Mobile photography has never been more exciting. Smartphones and tablets are shipping with better sensors while mobile apps such as ProCapture, Snapseed and VSCO Cam are improving the software experience for shooting, editing and sharing.
Many photographers yearn for the ability to change lenses, however, as they would with a traditional DSLR or compact system camera. Moment is trying to tackle this problem with a collection of mobile lenses for Android and iOS devices. Today, it’s launching a crowdfunding campaign for the first two, called the Moment Wide and Tele, on Kickstarter. Lenses are attached with a metal plate that latches onto the back of your chosen device. It sounds inelegant, although Moment says the plate will be thin enough that you can use it with or without a case. Both lenses are then locked into place with a bayonet mechanism, creating a sturdy, reliable mount for a variety of different shooting conditions.
The Moment Wide, as the name suggests, is a wide-angle lens that brings more of the photographer’s surroundings into the frame. It isn’t wide enough to be a fisheye or distort the photo in any way, but this pint-sized piece of glass should have a noticeable impact on landscape shots.
The Moment Tele, on the other hand, will give you a closer look at your subject without resorting to digital zoom or cropping tools in an editing app. In situations where you can’t move closer, for instance at a football game, wedding or concert, this could be a life-saver.
For now, Moment is only developing its lenses for the following devices; iPhone 4S and higher; Samsung Galaxy S2, S3 and S4; iPad 2, third and fourth generation. The startup says it’s still prototyping mounts for the iPad and Galaxy handsets, but will have them ready for backers at launch.
Moment isn’t the first company to offer smartphone owners interchangeable lenses. Olloclip has already established itself among the photography community, although its range of fisheye, wide-angle and macro lenses only support the iPhone at this point in time. There are some Android options too, such as Photojojo, so it’s fair to say Moment has its work cut out.
To do just that, it’s focusing on image quality:
“Moment lenses capture previously unattainable image quality. We optimized multi-element designs using the same recipe in designing professional cinema glass for HD film. We then fabricated the lens elements in the same high precision optical manufacturing facilities that produce lenses for 4K cinema. We believe we are the first company to integrate such high end glass into mobile lenses.”
You can reserve either lens for $49 on the Kickstarter page, or take both with limited-run materials for $199. A $299 tier is also available for a developer program, which will give you early access to new lenses and handset mounts, as well as two one-to-one calls with the team.