Moment Lens aims to solve one of the weaknesses of the iPhone 6 camera. The built-in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus camera takes great shots, but users sometimes struggle to get a wide shots for beautiful landscapes. It’s also hard to get everyone in a group shot when they’re too close to their subjects in a small room. At other times, iPhone 6 photographers can’t get close enough to take good shots. Cropping their photos in such cases will degrade image sharpness and quality.
Olloclip made one of the best accessories for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, putting a macro lens and a wide-angle lens over the built-in lens on the iPhone 6. So we’ll compare the Moment Lens to the more popular Olloclip. Should buyers go with the better known Olloclip or try this competitor product from Moment?
Quality of Moment Lens Shots
The iPhone 6 camera takes great shots. Below, we offer a baseline shot of a field near our local community college with a barn in the distance. I took this using the iPhone 6 Plus and HDR turned on. The shots below come without any editing.
These samples show the difference between straight iPhone 6 Plus camera shots (above) without either of the Moment Lenses and with each of them installed (the two below). The shot above shows a bit of my shadow, the whole tree trunk and a building on the horizon on the right side of the shot.
Look at the shot below with the wide-angle 18mm Moment Lens installed. It shows more of my shadow, more of the scene to the left of the tree and to the right of the building on the horizon. Also we get more of the tree’s branches and leaves above the trunk.
Notice the 60mm zoom lens from Moment below shows only half the tree trunk, none of my shadow and you can’t even see the building. We also can see the barn better in this shot thanks to the zoom.
All of these shots look good. Adding the lenses doesn’t harm the image quality. The zoom lens creates a narrower depth of field, blurring the tree trunk slightly, but that’s typical in zoom lenses with a wide aperture like the iPhone 6 Plus camera’s built-in lens.
Below, take a look at similar sample shots taken with the iPhone 6 Plus camera set to HDR in landscape instead of portrait. The first shows the shot with the 60mm zoom lens installed.
The lens doesn’t diminish the quality. Compared to the shot below, taken without a lens installed, the shot still looks good. The colors still look faithful to the scene and we get a good exposure. The wider shot below shows more of the sky, so the camera compensated and the HDR feature darkened the blue in the sky. The shot below looks richer, but the above shot still looks great. The Moment Lens doesn’t affect image quality.
The show below shows the same scene with the 18mm wide-angle Moment Lens. Notice the corners. They give us a bit of a shadow. That happened with all the shots taken with the 18mm Moment Lens.
To correct corner shadows, crop the shot with an image editor or add some vignette effect to darken the corners and edges so it’s not as noticeable. On a landscape like this cropping works best because vignette can look strange.
The 60mm Moment Lens brings us closer to the action. Notice the shot of the tennis courts taken below. My son plays tennis for his high school and I often can’t get close enough to capture the action with my iPhone. This shot shows what those kinds of pictures will look like without the lens. I took the both shots through the windshield of my Honda CRV.
Without the zoom lens, the shot includes the dash and hood and we get more reflection from the window. Here’s another shot taken from within my car from the same vantage point but with the 60mm Moment Lens installed on my iPhone 6 Plus. This will bring the camera closer to the action this Spring when tennis seasons starts up again.
Moment Lens Comparison to Olloclip
The Olloclip, which we reviewed earlier, and these Moment Lenses differ in significant ways. First, the Olloclip 4-in-1 lens kit offers macro capability. A macro lens helps a photographer take extreme close-up shots, with the lens just centimeters from the subject while still creating detailed shots. Normal lenses don’t do a good job of taking sharp images up close.
I took the shot above using one of the Moment Lenses just centimeters away from the cloth carrying bag that comes with the 60mm Moment Lens. The bag protects the lens and the user can also polish off the lens with the cloth. The shot looks blurry because the Moment Lens isn’t a macro lens. By comparison, look at the Olloclip shot below taken just centimeters away from the table.
I took this shot of some pepper spilled on my table using the 15x macro lens on the Olloclip for iPhone 6.
Olloclip also offers a case that iPhone photographers can get to hold the lens on the iPhone 6 Plus. By comparison, the Moment Lenses attach to a black strip that sticks to the back of the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus with adhesive (see below). This looks ugly and the user can’t remove it and apply it again easily. This alone makes the Moment Lens system less attractive to users.
Moment announced a Kickstarter campaign offering a case (see below) to use with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus that will hold the Moment Lenses like the Olloclip case does for that system. One can back the case alone for $49. They estimate it will ship in June 2015. Back the campaign for $125 and you get one of the two lenses with the case. Get both lenses and a case for $200 or a higher quality wood case plus the lenses for $300. These cases only fit the iPhone 6 and NOT the iPhone 6 Plus.
Because the Moment Lens doesn’t offer macro capability and uses this ugly mounting system, why would anyone choose Moment over Olloclip? The 60mm zoom lens makes the Moment Lens system appealing. The 4-in-1 Olloclip kit we reviewed doesn’t include a zoom lens. Olloclip does sell a 2X zoom lens that also adds a circular polarizer for $99.99. A circular polarizer creates deeper colors, giving more attractive blues in skies or richer colors in general. To get the 4-in-1 kit with wide-angle and macro lenses plus the zoom lens with circular polarizer from Olloclip, buyers must pay $170 for both kits. Each Moment Lens costs $100, which totals $200 to get both. Moment offers a 15% discount on a customer’s first order bringing the price down to the same $170 for both lenses if the buyer gets them on their first order.
Which Lens Should iPhone 6 Photographers Buy?
The Moment Lenses work well and help users take great shots. If Olloclip didn’t exist, we’d recommend the Moment Lens without hesitation. However, Olloclip offers a more versatile system for the same price with a better mounting system. Use the Olloclip case or just snap the lenses onto the phone when they’re needed. So, get the Olloclip lenses. iPhone photographers will enjoy Olloclip more.