Anthony thurston reviews

Pixel 2 XL & MOMENT V2


Initial Impressions

The Ideal mobile photography experience?

So if you are not into mobile photography much this may be news to you but Google's Pixel 2 XL has one of, if not the, best smartphone cameras currently available on the market. It's combination of advanced hardware and state of the art computational photography technology makes it a force to be reckoned with -- but as with any fixed lens camera, it has its limitations. This is where Moment and their mobile photography system come in.
I recently upgraded to a Pixel 2 XL from an iPhone 6s and I really love the camera in this phone. But as noted above, it has its limitations, and that is why I was so excited to get my hands on the Moment lenses. These accessory lenses allow you to change the field of view on your Pixel 2 XL (or any other supported phone) and vastly expand the capabilities of your phone camera without any loss  -in theory- of image quality. 

There are four lenses in total; I was able to get my hands on three of them; the Telephoto, Wide, and Super Fish versions. In this quick initial impressions post I just wanted to share my thoughts on this setup now after having had the chance to play with it at home and on my recent trip to Charleston. 

THE Moment v2

So the Moment V2 system is, as you would guess from the V2 tag, their second version of their accessory lens system. The series has four lenses and a case. The caveat to this system is that you can only use it on phones for which they produce the case. 

I will go over some more complete thoughts in my full review, but for now I just wanted to get some of my initial impressions up. So let's get into it...


So the moment case is pretty standard as far as cases go these days. The company is working in a battery case, but for now with the Pixel 2 XL it's just this basic case option. However you do have a choice between the black canvas version or the walnut wood version. I was able to good my hand on the black canvas version.

The construction of the cases is good, and you can tell it is a well built case. Probably my biggest complaint with the cases is that the sides of the case are the sorry of soft touch smooth finish and it can make the phone a little easier to lose your grip on than I would like.

Additionally, the buttons that they have built onto the case for the power and volume buttons are just a hair too flush with the rest of the case and that can make it difficult to know which button you have our finger on based on feeling alone. 

In terms of the lens mounting location, it feels solid and the lenses mount and dismount with ease while at the same time remaining solid and secure while connected to the camera.


Since this is just my initial impressions on these lenses and the system, I will just keep the observations to the lenses as a whole, and save the more detailed thoughts on each individual lens for the review.

In terms of the build quality, the Moment V2 lenses are among the best built accessory lenses that I have come across. The casings are metal and the lens mounting are strong and secure. Optically the lens elements are made of glass, unlike many accessory lens companies that try to get away with plastic lens elements.
"In terms of the build quality, the Moment V2 lenses are among the best built accessory lenses that I have come across."
Since these are accessory lenses there is no focusing or zooming involved. In other words, you can basically think of these lenses like mini prime lenses for your phone. Though if we were looking for a more accurate analogy the better example would be the lens adapters that Fujifilm makes for the X100 series cameras.

Overall, optically, the lenses perform really well. The two wider lenses, The Wide and The Superfish, both perform their intended tasks with no loss of image quality (that I can make out anyway). The Telephoto lens on the other hand is a bit of a different story. If you use it with the Pixel 2’s portrait mode then you won't see any quality losses with that lens either.

However, if you try using it with the standard Pixel 2 camera you will notice some vignetting on the outer corners of the frame. It's not terrible, but it is noticeable and in situations with bright scene and backgrounds it will seem exaggerated. That said, you are most likely to use that lens with the portrait mode anyways, so for most people this shouldn’t be a big deal. 
I've been able to use the lenses now around the hoodie at home as well on my recent trip to Charleston and they all performed as well as I needed then to. Honestly I almost could have brought just these lenses with me and not even bothered bringing my full Fujifilm kit. (I was attending a Press Experiential with Olympus so I didn't have much need of my own gear)

I will be posting a full review later on once I am able to test the lenses further and try them out in more situations. But barring any unforeseen circumstances I can safely say that these are some serious lenses that even experienced photographers should consider for their mobile photography needs. 


Shot on the Pixel 2 XL with Moment's v2 system