Posts from the ‘film photography’ category

Moment O series lens mount – tested

Moment ‘O’ series lens mount objective test

I don’t think this is a review, I paid full price for this item and I have not benefited in any way from writing this post. My reason for writing it is that I couldn’t find much information about the product before I purchased it. Having now bought it and taken a few shots with it, I thought I might share my experience with other Moment O series owners.

First some background. A few years ago, I bought a set of the original Moment lenses to go on an Iphone SE. Rather than using a case, I used the self adhesive metal lens mount.

Adhesive Moment lens plate for O series lenses attached to Iphone SE

Adhesive Moment lens plate for O series lenses attached to Iphone SE

Under optimum conditions, the pictures I took with these lenses were really quite impressive. Some of the videos I have shot using Moment O series lenses on the SE with FilmicPro have been screened at film festivals alongside movies shot on dedicated film cameras.

After a long and productive life, the SE eventually died to be replaced with an iPhone 7. Again, I used a self-adhesive Moment plate to attach the lenses to the phone. The larger lens on the 7 possibly combined with my poor alignment of the plate meant that there was some vignetting with the 18 (wide angle). The hole in the plate also attracted and trapped dust and was difficult to clean properly. I made less use of the lenses and was starting to consider upgrading to the newer ‘V2’ versions.

Eventually the iPhone 7 also developed problems so it was time to upgrade, this time to the 2020 iPhone SE. I visited the Moment site to see what options there were in terms of lenses, or cases for the new phone and noticed the new lens mounts, one for the new ‘V2’ series and one for the original ‘O’ series. From what I had read online, I knew that the old lenses would not be as good as the original models and that there would probably be some vignetting with the wider lenses but, for £41 this simple clip was a lot cheaper than a whole new set of lenses so I pressed the button.

Moment O Series Lens Mount objective lens test review attached to iPhone SE 2020

Moment O Series Lens Mount attached to iPhone SE 2020

The mount arrived from the US 3 days after placing the order! The product feels solid and well made, it can be attached and aligned with the phone’s lens reasonably easily, it can also be mounted on tablets and some laptops though I haven’t tried this. I doubt if the clip will fit over a phone case unless it has been modified so I may take a craft knife to a simple Tech21 case to give the phone some protection. Checking lens coverage on the iPhone app, I couldn’t see any vignetting with the 60 (Tele), very slight vignetting on the 18 (Wide) and no vignetting on the 170 (Superfish), I haven’t yet tested the macro lens. Not having the newer lenses this will not be a comparison between the two types of lenses, the shots I have taken will hopefully give a sense of sharpness, vignetting and chromatic aberration.

My unscientific process

I thought I would go to a nearby location (Castle Combe in Wiltshire) and test the lenses out on a bright sunny day, shooting with my back to the sun.  The main images have not been cropped, sharpened or edited in Photoshop, I have just downsized them to 2000 pixels on the longest side. The close up shots have been cropped but not downsized.

Images taken with Moment O series 170 Superfish lens

Image of church taken with Moment 170 Superfish

Full frame image of church taken with Moment 170 Superfish lens

close up details of image taken with Moment 170 Superfish lens

Close up details of image taken with Moment 170 Superfish lens

Cottages in Castle Combe, Wiltshire taken with O series Moment 170 Superfish lens

Full frame image of cottages in Castle Combe, Wiltshire taken with Moment 170 Superfish lens

Close up detail of edge of image taken with Moment 170 Superfish lens

Close up detail of edge of image taken with Moment 170 Superfish lens

Gravestone taken with Moment O series 170 Superfish lens

Full frame image of gravestone taken with Moment O series 170 Superfish lens

Images taken with 18 (wide) Moment O series lens

Full frame image taken with Moment O series lens showing edge blurring and slight vignetting

Full frame image taken with Moment O series lens showing edge blurring and slight vignetting

Graveyard taken with Moment O series 18 (wide) showing vignetting and some edge softness

Graveyard taken with Moment O series 18 (wide) showing vignetting and some edge softness

