Fstoppers Reviews the 170-Degree Superfish Mobile Lens by Moment

Fstoppers Reviews the 170-Degree Superfish Mobile Lens by Moment

If you weren't aware, there is quite a market for mobile lenses within the photography community, and sitting atop the pack is a little company called Moment. They came bursting on the scene about two years ago with the plan to bring high quality glass to the mobile photography market. Here are my thoughts on their brand new super fisheye lens, the Superfish. 

Initial Thoughts

Having started my photography career on Instagram and within the mobile photography community, I have slowly moved into more professional camera gear, but have never forgotten the power of my phone's camera when on the go or even while on a commercial shoot. Using my iPhone to shoot big campaign work for clients is a real thing, and Moment has always been providing the best lenses on the market in my opinion. Having used their lenses for about two years now, they have not left my pocket or camera bag and have always been a staple in having a versatile set of gear. They currently offer a wide (18mm equivalent), a telephoto (60mm equivalent), and a newer macro lens, along with the new Superfish (170 degree). Though when I saw they were adding a super wide angle, it made me nervous for quality vs. being a gimmick.

Never have I found a fisheye lens for mobile that wasn't super distorted or just overly wide to the point of no return, but I was hopeful when I initially read about the release months back. In my experience, I have always found the super-wide mobile lenses to have super dark corners or have only 10% of the center of the frame sharp. Here are my thoughts on all of those concerns from first impressions. 

Design

Moment lenses' build quality are hands down the best on the market. When first opening their lenses, you notice immediately they are not messing around from the way they are made — super strong and they feel substantial in hand, though not too heavy to weigh down the phone when applied. When using the lenses on your phone, you have a couple options, either a lens mount or one of their phone cases that you can read more about here. I've never been a fan of phone cases in general and have used the metal mounts that apply strongly to the back of the phone for a couple years.

Nevertheless, when Moment sent me the new wide lens, they also sent me a case to test out as well, so I can easily say both options are great, but they have their pros and cons, so I will go through those quickly below. Mounts are $10, while cases are now as cheap as $49.

Moment Case

  • Pros: Lens mount always on flawlessly and straight, no vignette due to misalignment of mount.
  • Cons: Large, bulky design creates too much for as slim as smart phones are today

Moment Mount

  • Pros: Super light weight, most slimmer cases fit over the top of the mounts as well. Super strong.
  • Cons: Application is not an exact science and can create vignettes in your photos when using wider lenses. 

The lens has a smooth finish and easily fits within your pocket while on the go. Each lens also comes with a slick little carrying case made of a soft fiber that can also act as a lens cloth. 

Another fun tip to remember when shooting with super wide lenses is the distortion; though it's fun and can create a fun, interesting view, bringing it back to straight is always welcome. A great app I have used for a couple years now for lens distortion editing on mobile is SKRWT.

Performance

So far I have yet to have issues with this lens performing like advertised. At 170 degrees of reach, it is more than enough to create large scale views in very small spaces. Getting used to a lens this wide does take some time, but sticking to landscapes and large interiors to start will help you know where it might fit best in your gear set. Vignetting is nonexistent and image quality is from edge to edge very clean and sharp. I

What I Liked

  • Quality: All around, the build quality is top notch, easily the best I have seen in mobile lenses and even some cheaper DSLR lenses. 
  • Simple: The fact you can carry these in your pocket while on the go is fantastic. The attachment of the lens to the mount/case is as simple as a quarter turn. 
  • Size: The Superfish has a slightly smaller and slimmer profile than the 18mm and 60mm, making it my favorite of the options for on the go. 

What Could Be Improved 

  • Weight: As mentioned above, these lenses are solid in build but a slight loss in weight would help when using the adhesive mounts on a phone. The case has a counter weight in the base to help with this. 
  • Price: Though its dropped from $99 to $89 in recent months, it's still a bit expensive for those looking to simply add a versatile lens option to their collection while on the go. Pushing it to the $59-$69 range would easily put it in reach of many more beginners and even pros while they are on location scouting or grabbing a large landscape photo. 

Conclusion

Overall, whether you are a beginner looking to dip your toes in the photography market or a pro that holds a large collection of lenses and gear, the option to have this while on the go is very powerful. The reach it extends to for those tighter shots and the image quality it keeps from edge to edge are pretty solid. I still find the 18mm to be my favorite lens option, but the fisheye is finding itself in my pocket far more recently to see just how far I can push it. 

If you have any questions or want to see more examples of the photos I have taken, hit me up on Instagram to see where I am using the Superfish. 

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4 Comments
Tihomir Lazarov's picture

The conclusion: Do not fix the distortion as you may cut precious moments out. (I laughed at the "After" on the image with the cute boy).

Andrew Griswold's picture

Haha! Right?! Just a random trip to the mall and loved the space but the hall was literally like 20 feet long and I couldnt go back far enough to get him and the angle I wanted. Pretty wild I was able to make that short hallway look far bigger than it really was and add the boy in there. He is used to me asking him to jump in the shot and he natrually said "get a shot of me looking this way"

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

Hahaha, cute!

Andrew Strother's picture

Wow, I'm actually really surprised by your images with this lens. Might have to talk myself into finally sticking one of those god-awful mounting plates on my beautiful phone.