Review: Moment Tele 58mm Cellphone Lens

This review of the Moment Tele 58mm cellphone lens is long overdue. When I started developing the RitchieCam iPhone camera app about a year ago, I figured it would be a good idea to get some external lenses for my iPhone 11, which would come in handy when needing to capture the example pictures. While there are a number of companies that offer lenses that can be attached to your cellphone, the Moment offerings stood out to me as the “better” option, so that’s what I chose.

To use Moment’s lenses, you must also use their phone case, because that’s how the lenses mount to your phone. They have a case for many phone makes and models, so there’s a good chance there’s one available for your device. The case is good quality, and has survived nearly a year of heavy use and abuse. I cannot tell you how many times that I’ve dropped my phone and thought it was done for, yet it survived unscathed, without even a scratch! While I’m sure there are cases that offer more protection, I’m pretty darn impressed with how good the Moment case has been.

One cool thing about the Moment case is that it has the “MagSafe” stuff built-in. I have this tripod-mount accessory that attaches to the case (via magnetism), which has come in handy a number of times. It’s a really good method to mount your cellphone to a tripod, if that’s something you do. There are a number of other accessories that you can buy that also use magnets to attach to your case, but the only one that I personally have used is that tripod accessory.

I had never used an external lens before with a cellphone, so I was definitely a novice when I started—I didn’t really realize how it all worked. On my iPhone 11 case, the lens mounts only over the main camera. The iPhone 11 has two rear facing cameras: 1x (26mm full-frame-equivalent) and 0.5x (13mm full-frame-equivalent). The Moment lenses cannot mount over the 13mm lens, only over the 26mm lens.

I have two Moment lenses: 18mm and 58mm. The Moment lenses are actually “conversion” lenses, and the millimeter numbers don’t actually mean anything. The 18mm is a 0.5x wide conversion lens, and the 58mm is a 2x tele conversion lens. Using the 18mm lens on the 26mm camera actually makes it 13mm, which is the same focal length of the second camera. In other words, the 18mm lens is pointless for the iPhone 11; however, I’m sure it makes sense for other cellphones. The 58mm lens makes the main camera 52mm, which is a very useful focal-length. The focal-length that these lenses will be on your cellphone depends on the focal-length of the cameras on your cellphone (either times by .5 for the 18mm lens or times by 2 for the 58mm lens). Clear as mud? I think if Moment had simply called the one lens 2x teleconverter and the other .5x wide-converter (instead of using millimeter numbers) it would save a lot of confusion. As you can imagine, the Moment Tele 58mm lens is the one that I used by far the most.

Initially I was disappointed by these lenses. I think my expectations were significantly askew. I figured that I’d be impressed by the image quality when using these lenses vs. not using them; however, the image quality will never be greater than that of the lens permanently attached to your cellphone. These lenses won’t improve on what the manufacturer installed on your device. Instead, what you get is either a longer or more wide-angle focal length without a loss in image quality. It’s much better to use the 58mm lens than “zoom by cropping” (a.k.a. digital zoom). The image quality produced by these lenses is determined mostly by the image quality produced by your phone.

iPhone 11 + Moment 58mm – RitchieCam App – “Instant Color 3” – Arches NP, UT

The reason to use the Moment Tele 58mm lens is to double the reach of your built-in cellphone lens without degrading the image quality (or, if it does degrade the image quality, it’s extraordinarily minimal and not really noticeable). That’s what this lens does, and it does it well. It doesn’t do much else, so keep your expectations in check.

When I carry the 58mm lens with me, I get three focal-length options on my iPhone 11: 13mm (using the 0.5x camera), 26mm (using the 1x camera without the Moment lens), and 52mm (using the 1x camera with the 58mm lens). Those are all excellent focal-lengths to have available. While I prefer to use my Fujifilm cameras over my cellphone, as Chase Jarvis coined, the best camera is the one you have with you, which is sometimes my cellphone. When I do use my cellphone for photography, I appreciate having the Moment Tele 58mm lens, because it affords me additional flexibility.

