'Moment' Lenses Aim to Improve Mobile Phone Photography

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We recently reported on the 40 percent plunge in digital camera sales thanks to the rise of smartphone usage. But my biggest issue with smartphone photography, aside from image sensor size, comes down to glass. The lens and (not digital) zooming options are pretty limited, which makes sense -- iOS and Android devices want to be a sleek and compact as possible.

Given this trend, it's no surprise companies like Sony are creating products like the QX10 and QX100 -- ones that enhance rather than replace the smartphone. A similar, more affordable option comes from a new startup lens company called Moment.

Moment has designed two new lenses for iPhones, iPads, and Galaxy smartphones, and are currently trying to raise funds on Kickstarter to begin production. The first is the Moment Wide, which features a .63x magnification ratio with less than 1 pixel of chromatic aberration at the edge of frame, and an 18mm equivalent focal length on the iPhone 5S (19mm on the Galaxy S4). Second, the Moment Tele has a 2x magnification ratio with less than 1 pixel of chromatic aberration at the edge of frame, and an 58mm equivalent focal length on the iPhone 5S (62mm on the Galaxy S4).

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To use either the Moment Wide or Moment Tele, users will attach a metal plate, one "thinner than a credit card", to the back of their smartphones with a rubberized an adhesives. The lenses then connect using a bayonet-design mounting interface that "rotates and stops the lens in place."

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Each lens also comes with a cloth sleeve to protect your lens when its not in use. Below you will see three examples of the lenses in use. Please note the original files were much bigger and compressed when Moment loaded them into Kickstarter -- the intention is more to demonstrate focal length than image quality.

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I'm sure you're saying to yourself, "don't companies like Photojojo already has these types of lens accessories available?" Yes, they do, along with a lot of other cool products, including the Sony QX Series. However, Moment responds by saying not only is its lens glass is better, but also that its metal mounting plate and bayonet-design mounting interface can still be used with (some) protective smartphone cases. That should be good news to, ahem, the clumsy amongst us people just like me.


If you want to pre-order either Moment lens for your iPhone, iPad, or Galaxy Phone, OR if you want to see some more sample images, head over to Kickstarter where the lenses are $49 each. Moment has already surpassed its $50,000 fundraising goals, and expects to deliver the Moment Tele and Moment Wide lenses in June of this year. I'm definitely thinking of checking these out.

Sources: Recode.net / Moment