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Moment lenses are the latest attempt to make your smartphone's camera better

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Moment lens for smartphones
Moment lens for smartphones

Smartphone have essentially changed photography as we know it. The always-with-us devices have enabled more people to take more photos than ever before. The top four most popular cameras on Flickr bear this out: they are all iPhones. But as popular as smartphones are for taking pictures, they are saddled with a variety of limitations, including fixed focal length lenses. Subsequently, an entire industry of accessory lenses has cropped up, all of which aim to expand upon or improve your smartphone's camera.

Moment is the latest company to attempt this feat, and its wide-angle and telephoto lenses are designed to complement an iPhone's, iPad's, or Samsung Galaxy's built-in camera lens. Launching on Kickstarter today, the company has the backing of Marc Barros, formerly of Contour Camera, a company that produced GoPro-like action cameras.

The wide-angle Moment lens offers an 18mm field of view, while the telephoto version provides a 70mm field of view (an iPhone's typical field of view is about 32mm). Both are constructed of machined metal and glass, as opposed to plastic, and are designed to feel like the premium lenses you might use with a high-end still camera. Moment promises that the lenses are made to exacting standards that minimize distortion and chromatic aberration.


To get the lenses attached to your phone, Moment is providing mounts compatible with the Apple iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, and Samsung Galaxy S2, Galaxy S3, and Galaxy S4. The mount is a thin metal plate, which lets you screw the lens onto the back of the phone, much like you would mount a lens onto a DSLR. Moment says that the mount works with or without a case, and emphasizes that the lenses are fast to attach and easy to use.

Moment isn't the only third-party lens you can get for your smartphone — Olloclip has been making similar accessories for years. But the company hopes that its emphasis on build quality and image quality will enable it to win over some of the more dedicated smartphone shooters. Interested buyers can back the project on Kickstarter starting today, with shipments expected to begin in May or June of this year. The company is looking to raise $50,000 to support its efforts, and backers that pledge $49 or more will receive either a wide-angle or telephoto lens, while a $99 pledge earns both versions.