I said two paragraphs ago that this lens “doesn’t do much else” which isn’t completely true. There’s a small amount of pincushion distortion, which, when combined with the distortion in the iPhone 11 camera, can do some weird things to straight lines when photographing brick walls. The solution: don’t photograph brick walls. There’s also some interesting lens flare that shows up sometimes (see picture below), which I personally like, but maybe you won’t, depending on how you feel about lens flare. The Moment lens is also softer in the corners than the 1x iPhone camera.

iPhone 11 + Moment 58mm – RitchieCam App – “Faded Film” – Canyonlands NP, UT

The build quality of the Moment Tele 58mm lens is excellent, made of metal and glass. It has six elements in four groups, and the glass has multi-layered anti-reflective coating. It comes with a lens cap and carrying bag. The lens is small enough that you can easily take it with you, although when attached to the phone, it’s unlikely that the phone will fit into your pocket (unless you have particularly large pockets).

I have used the Moment Tele 58mm lens for nearly a year now. It’s not an essential cellphone accessory, but it’s certainly nice to have around. I found the lens and the Moment case (that you are required to have in order to use the lens)—plus the tripod-mount accessory—to be useful to me. If you do a lot of cellphone photography, you might want to take a closer look at these Moment products, and consider if they might be useful to you, too. Like a lot of things in the photography world, these products are not cheap, but if you think you’ll use them regularly, they might very well be worth the cost. The best place to find these products is on Moment’s website.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Moment Tele 58mm lens B&H
Moment MagSafe Tripod Mount B&H

Gallery:

iPhone 11 + Moment 58mm – RitchieCam App – “Vintage Kodak” – Arches NP, UT
iPhone 11 + Moment 58mm – RitchieCam App – “Sunny Day” – Canyonlands NP, UT
iPhone 11 + Moment 58mm – RitchieCam App – “Instant Color 3” – Canyonlands NP, UT
iPhone 11 + Moment 58mm – RitchieCam App – “Standard Film” – Canyonlands NP, UT
iPhone 11 + Moment 58mm – RitchieCam App – “B&W Fade” – Arches NP, UT

What is RitchieCam? It’s an easy-to-use streamlined camera app intended to bring one-step photography to the iPhone. You’ll find 18 analog-inspired filters so that you don’t have to edit your mobile pictures if you don’t want to. I think you will appreciate the app, yet it is designed for anyone and everyone with an iPhone, and not just photographers. You can read all about it at RitchieCam.com. The app is intended to be a useful free tool, yet for $9.99 (USD +Tax annually) you can unlock all of the filters and features for the best app experience.

RitchieCam Update #1

I just released the first “major” RitchieCam app update. For those who don’t know, I created an iOS camera app to simplify and streamline your iPhone photography. The app is free, and is intended to be a useful free tool, yet becoming a RitchieCam Patron unlocks all of the filters and the best app experience.

There are a lot of features that I want to incorporate into the app, but it takes time and work to implement them all, so they will roll out over time. In other words, RitchieCam is just going to get better and better! I just released the first significant update—if you have RitchieCam on your phone and it didn’t automatically update, be sure to manually do it in the App Store now.

One new feature is the volume button—either up or down—as a shutter release. Depending on how you hold your phone, this is a more convenient way to take pictures. Instead of tapping the circle shutter at the bottom, you can press either volume up or volume down to accomplish the same thing. The ability to use the volume buttons to capture photographs was highly requested, so I’m pleased to be able to include it in this update.

Another new feature is additional aspect ratios. Originally, all RitchieCam photos were in iPhone’s standard 4:3 aspect ratio, which is necessary if you want to use the full resolution of the sensor. But if you prefer a different shape, there are now five aspect ratios to choose from: 4:3, 3:2, 5:4, 1:1, & 16:9.

Here are some photos, all captured using the Standard Film filter on RitchieCam, illustrating the different aspect ratios:

4:3 / 3:4

3:2 / 2:3

5:4 / 4:5

1:1

16:9 / 9:16

RitchieCam saves the pictures in Apple’s High Efficiency Image Container (HEIC, also called HEIF) format, which maximizes image quality while simultaneously taking less space on your phone. It’s also necessary for implementing some new features down the road. The downside to HEIC is that it is less universally compatible with non-Apple programs. For those who prefer JPEG over HEIC, you now have that option—tap the Gear icon, and you’ll find the Format toggle about halfway down.

