Flagship phones like the incoming iPhone 15 series may already pack multiple lenses, but that hasn’t stopped Moment from updating its range of clip-on lenses for both iPhones and Android. And they might just be good enough to distract you from the periscope zoom we’re expecting to see on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Naturally, Moment calls its new T-Series range – which includes six lenses for both photographers and video shooters – the “best mobile lenses we’ve ever made”. To achieve this, Moment says it’s added 25% more glass, extra lens elements and added support for more phones with its larger bayonet mount.
There’s no super-telephoto lens in the range to match the 6x optical zoom that’s been rumored to appear in the iPhone 15 Pro Max, nor the 10x periscope zoom we’ve seen on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. But Moment’s range does include some more exotic options that could prove equally fun and useful.
The most interesting T-Series lenses for video shooters are the two Anamorphic (1.33x and 1.55x) options, which also come in ‘gold’ and ‘blue’ flare options. That flare is one of the desirable traits of anamorphic lenses, alongside a super-wide field of view adopted by classic Hollywood cinema and, more recently, the likes of J.J Abrams. You can see video shot on the previous version of the lens below – both lenses cost $149 (around £118 / AU$235).
The closest lens in the range to an optical zoom is the 58mm telephoto (also $149, around £118 / AU$235). This effectively gives you a 2x optical zoom (when mounted on your phone’s main wide camera) or 4x zoom when you mount on the iPhone’s telephoto lens. That focal length is typically ideal for portraits or product photography.
If you prefer to shoot your photos or videos with a wider look, the T-Series also includes an 18mm wide-angle lens ($130, around £100 / AU$200) and a 14mm fish-eye ($120, around £95 / AU$190). That 18mm lens is similar to ultra-wide lenses on most smartphones, only slightly narrower – which should theoretically mean slightly less distortion on the edges. The fisheye lens naturally goes even wider, if you want to pack everything into your frame for a GoPro-style look.
Lastly, for those who like shooting insects or abstract close-ups, there’s the 10x Macro lens ($120, around £95 / AU$190). Like all of Moment’s lenses, you’ll need to attach it to your phone using a compatible case (typically $40), which for the T-series are designed for the iPhone 13 (or newer), Pixel 7 (or newer), and Galaxy S22 (or newer).
Are clip-on phone lenses still relevant?
Now that the best camera phones all typically have three cameras offering different focal lengths, are third-party phone lenses still relevant? While the need for them has certainly reduced since the days of single-camera phones, they can still help create some unique effects – particularly if you have an older phone.
Moment’s new T-Series is mainly for newer phones, but we particularly like the sound of its new Anamorphic and Macro lenses, which still promise to deliver some fun effects that may still be beyond your newer iPhone or Android phone. But they’re unlikely to drastically improve image quality, because clip-on lenses still ultimately sit in front of your phone’s camera and built-in glass.
The only thing to bear in mind for Android phones is that for some of Moment’s new lenses (like the 10x Macro Mobile), it recommends using the Moment Pro Camera app, which isn’t available for Android. So you may need to look into using third-party options like Filmic Pro.
If you’re thinking of upgrading to an iPhone 15 or Pixel 8, you can also already request cases for those phones along with your lens orders. When those cases are available, Moment says it’ll ship them along with the lenses.