Review: The Moment Superfish Lens, a Fisheye Lens for iPhone
Just in time for my urban exploration trip to Leipzig, Germany, the postman brought a shiny new lens for my iPhone: The Moment Superfish lens. During this trip to Leipzig, I tried the lens indoor at the abandoned town pool hall and outdoor to photograph an abandoned church ruin near Leipzig.
Before we continue, here are a few edited sample photos I took with this lens. More about the editing process a little later in this post.
Er, what’s a fisheye lens?
In simple words, a fisheye lens is a very (very) wide angle lens that has an almost 180-degree angle of view compared to a standard wide angle lens that just has a 60 to 80 degree angle of view. So, with a fisheye lens you can basically capture more of a scene.
I thought about buying a fisheye lens over and over when I still used a DSLR, but I just couldn’t convince myself to get one back then for two reasons:
- Photos taken with a fisheye lens will most likely show an effect called bent lines.
- Because of that effect using a fisheye lens would have required some additional post processing - unless you like the "bubble view" (which I don't)
But things have changed with iPhone photography. First, a fisheye lens for iPhone is way cheaper than for a DSLR and you can do the necessary post processing to fix bent lines quickly right on your iPhone.
This was the reason I gave the Moment fisheye lens a try.
So, here are two examples of those bent lines thing I’ve been talking about. Note that bent lines are not an error of the Moment lens. You’ll get that effect with each sand every fisheye lens you would use - independently of the camera.
In those two photos you can see that the usually straight, horizontal, lines of horizontal and the vertical lines of the building are bent around the center of the frame. In the second photo you can see the same effect especially on the walls and the pillars. They’re bent, too.
But luckily, with iPhone and SKRWT app (reviewed here) you can fix that effect in less that 10 seconds right from your camera roll. Here are the two shots above after I ran them through SKRWT (and cropped to a square format).
What’s in the box?
The Moment fisheye lens consists, like all the other lenses from Moment, of glass lenses in a metal housing and it has a small bayonet mount for use with Moment phone cases. It comes with a small carrying pouch and a lens cap (Thanks Moment that you include the lens caps and I don’t have to order it separately).
Mounting the Moment Superfish Lens to your iPhone
Moment has changed the way of mounting their lenses to iPhone. Previously you had to attach a small plate to your iPhone with an adhesive.
Instead, Moment created and sells affordable cases (Read my opinion about the Moment cases here) for use with their lenses. The cases come with an additional bonus: you can add a wrist strap! I’ve been wanting for such a case with a wrist strap ever since I started with iPhone photography! It just feels a little more secure.
Here’s a little hint for mounting the Moment lenses to the case so you don’t have to fiddle around:
- Hold your iPhone with the case mounted in landscape mode
- Find the „170“ label on the fisheye lens and make sure it‘s at the top
- Put the lens in the bayonet mount and turn the lens 90 degrees to the left.
If you have a dual lens iPhone like a “plus” model or an iPhone X, the Superfish lens goes over the wide angle lens.
Tips for shooting with a fisheye lens
A fisheye lens works great for landscape photography but also for cityscapes, buildings and indoor photography. I loved using it during my photo session in the abandoned town pool hall in Leipzig! To get the best results with your fisheye lens and iPhone, keep the following in mind:
- The bent lines effect will be stronger towards the edges of your photo.
- If you tilt your iPhone in any direction while using the superfish lens the bent lines effect will be even stronger.
- The closer you are to your subject, the stronger the effect will be.
How to fix bent lines using SKRWT
SKRWT is my favorite app for fixing all kinds of perspective distortions right on iPhone. Check out my full review of SKRWT here.
SKRWT has a special mode for fixing bent lines that occur with any fisheye lens. Once you’ve purchased SKRWT you can launch it right from the iOS photos app (if you’re shopping JPG)
- Tap the photo you want to load into SKRWT to view it full screen
- Tap „edit“ at the top of the screen
- At the bottom of the screen tap the „...“ icon and you should see SkRWT
If the app is not visible, swipe left in the toolbar shown in the screen below and tap the last icon with the three dots. Here you may need to enable SKRWT.
Alternatively, launch SKRWT and open the photo right in SKRWT as outlined in the SKRWT review.
Once you‘ve loaded your photo into SKRWT, locate the fisheye button at the bottom. You‘ll see 4 different options to choose from. I work mainly with the first and the third option.
Now drag the slider until the bent lines are perfectly straight. If necessary, switch to the vertical distortion fix and make your shot upright. Once you're satisfied, press the checkmark. If you've launched SKRWT from the camera roll you need to press the checkmark once more to indicate that you're finished editing. If you launched SKRWT directly, don't forget to save your photo to the camera roll.
My Conclusion about the Moment Superfish Lens
I'm really happy I finally got myself this fisheye lens. Though it requires a bit of post processing, it really helps to capture even more of a scene.
Don't forget that you'll need a Moment case to mount the lens. I've reviewed the Moment cases here in the blog and don’t forget to get SKRWT app (iTunes Link) to fix all those perspective distortions.