Review: Moment Wide Lens (18mm, latest Version)
The Moment Wide Angle Lens filled a gap 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.
Comparison shots taken with the iPhone wide lens and the Moment wide lens.
Here are three sample photos I took in Slovakia, Iceland, and Yosemite that clearly demonstrate the power of the Moment Wide Lens.
Moments touts that the Wide Angle Lens will allow you to capture 2x more of a scene. While I didn't precisely measure that, you can judge for yourself from these sample photos:
Reasons to use a wide angle lens
Moment markets the wide lens with the phrase "to capture more of a scene". While this is totally true, there's another, often neglected reason to use a wide angle lens.
As you can see from the sample photos above, a wide lens also pushes back the background and makes the use scene look more vast, bigger and in some cases more dramatic.
And that not only works in landscape photography but also if you take photos inside a bulding like a church. Try it, you'll be surprised how huge you can make a church look using a wide lens.
Moment wide lens and different iPhone models
Older iPhone models up to the iPhone XS only had a standard wide angle lens and the Moment lens enabled us iPhone photographers to truly capture more of a scene.
But the iPhone 11 ships with a new ultra wide lens that captures even more than the Moment wide lens. During the past few days, I got a number of emails, messages and comments on Facebook asking, if we'd still need the Moment Wide Lens with the iPhone 11.
Your mileage may vary, but for me, the answer is yes. I still will use the Moment wide lens for the following reasons:
- The iPhone 11 ultra wide lens is 13mm while the Moment wide lens is 18mm. So the moment wide lens is a focal length that is in between the standard wide lens and the ultra wide lens. There may still be scenarios where I'll want/need to use the Moment lens.
- If you're into night photography with iPhone and plan to use the iPhone 11 night mode, you should know that night mode only works with the 1x lens of iPhone. So with the Moment wide lens, you can take wider photos at night using iPhone 11 night mode.
That said, let's look at the Moment Wide lens and its performance.
Difference between the Moment Wide Lens V1 vs V2
I've updated this review to match the second iteration of the new moment lens. There are a few things that have changed between the two versions of the lens.
Size and weight of the Moment Wide Lens V2
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
New Mounting System for the Moment Wide Lens V2
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 in the past 5 years. 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 notably degraded sharpness towards the edges. Not so the Moment wide lens.
- Lines stay straight: There's no distortion towards the edges or in other words: Straight lines stay straight.
However, there's also one disadvantage: If you've mounted an Moment wide 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 built in lens so that any external lens basically covers it.
What’s inside the box of the Moment Wide Angle Lens.
The Moment Wide Angle lens comes in a decent, small, box and includes a front lens cap and a pouch for carrying it.
How to attach the Moment Wide Lens to your iPhone
The new Moment Wide lens (V2) requires the use of a special mounting case that works for all new Moment lenses. No more sticking plates on your iPhone.
If this is your first Moment lens, it may feel a little fiddly to mount the lens to the case. 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.
How to 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.
Finally, when you clean your lens, I recommend to clean it in circles from the center outwards.
Conclusion and recommendation
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 and I will even keep using it though I've already upgraded to an iPhone 11 for the reasons outlined above.
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 Fisheye Lens and all three of those lenses perform really well and, most importantly, all of them are small, so they fit perfectly into the pocket of any jacket.
It doesn't get more convenient than this.