July 7, 2017

Review: Moment Wide M-series lens.

By far my favorite lens accessory for the iPhone has been the Moment Wide M-series. This add-on lens converts the iPhone’s wide lens into an 18mm super-wide, a really useful length for shooting landscapes and architecture. What makes the Wide exceptional is not just the excellent quality and design of the optics, but also the superior coatings, which add a natural-looking crispness that’s missing from most mobile camera pix.

Moment Wide M-series lens performance.

The Moment Wide lens sets a new standard for mobile photography. As you can see in the un-retouched photo at the top of the article, everything is more crisp and clear than you’d expect from a phone cam. There’s no loss of light so the exposure is identical with or without the lens. As with the original Wide, the Wide M-series is superbly corrected for the barrel distortion (lines bowed outward) you usually see on super-wide lenses. For closer inspection, download the original full-size image “Link to full size image shot with the Moment Wide M-series lens on iPhone”.


The only real negative I’ve discovered with the Wide M-series is occasional lens flare in the bottom corner of images when the light source is on the side at roughly 90º to the lens. This is likely the result of strong (but not necessarily direct) light hitting the bigger, more-protruding, convex lens element where it sticks out beyond the petals of the lens housing. Not an issues in most images, but worthy of mention.


Moment got off to a rocky start, mounting the original wide lens on previous iPhones with a stick-on, pressed-metal bracket and later a pricey case (that was overkill for most of us.) The new cases have finally been reduced in thickness so they’re pocketable and the new universal mount allows you to put the lens on most phones without a case.

This is NOT a toy.

It’s not that every other brand of lenses for the iPhone are just novelty playthings. True, most are and some of these lesser lenses are made a plastic (rather than metal and glass) while others are of primitive design or have no coatings. Moment has set the bar so high, even lenses from the well-known gourmet glass companies pale. Nothing came close to the original Moment Wide O-series before. The Moment Wide M-series, still appears to be unrivaled.

Don’t buy used Moment O-series lenses. A bit of warning here: The built-in lenses in phones have gotten bigger over time, and the old O-series lenses started vignetting and losing focus. They’re just not designed for the newer cameras. Even if you have an old mobile phone, the mounts and cases for the old O-series are no longer available. It’s best to buy new to assure you’re getting the superior glass of the M-series and a lens that works with your phone.

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