Images taken with Moment O series 60 (tele) lens

Image of house taken with Moment 60 O series lens

Image of house taken with Moment 60 O series lens

Detail of above shot taken with Moment O series 60 (tele) lens

Detail of above shot taken with Moment O series 60 (tele) lens

Flower taken with Moment O series 60 (tele) lens

Flower taken with Moment O series 60 (tele) lens

Centre detail of above image taken with Moment 60 (tele) lens

Centre detail of above image taken with Moment 60 (tele) lens

Edge detail of above image taken with Moment 60 (tele) lens

Edge detail of above image taken with Moment 60 (tele) lens

Moment O series 18 Wide lens

From my tests, there is no hiding from the fact that the 18 is not very sharp and it only gets worse as we get closer to the edge of the frame. There is also slight vignetting in the corners. The look reminds me of images taken with vintage style lenses. Personally, I can live with this but photographers that like pin sharp images from edge to edge will be disappointed.

Moment O series Superfish

There is little if any vignetting with this lens and while it isn’t pin sharp from centre to edge, it isn’t as bad as the 18 (wide). I was expecting to see heavy vignetting, edge softness and possibly chromatic aberration and am surprised how well this lens has performed.

Moment O series 60 Tele lens

Like the 18 lens, the lenses performance falls away as we move outwards from the centre of the image. If used with care, this could be used to emphasise a subject placed in the centre. I think this could still work as a slightly soft portrait lens.

Summing up

I am sure that the new Moment ‘V2’ lenses will perform much better than my O series lenses but I am not disappointed with the test shots and now having identified their weaknesses will plan around this when I compose and take pictures. In short, the new Moment O series lens mount has delayed the inevitable lens upgrade for a year or two.

Smartphone Photography and Videography courses and training online and face to face

I deliver a range of courses on shooting still images and video on smartphones. Thes can be delivered onsite, online and 1:1 or group workshops. Clients for my smartphone photography training workshops include; Microsoft, The Royal Photographic Society, Zurich Insurance and University of Bath.

If you would like to know more about capturing and editing stills and video with your smartphone do let me know.

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The decisive moment

I am often commissioned to cover agricultural stories for specialist magazines and companies, at a recent shoot at an agricultural livestock auction I managed to capture this shot just as the auctioneer’s hammer (gavel) was going down. This could be described as a decisive moment

Auction sale - hammer

The decisive moment

Iphone infrared photography

I have started to explore infrared photography and video capture on a smartphone. The native camera is unable to see true infrared so a clip on attachment is needed which bypasses the built in camera to reveal a strange new world. I have attached some recent test shots but looking forward to exploring this further over the next few weeks. It would make an interesting component of future smartphone photography talks and workshops. Watch this space.

Infrared image of Cheney Court near Bath showing heat from sunlight radiating off stone walls.

Cheney Court near Bath as seen in infrared on smartphone

Infrared image taken with smartphone of wheel showing heat (red) from brake discs.

Infrared image taken with smartphone of wheel showing heat (red) from brake discs.

14,000 boxes showing at screens across the UK in July

My short film ‘14,000 metal boxes’ has been screened to UK audiences, both North and South in July. It is showing as part of The Agents of Change exhibition at The Holden Gallery, in Manchester along with 40 other finalists of The John Ruskin Prize and this week, it appeared at the Small Axe Film Festival in Dorset. It can be seen until the end of August at The Holden Gallery but if you can’t view it on the large screen you can still view it online below.

Vintage cinema bus, venue for Small Axe Film Festival

Vintage cinema bus, venue for Small Axe Film Festival

Screening on the vintage cinema bus at The Small Axe Film Festival

Agents of Change, John Ruskin Prize 2019, Holden Gallery, Manchester

'14,000 boxes' screening at The Holden Gallery Manchester, Agents of Change, John Ruskin Prize 2019, Nigel Goldsmith

‘14,000 boxes’ showing at John Ruskin Prize, Manchester

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