Hands on: Adding a telephoto lens to the iPhone XR with Moment

Posted:
in iPhone edited July 31
The iPhone XR's camera takes great landscape, and wide angle portraits. But wouldn't it be better to have a telephoto zoom lens like its more expensive flagship, the iPhone XS?

iPhone XR with Moment Telephoto Lens and Wallet Case
iPhone XR with Moment Telephoto Lens and Wallet Case


On the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max you get two different focal lengths -- a regular wide lens, and a 2x telephoto lens, perfect for portraits. The Moment 58mm Telephoto lens can be used on your iPhone XR to achieve a 2x zoom.






While we're missing that second sensor, Moment's lens will not only get you that 2x zoom, it will actually make your telephoto shots look better than the iPhone XS's secondary shooter. With the lens, its using the iPhone XR's main camera sensor with a much lower aperture which will result in brighter, less grainy photos and natural looking bokeh without using Portrait Mode.

Take a moment

If you're not familiar with Moment, they've been producing these high quality lenses for the iPhone for several years now, and their V2 lenses have only gotten better. The exterior is made out of high quality aluminum, and the lenses themselves are hefty and feel good to hold. The lenses are also made out of high quality glass to give you the best image quality possible.

Moment also requires you to use their photo case -- which is how you attach the 58mm Telephoto lens to the phone. We like this concept because it allows us to use these Moment lenses with other phones, like an iPhone 6, 7 or 8 Plus, even the Pixel 3 from Google.

Moment Telephoto Lens
Moment Telephoto Lens


Third party lenses back in the early days were made out of plastic and didn't often use high quality glass with multi-coat so they weren't as sharp, and introduced chromatic aberration to the images. Fortunately, Moment doesn't do that. All of their lenses are made with the best materials and it shows.

Moment Telephoto Lens
Moment Telephoto Lens

It adds character to your photos

What makes the 58mm telephoto lens so great is the shots you're now able to get with the iPhone XR. Having a single wide camera is so limiting when you're looking to shoot portraits or you're looking for a more compressed shot. With the iPhone XS that's not really an issue, and the lack of secondary lens is what drew me away from buying the iPhone XR.

Wide (left), Moment Telephoto (right)
Wide (left), Moment Telephoto (right)


Portrait Mode looks great on the iPhone XR paired with the Moment 58mm lens, shots are more compressed, and I love how sharp the photos are even though we're adding another layer of glass on top of the lens.

Wide (left), Moment Telephoto (right) - Portrait Mode
Wide (left), Moment Telephoto (right) - Portrait Mode

New iPhone and more cameras

September is right around the corner, and we're hearing that the new "iPhone 11R" -- or whatever they wind up calling it -- will apparently add a secondary shooter to its more budget friendly iPhone. So, not having a secondary lens may be a thing in the past once these new iPhones are announced.

But, if you're not in the market to upgrade your iPhone just yet, picking up a Moment lens won't be such a bad idea, and it's an inexpensive way to add a secondary lens to your iPhone XR.

Pick up the 58mm Telephoto lens direct from Moment for $120. Don't forget to pick up a case as well, including those from Moment or Nomad's Rugged Case.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,992member
    I’ve got Moments lenses, and they’re not bad. But I guess it’s all relative. Even a 12MP sensor can use a better lens.

    the problem here is that you have to use one of their cases. It’s not that the cases are bad—they’re not. But now your're stuck with it. If there’s something else you’d prefer, tough, because if you want to carry these small lenses, as I sometimes do, then you have to have the case. It’s not their fault, of course, because the lens has to be attached somehow, and no company has found a perfect solution.

    I've often dreamed that Apple would change the lens system and offer a tiny bayonet on the front, even if it were an accessory that would screw into the front of the lens somehow. Then every manufacturer could have their lens either screw or bayonet on. Every case would fit, and Paradise would exist.

    but it’s too much to really hope for.
    edited July 31 caladanian
  • Reply 2 of 6
    caladaniancaladanian Posts: 123member
    melgross said:
    I’ve got Moments lenses, and they’re not bad. But I guess it’s all relative. Even a 12MP sensor can use a better lens.

    the problem here is that you have to use one of their cases. It’s not that the cases are bad—they’re not. But now your're stuck with it. If there’s something else you’d prefer, tough, because if you want to carry these small lenses, as I sometimes do, then you have to have the case. It’s not their fault, of course, because the lens has to be attached somehow, and no company has found a perfect solution.

    I've often dreamed that Apple would change the lens system and offer a tiny bayonet on the front, even if it were an accessory that would screw into the front of the lens somehow. Then every manufacturer could have their lens either screw or bayonet on. Every case would fit, and Paradise would exist.

    but it’s too much to really hope for.
    I’m also happy with my 4 Moment lenses (wide, tele, anamorphic and macro) and would love a bayonet by Apple, too!
  • Reply 3 of 6
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,992member
    melgross said:
    I’ve got Moments lenses, and they’re not bad. But I guess it’s all relative. Even a 12MP sensor can use a better lens.

    the problem here is that you have to use one of their cases. It’s not that the cases are bad—they’re not. But now your're stuck with it. If there’s something else you’d prefer, tough, because if you want to carry these small lenses, as I sometimes do, then you have to have the case. It’s not their fault, of course, because the lens has to be attached somehow, and no company has found a perfect solution.

    I've often dreamed that Apple would change the lens system and offer a tiny bayonet on the front, even if it were an accessory that would screw into the front of the lens somehow. Then every manufacturer could have their lens either screw or bayonet on. Every case would fit, and Paradise would exist.

    but it’s too much to really hope for.
    I’m also happy with my 4 Moment lenses (wide, tele, anamorphic and macro) and would love a bayonet by Apple, too!
    I don’t have the anamorphic. I couldn’t figure out what I would use it for. It tends to destroy detail the further you go out to the ends as it compresses, and then expands the image.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    The 1x lens on an iPhone is NOT a "normal" lens. It is 26mm equivalent. That is wide-angle lens. The 2x lens is 52mm equivalent. That is a "normal" lens.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 308member
    I was an early Moment customer - back then, they didn't have a case.  Instead, the lenses came with a narrow metal plate that glued directly to your phone and had a cutout for the camera lens.  The Moment lens then screwed onto the cutout with a quarter turn.  The plate was thin enough so that you could still use most 3rd-party cases over it.  And when you got a new phone, you could just buy a new base plate and keep using the lens.  It worked well and, even then, the camera felt luxurious in its weight and apparent quality.  

    But the problem for me - and I suspect many people - had really nothing to do with the lens itself.  It was that I usually never had the lens on me when I needed it!  It's not big at all, but most people wouldn't carry that lens in their jeans pocket.  Sort of the same story as SLR camera versus relatively primitive phone cameras: the *best* phone is the one you have on you, not the one with the best specs.
  • Reply 6 of 6
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,992member
    The 1x lens on an iPhone is NOT a "normal" lens. It is 26mm equivalent. That is wide-angle lens. The 2x lens is 52mm equivalent. That is a "normal" lens.
    A normal lens is whatever most people are using. This changes with time. Don’t use old standards.
Sign In or Register to comment.