The other improvements are less obvious. RitchieCam will now remember the last Flash and EV settings used (as well as the aspect ratio), which will hopefully improve the user experience for some of you. There are several behind-the-scenes optimizations to improve speed, stability, and quality, which you’re not likely to notice, but micro improvements add up over time, so they’re important to continuously work on.

And that’s the update! Already work has begun on the next one. If the feature you were hoping for isn’t in this one, with any luck you won’t have to wait too long for it, but I do ask for your patience, because these things do take awhile. In the meantime, I hope there’s something in this update that you find helpful to you.

Fujifilm X100V vs iPhone, Part 2: Multnomah Falls

iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – Faded Film filter

Part 1: Grand Tetons

Multnomah Falls is an iconic scenic stop along the historic Columbia River Highway in Oregon. Found within the Columbia River Gorge, it is the tallest year-round waterfall in Oregon, and the most visited natural site in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The famous footbridge was constructed in 1915, while the gift-shop at the bottom—originally a lodge—was built in 1925, and both are on the National Register of Historic Places. It is an incredible location to experience, with beauty that rivals what one might find within National Parks.

I recently visited Multnomah Falls, and used my Fujifilm X100V and iPhone 11 to photograph this amazing spot. Unsurprisingly, I had several of my Film Simulation Recipes programmed into my X100V, and I used my RitchieCam camera app on my iPhone. Because there is a lot of mist from the falls, and it was a rainy day (as is common there), having weather-sealed cameras was important—both the X100V (as long as a filter is on the front) and the iPhone can handle getting wet, and both did get wet. Really wet.

While it might seem unnecessary to carry both an X100V and an iPhone, that turned out not to be the case for two reasons: focal-length, and ease of sharing. The X100V has a very useful 34.5mm (equivalent) focal-length lens, while the iPhone 11 has a 26mm (equivalent) camera and 13mm (equivalent) camera (if I had the “Pro” version, it would also include a 52mm camera, but alas I don’t have that model). The X100V was wide-angle enough to capture some good photographs of the falls, but the wider-angle lenses on the iPhone 11 were often better options, and I used it more than the Fujifilm camera at this location. To the second point, I was able to text pictures of the falls to some family and friends immediately—before even getting back to the car—and share with you via social media pictures of the falls within minutes. The X100V pictures were pretty quick and easy to share, too—thanks to the wonderful JPEG output of the camera—but not quite as immediate as the iPhone images.

iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – MetroColor filter

What’s better, X100V or iPhone? For pure image quality, the Fujifilm camera is hands down better, but that only really matters if you are viewing the pictures large. Looking at them on this website or on social media, the quality difference is hard to spot, and even if you can see it, the quality difference is pretty insignificant. If you were viewing 11″ x 14″ prints of the pictures, the quality difference would still be fairly small, although if you compared them side-by-side you could tell without much trouble that the X100V is superior. But if you are viewing 16″ x 20″ prints or larger, the iPhone images just don’t hold up nearly as well as the Fujifilm. So the X100V is definitely the better tool if you might print the pictures large, but the iPhone is a capable tool if you don’t think you’ll be printing large—let’s face it, most pictures don’t get printed large, or even printed at all.

There’s no reason why both the X100V and the iPhone (or other cellphone camera) can’t both live together in peace and harmony. They’re different photographic tools that have different advantages and disadvantages, and they can both serve purposes within your photography. Film Simulation Recipes make the Fujifilm workflow more streamlined and the process more enjoyable. RitchieCam does the same thing for your iPhone photography. One tool might be better in a certain circumstance, and the other might be better in another circumstance, and perhaps both might be useful in a circumstance like Multnomah Falls.

