Moment Telephoto 2x lens for smartphone

Having bought two different lens kits to use with my iPhone, I felt that the telephoto lenses from these kit did not quite give me what I was looking for in terms of image quality (though not unexpected at that price point). Hence I decided to spend the US$99.99 to buy the Moment Telephoto 2x lens. They do sell a wide-angle lens as well, but I did not buy this. I have read a few reviews of this lens, but I still had many unanswered questions. So I will try to answer these in this review (link at bottom now updated and working).

The lens came after a week of ordering from Hong Kong, and the price included the delivery. But do expect that you will need to pay for VAT if you live in England. It comes in an unassuming brown cardboard box.

External packaging
External packaging

Opening up the brown cardboard box reveals the more impressive packaging for the lens, with a separate box for the lens and for the mounting board.

Both parts of kit packaged together
Both parts of kit packaged together
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Top of box containing the lens
Base of box
Base of box

The set comes with one mounting board of your choice to fit the device you will be mounting it on. There is an option to purchase further mounting boards for US$9.99 each, or a leather lens holster for US$39.99. There will be lens caps available in April 2015 for US$9.99 for 2.

Packaging for mounting board
Packaging for mounting board – iPhone 6 plus

The lens is nicely packed in foam and feels hefty in weight – signs that it is well constructed. The lens elements are much bigger than other add-on lenses for smartphones. The lenses are engineered this way, so as not to compromise on image quality for the entire sensor.

Lens in case
Lens in case

It is a pity that the lens just comes with a lens pouch and no lens cap, as that glass will attract dust when left in that pouch.  And for a lens costing US$99.99, the fact it lacks a lens cap is a huge negative.

Moment telephot lens with its pouch
Moment telephot lens with its pouch

With this lens mounted, the minimum focusing distance with my iPhone 6 plus became 27-28cm (the iPhone 6 plus minimum focusing distance is quoted as 6cm). This means that the iPhone can get much closer to the subject without this lens, and produce a larger image than one shot with this lens. And as you can see, it weighs in at 50.3g, so no light weight.

Weight of Moment lens is 50.3g
Weight of Moment lens is 50.3g

The mounting board comes with instructions on how to mount this on the iPhone, and also comes with a spare double-sided tape should you need to remount it.

Mounting board for iPhone 6 plus
Mounting board for iPhone 6 plus

The thing I like about the mounting board, is that the part which holds the lens protrudes out more than the iPhone 6 plus lens and hence will protect it to a certain extent – less likely to scratch it or leave finger marks on it.

Mounted on my iPhone
Mounted on my iPhone

With the lens on the iPhone, you can definitely feel a significant increase in weight. But not one which would make it less usable.

Moment Telephoto lens on iPhone
Moment Telephoto lens on iPhone

Now the question is: how does it do in terms of optical performance?

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