Review: The Moment Superfish Lens | Fisheye lens for iPhone
Just in time for my urban exploration trip to Leipzig, Germany, the postman brought a shiny new lens for my iPhone: The Moment Superfish lens. During this trip to Leipzig, I tried the lens indoor at the abandoned town pool hall and outdoor to photograph an abandoned church ruin near Leipzig.
Er, what’s a fisheye lens?
In simple words, a fisheye lens is a very wide angle lens that has an almost 180-degree angle of view compared to a standard wide angle lens that just has a 60 to 80 degree angle of view. So, with a fisheye lens you can basically capture more of a scene.
I thought about buying a fisheye lens over and over when I still used a DSLR, but I just couldn’t convince myself to get one back then for two reasons:
- Photos taken with a fisheye lens will most likely show an effect called bent lines.
- Because of that effect using a fisheye lens would have required some additional post processing.
But things have changed with iPhone photography. First, a fisheye lens for iPhone is way cheaper than for a DSLR and you can do the necessary post processing to fix bent lines quickly right on your iPhone. And this was the reason I gave the Moment fisheye lens a try.
So, here’s an example of those bent lines thing I’ve been talking about. Note that bent lines is not an error of the Moment lens. You’ll get that effect with each sand every fisheye lens you would use independent of the camera.
In those two photos you can see that the usually straight, horizontal, lines of horizon and the vertical lines of building are bent around the center of the frame. In the second photo you can see the same effect on the walls and the pillars. They’re bent, too.
But luckily, with iPhone and SKRWT app you can fix that effect in less that 10 seconds right from your camera roll. Here are the two shots above after I ran them through SKRWT (and cropped to a square format).
The Moment Superfish Lens
The Moment fisheye lens consists, like all the other lenses from Moment, of glass lenses in a metal housing and it has a small bayonet mount for use with Moment phone cases. It comes with a small carrying pouch and a lens cap (Thanks Moment that you include the lens caps and I don’t have to order it separately).
Just like the other lenses from Moment, the Superfish really excels where many other lenses for iPhone fail: your photo will be sharp from edge to edge. I’ve seen other lenses that miserably fail here and add a notable amount of blur to the edges of your photos.
Mounting the Moment Superfish Lens to your iPhone
Moment has changed the way of mounting their lenses to iPhone. Previously you had to attach a small plate to your iPhone with an adhesive. Instead, Moment created and sells affordable cases (Read my opinion about the Moment cases here) for use with their lens that come with an additional bonus: you can add a wrist strap! I’ve been wanting for such a case with a wrist strap ever since I started with iPhone photography! It just feels a little more secure.
Here’s a little hint for mounting the Moment lenses to the case so you don’t have to fiddle around:
- Hold your iPhone with the case mounted in landscape mode
- Find the „170“ label on the fisheye lens and make sure it‘s at the top
- Put the lens in the bayonet mount and turn the lens 90 degrees to the left.
If you have a dual lens iPhone like a “plus” model or an iPhone X, the Superfish lens goes over the wide angle lens.
Tips for shooting with a fisheye lens
A fisheye lens works great for landscape photography but also to for cityscapes, buildings and indoor photography. I loved using it during my photo session in the abandoned town pool hall in Leipzig! To get the best results with your fisheye lens and iPhone, keep the following in mind:
- The bent lines effect will be stronger towards the edges of your photo.
- If you tilt your iPhone in any direction while using the superfish lens the bent lines effect will be even stronger.
How to fix bent lines using SKRWT
SKRWT is my favorite app for fixing all kinds of perspective distortions right on iPhone. Check out my full review of SKRWT here.
SKRWT has a special mode for fixing bent lines that occur with any fishey lens. Once you’ve purchased SKRWT you can launch it right from the iOS photos app (if you’re shopping JPG)
- Tap the photo you want to load into SKRWT to view it full screen
- Tap „edit“ at the top of the screen
- At the bottom of the screen tap the „...“ icon and you should see SkRWT
If the app is not visible, swipe left in the toolbar shown in the screen below and tap the last icon with the three dots. Here you may need to enable SKRWT.
Alternatively, launch SKRWT and open the photo right in SKRWT as outlined in the SKRWT review.
Once you‘ve loaded your photo into SKRWT, locate the fisheye button at the bottom. You‘ll see 4 different options to choose from. I work mainly with the first and the third option.
Now drag the slider until the bent lines are perfectly straight. If necessary, switch to the vertical distortion fix and make your shot upright. Once you're satisfied, press the checkmark. If you've lunched SKRWT from the camera roll you need to press the checkmark once more to indicate that you're finished editing. If you launched SKRWT directly, don't forget to save your editied photo to the camera roll.
Edited Sample Shots I took with the Moment Superfish Lens
I took all the photos below using the Moment Superfish Lens. Those photos are the result after I fixed the bent lines using SKRWT and edited them in Adobe Lightroom Mobile.
What I liked and what could be improved
- High quality lens made of glass in a metal housing
- Photos are sharp from edge to edge
- Comes with a carrying pouch and lens cap
- Easy to mount and perfectly aligned with your iPhone using the Moment case
Maybe a little pricy for occasional photographers, but definitely worth the money.
You may want to check out the review of the Moment Case of the other Moment lenses I use or get your Moment Superfish Lens from Amazon - and don’t forget to get SKRWT app (iTunes Link) to fix all those perspective distortions.