Do you like the Fujifilm X100V pictures better, the iPhone pictures better, some of each, or none at all? Which Film Simulation Recipe that I used do you prefer? Which RitchieCam filter did the best? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Fujifilm X100V – New Recipe Coming Soon
Fujifilm X100V – New Recipe Coming Soon
Fujifilm X100V – Kodachrome 1 recipe
iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – Vintage Kodak filter
Fujifilm X100V – Vintage Vibes recipe
iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – B&W Fade filter
Fujifilm X100V – Kodak High Definition Plus 200 recipe
iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – Faded Film filter
Fujifilm X100V – Vintage Vibes recipe
iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – B&W Fade filter
iPhone 11 – RitchieCam app – B&W Fade filter

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Download the RitchieCam App here:

Fujifilm X100V vs iPhone, Part 1: Grand Tetons

Sun Behind The Tetons – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X100V – “Elite Chrome 200
Sun Behind Tetons & River – Grand Teton NP, WY – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – “Color Negative Low”

I recently visited the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. This iconic mountain range sits just north of the tourist town of Jackson Hole. If you’ve never been, this is a “bucket list” kind of place that you should absolutely try to see in person if you can. My visit was a quick weekend getaway, and not surprisingly the weather didn’t really cooperate. Still, I wanted to get in some photography, and so I did.

Reviewing the pictures, I noticed that I captured some similar images with my Fujifilm X100V using various Film Simulation Recipes and my iPhone 11 with the RitchieCam app using various filters. For those who don’t know, I created an iPhone camera app called RitchieCam, which you can learn more about by clicking here. I thought comparing the X100V and iPhone pictures would make an interesting article.

What I don’t want to do is view massive crops side-by-side. The Fujifilm X100V and the iPhone are much different tools, so this will be a very general overview without pixel-peeping.

Technically speaking, the X100V is far superior, and it isn’t even close. For technical image quality, the X100V is the camera to grab, but the iPhone, with its tiny little sensor, is surprisingly good, all things considered. The advantage of the iPhone is that you have it with you all of the time, and you can quickly and easily share the pictures captured with it across the world (especially if you used the RitchieCam app). Convenience and speed are the reasons to choose the iPhone over the X100V, but the X100V is pretty compact and quick, too. For printing or viewing large, the X100V is the right tool. For quick sharing, the iPhone is the right tool. Here’s the great news: you don’t have to choose—use both, or use the one that you happen to have with you.

This is the first in a series of articles where I’ll compare photographs captured with the Fujifilm X100V using Film Simulation Recipes and the iPhone using the RitchieCam app. Below are photographs captured with these cameras at the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. Let me know in the comments which pictures you like best!

Fujifilm X100V

Snake River Overlook Morning – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X100V – “The Rockwell
OneSkee – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X100V – “Retro Gold Low Contrast
Mountains & Frozen Land – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X100V – “Elite Chrome 200”
Pinky Rose – Jackson Hole, WY – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodachrome 64
Cold Nights – Jackson Hole, WY – Fujifilm X100V – Upcoming Recipe
Night Statue – Jackson Hole, WY – Fujifilm X100V – Upcoming Recipe
Tetons in March – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X100V – Upcoming Recipe
Snake River Overlook Monochrome – Grand Teton NP, WY – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Tri-X 400

iPhone + RitchieCam

Morning at Snake River Overlook – Grand Teton NP, WY – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – “Analog Gold”
OneSkee Snow – Grand Teton NP, WY – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – “Instant Color 1”
Sunset Behind the Tetons – Grand Teton NP, WY – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – “Color Negative Low”
Railroad – Jackson Hole, WY – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – “Analog Gold”
CocoLove – Jackson Hole, WY – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – “Night Negative”
Cowboy Bar – Jackson Hole, WY – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – “Night Negative”
Tetons in Winter – Grand Teton NP, WY – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – “Color Negative”
Snake River & Tetons – Grand Tetons NP, WY – iPhone 11 – RitchieCam – “Dramatic B&W”

Part 2: Multnomah Falls

Download the Fuji X Weekly App here:

Download the RitchieCam App here:

Introducing RitchieCam!

Surprise! I just released an iPhone camera app. I call it RitchieCam, and it’s available in the App Store right now for free!

What is RitchieCam? It’s an easy-to-use streamlined camera intended to bring one-step photography to the iPhone. You’ll find 17 analog-inspired filters so that you don’t have to edit your mobile pictures if you don’t want to. I think you will appreciate the app, yet it is intended for anyone and everyone with an iPhone, and not just photographers. You can read all about it at ritchiecam.com.

