clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Circuit Breaker

Moment launches a smartphone filmmaking line with its first anamorphic lens

New, 8 comments
Moment anamorphic lens Photo: Moment

Moment is going back to Kickstarter with another series of add-on phone lenses and accessories, but this time, they’re aimed directly at filmmakers, not photographers.

The product launch is headlined by a single new lens: a $149 anamorphic, which allows filmmakers to capture extra-wide images with long, streaking lens flares, providing a look frequently used in blockbuster movies. Like Moment’s prior lenses, the anamorphic is designed to go on top of the existing camera lens on your iPhone, Pixel, or Galaxy, altering the field of view it’s able to see.

Anamorphic lenses capture such a wide field of view, they have to squeeze the image down so that it can fit on a standard-sized sensor (or film strip). When shooting digitally, you then have to “de-squeeze” the image after shooting. Moment plans to update its camera app to allow you to de-squeeze the image while shooting, and you can actually do that already using some other apps, like Filmic Pro. I briefly got to see the lens in action, and it was wild just seeing such a wide image coming out of a phone.

Moment won’t have the first anamorphic lens adapter to market — Moondog Labs had one years ago, which was used to shoot Tangerine on an iPhone 5S — but this is the first time Moment has offered one. And for people who have already bought into Moment’s lens system, which lock the lenses into place using a phone case, it’ll likely be the better option.

Moment’s filter adapter on a Moment lens on a Moment case; Moment’s new gimbal seen on the left side of the Osmo Mobile 2 stabilizer.
Photo: Moment

Moment is launching three other items for filmmakers through the Kickstarter it’s launching today. The first is a version of Moment’s battery case designed for the iPhone X; the second is a new counterweight for gimbals, like the Osmo Mobile 2, designed to work on more models; and the third is a lens filter mount (which has already been available to preorder) that goes on top of any of Moment’s lenses and allows you to add standard ND and other filters.

The battery case feels really sturdy and looks nice, too. Moment’s built a clever folding mechanism into the top of it, so the case is easy to take on and off, and it can charge over Lightning or Qi wireless chargers, which is convenient. There’s also a built-in two-stage camera button. The downside is that the case feels really big.

If you’re going to be filming for a while, you’ll certainly need the extra battery, but it’s not going to get you through an all-day shoot. So while it might be part of this filmmaking launch, it’s probably a better product for photographers. (One way or another though, if you’re using Moment’s system, you’ll have to buy one of its cases since the lenses attach to them. Fortunately, Moment sells normal cases for $30 or less.)

The case will sell for $99, and the filters and counterweight will each go for $39. All of the products, including the anamorphic lens, are actually a bit lower on Kickstarter, if you’re willing to preorder there. While you generally want to be wary about buying through Kickstarter, Moment has a proven track record of shipping products, and it’s already completed development on all four items launching through this campaign, so there’s much less of a risk here than usual. The products are supposed to start shipping in June.

Correction March 27th, 12:35PM ET: The prices listed in this article are the final prices, not the reduced Kickstarter prices, as initially stated.