Photographers, both hobbyists and professionals, fall into a trap. A very expensive trap. They find new, exciting gear and spend a lot of money on it. Most equipment nowadays should have some substantial staying power, but the thrill of a new toy always makes me anxious. That's what happened when I learned about Moment lenses.
I forced myself to allow a desired new piece of gear to live on a wish list for a month and a half. I received the wide angle variant as a gift from my wife for Christmas. A week later I took it to the beach on New Year's Day to give it a quick test. I was impressed with the results! I had always felt the field of view on the iPhone was a bit too narrow for my liking, so the wide angle (an 18mm equivalent) was a nice figurative step back.
I worked with Steven Scott Foster on a video unboxing you can find on YouTube, so I wont get into the how-to stuff here. I do, however, want to give my thoughts on what I like, don't like, and why I think this product makes sense for me.
- The mounting bracket could be smaller. I say this because when removing my Apple iPhone case (which is compatible, per Moment), the corners of the bracket seem to catch on the case. I'd like to feel a little more confident the bracket won't rip off along with the case. I'd suggest one that doesn't go to the edge of the phone.
- Dust is now a problem. The protruding lens on the iPhone 6s Plus (and previous iterations) had a protruding lens that almost guaranteed a cleaning when I pulled it from my pocket. The bracket extends beyond the lens now and catches lint. Steven suggested some sort of cap for the phone's lens which isn't a bad idea.
- There's a bit of distortion when photographing at angles. This is even more apparent when the wide angle has a subject close. objects in the background adopt strange curves.
- You won't be putting your phone in your pocket with the lens on. It's just too bulky. The larger issue here is that photos with the lens need to be planned. I've become accustomed to quickly pulling my phone out of my pocket for a snapshot.
- The build quality is great. The lens has a nice weight on it, but it doesn't make you feel like you're lugging you're phone around when attached. I'm confident a drop from my hand won't break the casing (just please not on the glass. Please!).
- My phone is always on me. My DSLR is too large to carry in many circumstances. And they say the best camera is the one you have with you. This is also a testament to the great camera the iPhone 6s Plus has on board.
- Field of view. In many cases having a wider field of view is beneficial, particularly for the landscape/outdoor stuff I've been doing recently. Adding more content within the frame is what I'd like to see.
- This is the best option available. At $100, the barrier to entry is little larger than some other products, but I've used competing products and am convinced this is the best.
The reason this lens is the best is because it will help you compose better images. This will not make your images sharper, which is what many reviews tend to forget to mention. But, when considering you're adding another filter in front of the camera's sensor, the images produced are sharp! Moment has released a ton of accessories and cases that I may solve some of the cons mentioned above. But, for the person who is excited about mobile photography the basic set up should have them off and to the races sooner rather than later.