Lenses Moment Tele mini review

Discussion in 'Gear talk' started by Ade, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. Actually, more of a first impression than a full review...

    So, that was quick, all the way from China...


    First impression is that it is very solidly made. Quite a heft to it. A quick panic on seeing dust in the mechanism was resolved by getting the blower out - the dust was on the recessed rear element I couldn't get a cloth to.


    The mounting plate was very easy to mount - no drama there. It would sit happily inside any case with a bit of flex/silicone in the mix. The bayonet is a little difficult to site but once in place turns the requisite 90 degrees easily and sits firmly. The lens hood is big enough that you can put your phone down screen-side-up and the lens won't get rested on or scratched.

    So what do the photos look like...

    Actually, I am quite impressed. There seems to be no diminution in sharpness in the centre and most of the way across the frame. But let's be reasonable, this is a phone lens add-on that cost $99 (plus all the hidden US sales taxes and shipping). It is less sharp at the edges - in a way that really doesn't matter to me. It might even be a bonus.

    In field of view, it is noticeably narrower and gives the compression that comes with that, which I like.

    There is maybe some chromatic aberration but, as I am not an expert, I cannot tell how much this differs from the situation without the lens.

    To show the impact of the lens, I thought a comparison would be useful. These photos are straight out of the iPhone 6S with no processing - just reduced in size for posting here. First up, a landscape...

    The top image has no lens. Note the wide field of view and the quite small bench in the background. The second photo has the lens. A much larger bench - and some swirly bokeh in the back. There are not that many shots where you would expect to get a small depth of field with a phone camera but in this case, I rather like the effect. Very Petzval.

    Now for a portrait. Cue boy with iPad...

    The difference here for field of view is quite telling, as is the compression. The photos are taken from exactly the same spot though. Looking closely at the edges of the sofa, there is certainly a lack of focus creeping in on the shot with the Moment Tele. Hardly surprising though and not exactly distracting. We're not talking Lensbaby here.

    So overall, first impression is good!
    Adam and Chris like this.
  2. what are you gonna use it for?
  3. Chris likes this.
  4. Cool, glad to hear that you're pleased with it. It does make quite a distance, and as no one ever wants to use digital zooming I can see the appeal. Does the weight affect the balance when you're shooting, or is it not an issue?
  5. Still pleased, even a week and a half later. With a greater number of images now banked I can start to see some of the image characteristics. At least I think they are called characteristics or possibly rendering when you have a Leica lens. With this lens I expect they are just areas where it is less sharp. I still think it is good for such a small lens though.

    It is also a small design flaw that the recessed rear element gathers quite a lot of dust and fluff. Easily cleaned though with a cotton bud and a blower.
  6. #6 Ade, Oct 22, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
    Actually it quite helps. It provides a bit of extra weight to the phone which is useful for photography. It also provides a better way to hold it. Quite fortuitous!
  7. Update on this. I use it almost every weekday and occasionally at weekends too. It hasn't stopped getting dirty real easy on the rear element but that is a small matter even in the longer term.

    My blog, mostly shot with this lens, now has over 100 posts. Check it out...

    moroseduck likes this.
  8. Some nice shots on there mate, really impressed you've stuck with it. I'd be tempted to try something like it, but the shots would become repetitive really fast, especially at this time of year. Maybe in the new year I'll give it a go.

    The lens looks to be doing a good job, softness at the edges is quite noticeable in some of the images though - the lens on my Z5 does the edge softening for me already!
  9. Thanks!

    The lens is soft at the edges but often the more extreme softness is caused by dirt getting in the recess for the rear element. I do keep it in the little drawstring bag it came in it then it goes in my coat pocket which has napkins (clean ones) and stuff in.

    Keeping the blog going is a challenge. I am aiming for 3 images every day I go to London which is about 4 days a week at the moment. I have to walk different ways to the office but that's all good and keeps it interesting.

    The worst days are when the light is minimal and completely flat and everyone is grey and looking down. Then I have to take photos of lamp posts and suchlike.
  10. Update on the Moment Tele...

    I am still impressed with the lens. Even better when I remember to clean it. And the blog continues at Tumblr

    Considerably less impressed though with the mounting plate that you glue to the phone. On the last working day before Christmas, the lens suddenly started to feel loose in the bracket. That has steadily got worse to the point where it is now unusable.

    So I logged a support ticket a couple of weeks ago with Moment. They responded quickly and politely suggesting I buy a new mounting plate at their "reasonable price". $10 plus $16.50 shipping - not reasonable in my view for a small piece of pressed metal with a useful life of as little as 2 months.

    A second email about stiffing customers on high margins for consumables got me a 10% discount code and an assurance that they do not make a margin on their shipping.

    I have suggested they renegotiate with their shipping company for a lower rate on the tiny consumable stuff.

    I recognise these are a start-up and I believe start-ups should charge full prices and make a decent margin - otherwise they will sink back into the swamp.

    So I have - against my preference - ordered 2 new mounting plates as I only pay the one shipping cost of $16.50. My justification for paying what amounts to £12 each for these things is that I do use the lens every day I commute, 4-5 days a week, and sometimes at weekends as well.

    Overall a poor customer experience, reasonable support but undermined by poor pricing.

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