Camera-Phone Photography – Moment’s 14mm 170º Fisheye Lens: Unboxing and Review


One of the great joys of retirement is to be able to pursue interests that you’ve always had to put on the back burner.  I’ve always liked and have had a great appreciation for photography, but all of the technical details – ISO, shutter speeds, aperture, f-stop, the different lenses, etc. – made my head spin.  It felt to me that to become a really good photographer, the amount of hours you’d have to devote to it would almost constitute a second career, and I was always too busy.  

I love to travel, and travel photography has been a hobby of mine for years.  I used to use a DSLR camera, and it took very good photos, but I hated having to carry it (even though it was small), and I hated messing with memory cards, etc.  I found myself using my iPhone camera more and more, and although the photos weren’t as high quality, they were pretty darn good.  

In October of 2018, I traveled to India for a Mission Rabies project.  The other volunteers and I were taking many photos and sharing them in our WhatsApp group.  We were all using our cell phones for this. One volunteer, Jen Ipony, was posting photos that were miles ahead of everyone else’s in terms of quality and composition.  They were fantastic.  I couldn’t believe that she was able to take such great photos just using her iPhone.  I vowed to myself that I would learn to master iPhone photography one of these days.  

Fast forward to Thanksgiving, 2019.  While perusing Facebook on my iPhone, I discovered a course in iPhone photography being offered through a group called the iPhone Photography Academy.  I had seen ads for this before, and I usually ignored it, but they were offering a black Friday discount on enrolment, and I joined.  The course caused a HUGE breakthrough in my photography skills.  I then enrolled in their photo editing course, and that improved my skills even further.  

While perusing the internet, I came across articles that discussed adding different lenses to the iPhone.  I was intrigued, and I ended up buying a cheap set of lenses from Amazon.  They did allow me to take some cool photos, but it was clear that the quality of these lenses was not the greatest.  

Then, I saw a few YouTube videos about Moment lenses.

I went to their website, and watched even more videos, and it was clear that these were very good lenses.

I decided to get the “Just Two Lenses” set.

It consists of an iPhone case, a cleaning pen, lens caps, and two lenses of your choice.   I chose the fish eye lens and the macro lens.  I held off on the wide angle and the telephoto lens (more on that later) and the anamorphic lens (that lens requires another post entirely).

Yesterday, I received my stuff in the mail.  

Here’s the stuff I got.  From left to right, it’s the lens pen, the fisheye lens, the macro lens, two rear lens caps, and the Nomad rugged case.  

Let’s start with the case.  

I already have a very sturdy iPhone case for my iPhone 11 Pro, and I really love it.  Well, unfortunately, if you’re going to use Moment lenses, you need to get a case specifically designed for them, because the lens screws directly onto the case.

Fortunately, the Nomad case is a good case, although I don’t think it’s as strong as the kick-ass case that I had before, which was the Speigen Tough Armor case.

This thing, while a little heavy, is great.  It really protects your phone if you drop it.  Trust me, this case is tough. 

I removed my old case and put on the Nomad case.  I actually like the way it feels; it slips right into my pocket comfortably. 

Then I opened the fisheye lens box.  

The lens is sitting in a foam cushion.

In the little compartment next to it is a small carrying pouch, and a lens cap for the front of the lens.  

The lens looks great and feels strong.  It’s actually a beautiful lens.  You can just see and feel how well made it is.  

The lens cap is strong, hard plastic.  

Even the pouch is cool, with the Moment logo on one side and a description of the lens on the other side.  

Attaching the lens is easy.  There are grooves on the back of the lens that fit into the grooves on the back of the case.  You line them up, twist 90 degrees, and the lens is firmly in place.  When the lens is attached, the phone and case have a little more heft to it.  

Oh, the kit also comes with a rear lens cap.  

You attach the wide part of the lens cap apparatus to the front lens cap, and the small rear lens cap is now dangling nearby, so it can be put onto the lens as well.  

Anyway… I attached the lens and immediately took a picture of our kitchen, and of the book case that Glitter likes to call home.  

The fisheye lens lets me be creative.  It distorts things in ways that can be boring, or can be brilliant.  

Here, I took the same picture of a building in Soho with the iPhone ultrawide lens, and then with Moment’s fisheye lens.  Top photo is ultrawide, bottom is fisheye.

The building in the center is a little curvy, but not changed all that much.  The building on the right, however, curves upward toward the center, as do the buildings on the left.  The green bike lane in front is also very distorted.  This does make the fisheye photo more interesting and intriguing, but nothing you’d call very artistic.

This pandemic has really emptied the streets, including public transport, allowing for some cool photos. 

Depending on how you hold the phone, you can get all sorts of weird perspectives.  Like, in this photo, the car seems properly positioned, while the rest is pretty otherworldly. 

With the streets being empty and with Soho’s beautiful architecture, I was able to take this hip selfie.

I love this lens.  It gives crisp, sharp images, and it is super easy to use.  Love it.  

In my next photography post, I’ll talk about Moment’s macro lens.  


  • Pamela Nelson
    Posted June 27, 2020 5:25 pm 0Likes

    what do you offer for a Galaxy S20 Ultra?

    Posted September 22, 2020 9:09 pm 1Likes

    What a great article. I’m with you all the way. I have used pretty much every brand of Dslr and film gear but had to make a decision that meant if I was going to be able to continue my many years of photographing I had to get pretty darn minimal. I have ultimately (now) wound up with the Iphone 11 pro max, Moment classic case, and their lenses. Macro, 18mm, 58mm, Fisheye 14mm in their sling bag. What a pleasure to go out for the day or days and shoot to my hearts content. Even the lenses on the phone itself are pretty great. Look forward to your other articles. If you do not mind I am going to link my web site this article as a source for good information.

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