Is the Moment 58mm Tele Lens all that it’s cracked up to be? Does it increase bokeh and depth of field like a traditional telephoto lens? What do I need to know about Moment lenses before purchasing one?
All of these are reasonable questions and ones that will be answered in this review of the Moment 58mm lens, so let’s get to it.
Reviewing the Moment 58mm Tele Lens
See what the 2x optical zoom offered by the Moment 58mm Tele Lens does to your phone’s native camera by playing with the image comparison slider above.
Before we discuss other nuances of the Moment telephoto offering, it is worth noting that the minimum working distance (minimum distance to achieve focus) for the lens is 7.25 inches which means you won’t be able to use it to get super close-up shots. For those closeups on a phone, you’ll need the Moment 10x Macro Lens.
If you have a multi-camera setup like I do on my iPhone 11 Pro, then you’ll also be able to mount the 58mm tele on the tele lens on your phone, but there is a serious drawback. The minimum working distance for this setup is closer to three feet, which makes it very limited in applicability. The more optical zoom your native telephoto lens has, the more significant the working distance with the Moment 58mm telephoto attached becomes.
One of the biggest pros of phone photography is that you don’t need to lug around a ton of gear. The Moment 58mm Tele lens weighs in at 73.1g which does put it on the heavier side of Moment lenses, but 73 grams is not cumbersome at all and can easily be carried in a jacket pocket or something similar.
Moment claims the 58mm tele lens does two things in addition to providing that coveted optical zoom
- Increase the Depth of Field
- Improve the Bokeh
We’ll discuss what both of these claims mean and how true they are below.
Depth of Field
Depth of field is, in layman’s terms, how close the background of a photo appears to the subject of a photo. It is closely related to focal length in that lenses with a lower focal length (like Moment’s 14mm fisheye and their 18mm wide) have less depth of field and lenses with a higher focal length (like the 58mm tele) have more depth of field.
As you can see in the image comparison slider above, the Colonial Williamsburg Capitol Building appears further away from the subject (the two people walking) when the 58mm tele lens is not attached. When the 58mm tele lens is attached, the Capitol Building appears to be much closer. Would you believe that the photo with Moment’s tele lens attached was taken first? Well, it was!
Bokeh is the aesthetically pleasing blur that appears around the subject of good portrait photos. In most native camera apps on newer smartphones, there is a Portrait Mode that uses software to create this bokeh blur, and Moment claims that their 58mm telephoto offering improves the look of the effect. In my experience though, this isn’t really the case. The promises of improved bokeh don’t deliver nearly as much as those of improved depth of field.
Is the Moment Tele Lens Worth It?
I use the Moment 58mm tele lens a lot more than I initially did. Once I accepted that the 4x optical zoom achieved by mounting the tele on the tele wasn’t really what I wanted to do for a myriad of reasons I found that I fell in love with the difference in depth of field. I frequently shoot with the 58mm when I have objects in both the foreground and background of my subject as it creates a sense of intimacy – like the viewer is right there with me snapping the photo.
While I don’t utilize the 4x optical zoom as much as I expected to it is useful when the subject is super far away. It must be noted, though, that stabilization is recommended as more zoom accentuates the micro shakes that occur while holding a phone and using the camera.
Attaching Moment Lenses
To connect your Moment lenses to your phone’s camera, you will have to make an additional purchase. If you know of any options other than those listed below, then please comment what it is so that I can add them to this list.
- Moment M-Series Case – made for the newest iPhone, Galaxy, and Pixel devices at a variety of price points (check out used options as well). Some reviews say Moment photo cases are cheaply made and prone to breakage, but my experience couldn’t be more different. I’m currently on my 4th Moment phone case, and everyone has lasted the full life of my phone without any issues with the bayonet mounting system used for mounting all my Moment lenses.
- Moment M-Series Lens Mount – created as a universal option for mounting Moment lenses. I will be creating a video for the Youtube channel about Moment’s universal mount, but my initial thoughts are similar to the reviews on Moment’s site – it’s underwhelming. Even still, if it’s your only option for mounting Moment lenses, then it may still be worth purchasing.
- BeastCage by BeastGrip – while not a Moment product the BeastCage offers 20 1/4″ mounting options which is ideal for attaching some sort of external lighting. This option is the highest quality one on this list but does cost a pretty penny. Do note that the purchase of the BeastCage from BeastGrip comes with mounting options for BeastGrip, Moment, Sandmarc, and ShiftCam lenses.
The Consensus on the Moment 58mm Tele Lens
All things said and done, the Moment 58mm Tele Lens wouldn’t be the first or last Moment lens that I’d add to my mobile photography lens collection. There are more useful Moment lenses, but if you’re into taking portraits on your smartphone then the Moment 58mm Tele Lens is an absolute must-have.
Comment your thoughts on the usefulness of Moment’s 58mm lens below. I’d love to discuss them because this was the Moment lens I was initially the most disappointed in, but I have since found myself using it more frequently.