhone photography in 2012. When I still used a DSLR, I used a 16mm wide-angle lens especially for landscape photography.

A few months after I turned to iPhone Photography, the first wide angle lenses for the iPhone hit the market. But they were bad. Especially the wide angle lenses suffered from notable blur at the edges of the frame.

Then I read about a new wide angle lens for iPhone on Kickstarter that was made by a company named Moment and I backed it and never regretted it.

After a few years, Moment released a new and improved second iteration of their wide angle lens. Moment simple calls it the New Wide Angle Lens.

I've been using the Moment wide angle lens for almost 5 years now and took 1000s of photos with it. I don't want to miss it and here is why.

Sample Photos taken with the Moment Wide Angle Lens on iPhone

Here are three sample photos I took in Iceland and Yosemite that clearly demonstrate the power of the Wide Lens.

Moments touts that the Wide Angle Lens will allow you to capture 2x more image of a scene. While I didn't precisely measure that, you can judge for yourself:

Gulfoss, Iceland, without Moment wide lens

Gulfoss, Iceland, without Moment wide lens

Tunnel view without Moment wide angle lens

Tunnel view without Moment wide angle lens

Gulfoss, Iceland, with Moment wide lens

Gulfoss, Iceland, with Moment wide lens

Tunnel view with Moment wide anglelens.

Tunnel view with Moment wide anglelens.

I've also published a blog post in which I photographed the same scene using all the three Moment Lenses I have plus the built-in wide an angle lens. So you can compare how much of a scene you can capture with different Moment Lenses

Moment Wide Lens V1 vs V2

I've updated this review to match the second iteration of the new moment lens that's also called. There are a few things that have changed between the two versions of the lens.

Compared to the original wide-angle lens, the new one is slightly bigger and a little more substantial. But still, the Moment Wide Lens is small and light:

  • Diameter: 1.56 inch / 39.5mm (roughly the size of a dollar coin)
  • Height: 1.13 inch / 28.7 mm
  • Weight: 0.17 pound / 76.2 g

What's also new with the new Moment Wide Angle Lens is the mounting system.

Gone are the days when you needed to attach a small plate with an adhesive to your iPhone and need to make sure it's perfectly aligned with the iPhone lens (because otherwise, you'd get dark corners).

Moment now makes and sells affordable, protective, cases with an integrated bayonet mount for attaching all lenses to your iPhone. Moreover, the Moment iPhone cases have a great feature that I was looking for since I turned to iPhone photography: You can attach a wrist strap to those cases. So even if you don't use a Moment lens, such a case is a good investment. Check out my review of the Moment Cases in the blog.

The new wide-angle lens from Moment is a lens made of multi-element aspherical glass in a metal housing - just like a big lens for DSLRs. Photos taken with this lens will have edge-to-edge clarity, unlike many other smartphone lenses that add notable blurriness to the edges of your photo.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Moment Wide Lens

I've tested a number of wide lenses for iPhone but I keep returning to the Moment lenses because:

  • Quality & Durability: Moment lens is made of real, cinema grade, multi coated glass. I've used the new Moment Wide Lens 1000s of times since I got it. I even dropped it once. It still works.
  • Mounting System: Compared to all those clips and slide on thingies, the Bayonet mount is super easy and ensures your Moment Lens is properly aligned with the iPhone lens.
  • It's sharper than expected. I've seen other iPhone lenses with degraded sharpness towards the edges.
  • Lines stay straight: There's no distortion or in other words: Straight lines stay straight.

However, there's also one disadvantage: If you've mounted an external lens, you can't use the internal flash. But that's a problem that all iPhone lenses have. The flash is very close to the lens so that any external lens basically covers it.

The Moment Wide Angle lens comes in a decent, small, box and included a front lens cap and a pouch for carrying your lens.

Using the Moment Wide Angle Lens

The new Moment Wide lens requires the use of a special mounting case that works for all new Moment lenses. No more sticking plates to your iPhone.

If this is your first Moment lens, it may feel a little fiddly to mount the lens to the cast. Since I have done it roughly a 1000 times, here's a little tip that makes mounting any Moment lens to the case a little easier:

  • Hold your iPhone in landscape format.
  • Look for the 18mm label on your wide-angle lens and make sure it's pointing upwards
  • Plug the lens to the bayonet connector and turn it to the left.

This wide lens for iPhone works great for landscape photography and when capturing cityscapes. Using a wide lens on iPhone makes e.g. landscapes look more vast. It pushes back the background and captures more of the scene to the left and right. This way, you could even make the smallest backyard look like a park. I think the following two photos demonstrate quite well what I mean:

Tunnel view in Yosemite photographed with Moment Wide Angle Lens

Tunnel view in Yosemite photographed with Moment Wide Angle Lens

Tunnel view in Yosemite photographed without Moment Wide Angle Lens

Tunnel view in Yosemite photographed without Moment Wide Angle Lens

How do you clean Moment Lenses?

In general, you should clean the Moment lens like any other lens. Back in my DSLR era, I had a lens pen and a small air blower. Moment has a Lens Pen that perfectly works with the Moment lenses and allows you to clean the front lens and the back glass. You can get the proper Lens Pen either directly from Moment or buy the Lens pen from Amazon.

And if you're looking for an air blower, a search for Air Blower Lens on Amazon will give you dozens of options. I still use the one that I have from my DSLR era and it's from a no-name brand.

Finally, when you clean your lens, I recommend to clean it in circles from the center outwards.

Conclusion and recommendation for the Moment Wide Lens

I don't have any complaints about the Moment Wide Angle lens. Really. I carried and used the original and the new wide-angle lenses on many trips from Iceland to Italy and from Spain to Ukraine. I just love it.

Though the lens may seem a little pricey at $99 + $20 for the case; rest assured: It's worth every cent.

Meanwhile, I've also purchased the Moment Tele Lens and the Moment Superfish Lens and all three of those lenses perfectly perform outstanding and, most importantly, are still small, so they fit into the pocket of any jacket. It doesn't get more convenient than that.

Where to buy the Moment Wide Lens

If you're convinced, now is the perfect time to [get your Moment Wide If you're convinced, now is the perfect time to get your Wide Lens from the Moment online shop or, alternatively, buy the Moment Wide Lens from Amazon.

Here’s a list of all the Moment iPhone Lenses I recommend and use. You’ll find reviews of all of those Moment Lenses in the blog.

And now, let's take some fantastic wide-angle iPhone photos together.