This is a project I’ve been secretly working on for nearly a year. While I always thought it would be difficult and complicated, I had no idea just how much so! I’m extremely happy with how it turned out, yet I hope that this is just the beginning, as there are several new features and improvements already in the works, and even more on my wish-list. I’m very proud of RitchieCam, and I hope that you find it fun and useful. I personally have enjoyed using it over the last several weeks, including on a road trip to Moab, Utah.

RitchieCam is free! Or, really, it’s a “freemium” app, and for $9.99 (USD +Tax annually) you can unlock all of the filters and features.

Some pictures I captured with RitchieCam on that Moab road trip:

Standard Film
Faded Film
Instant Color 3
Analog Gold
Night Negative

Introducing the Fuji X Weekly App for iOS!

The Fuji X Weekly app is a mobile film simulation recipe library containing over 100 recipes for Fujifilm cameras! The film simulation recipes in the app are the same ones that you know and love from this website, but now take them with you on the go, and have them at your fingertips wherever you are!

The Fuji X Weekly app is free! No annoying ads. Get access to 100+ film simulation recipes, which can be sorted alphabetically or chronologically. Each recipe contains an assortment of sample images, as well as a list of compatible cameras. Within each recipe there’s a place where you can keep notes, a useful feature for many of you, no doubt. The app will work offline, so if you don’t have internet access but need to find a certain recipe, no problem! The Fuji X Weekly app is a handy tool for Fujifilm photographers, an essential app to accompany your X-series camera. This is my Christmas gift to you!

This app does have some advanced features that can be unlocked by becoming a Fuji X Weekly Patron! These advanced features include filtering by sensor or camera, as well as by film simulation or color/B&W, and the ability to favorite recipes for quick access. The best app experience is reserved for Patrons!

Fuji X Weekly Patrons also get early access to some new film simulation recipes. There are 7 brand-new film simulation recipes that only Patrons can view. These recipes will eventually be published on Fuji X Weekly—free to everyone—but right now they’re available only to Patrons. As new early-access recipes are cycled into the app for Patrons, the others will be made available on this website and on the app free to all, so no worries.

By becoming a Fuji X Weekly Patron, which is only $19.99 annually, you unlock the app’s full potential, you get early access to some new film simulation recipes, and you help support Fuji X Weekly! It’s a win-win!

So much time (and money) has gone into creating this app. I believe that it will be useful to many of you, and I also believe it can grow into so much more. I can’t do it without your support. I appreciate everyone who has helped in one way or another already. I appreciate everyone who becomes a Patron! The Fuji X Weekly audience (that’s you!) truly is the best!

The Fuji X Weekly app will be available in the iOS App Store on December 1st. Download it to your iPhone or iPad! If you have a Mac with an M1 chip, you’ll be able to download the app, too, which might be useful for those who use X RAW Studio (it should be available for all Mac computers in a future update). I hope that an Android version will come along sometime next year, but right now it’s only available for Apple (if you don’t have an iPhone and don’t want to miss out on the app, you can probably find a good deal on an iPad this holiday season). I know that you’ll love the Fuji X Weekly app, and I’m super excited for its release!

I want to give a shout-out to Sahand Nayebaziz, the app developer (and Fujifilm photographer) who turned this idea into a reality. Thank you for all your hard work, and for lending your skills to this project!

Look for the Fuji X Weekly app in the iOS App Store on 12/01/2020!

Fuji X Weekly Merchandise Coming Soon – First Sneak Peek!

I’ve been working on some Fujifilm inspired products to make available for sale. The profits will be used to improve the Fuji X Weekly experience. It’s not yet ready to make public, but it’s getting closer, and it will definitely be up and running prior to the Christmas shopping season.

I ordered an item for myself: an iPhone 7 Plus cellphone case. I needed it, as my old case was falling apart. It arrived today in the mail, and it looks great! I’m really pleased with how it turned out. This is one of many items that will be available for purchase soon.

The camera on the case you might recognize as the Fujifilm X100F. It’s such a beautiful camera, one of the most beautiful cameras ever made, so obviously it looks great printed on other things, such as phone cases and shirts. This is just one of many designs that will be found in the Fuji X Weekly store.

As soon as everything is ready to go you will see a special announcement posted on this blog. I hope that you are excited as I am! I know that I will be purchasing several things for myself. This cellphone case is just the beginning.