Wide-angle photography is becoming increasingly more popular on smartphones thanks to the wide availability of ultra-wide-angle lenses. Google’s Pixel 4 doesn’t offer that natively, but you can add it with the help of a Moment lens and lately I’ve been testing out the company’s brand new 14mm fisheye lens with the phone.
Nomad case for Pixel 3
Moment has a huge collection of lenses available ranging from telephoto to wide-angle to its unique anamorphic. It’s a pretty sweet collection and as we’ve talked about in the past, they only enhance the already fantastic photography experience on Google’s Pixel phones.
Now, the latest Moment lens focuses on capturing more of the frame than any smartphone currently can. The 14mm Moment Fisheye lens captures a whopping 170-degree FOV – considerably wider than that of the 120-degree angle you’d find on most smartphones with an ultra-wide lens.
Moment says that the goal with this new lens is to offer an alternative to the GoPro which uses the camera you already carry with you anyway. It’s not quite as wide as a GoPro all of the time, but it gets pretty close. For a lot of users, I’d wager this lens could replace a GoPro for many tasks.
Without fisheye lens (left) and with fisheye lens (right)
What about distortion? Yep, when you’re shooting with a lens this wide, there’s a lot of object distortion. In some shots such as landscape images, this can actually add to the look of the shot, but in a lot of situations, it’s not ideal. Moment says that its iOS camera app is getting updated today with a distortion correction feature. Unfortunately, I couldn’t test that since the update won’t be available on Android for a few weeks still.
Generally, when going for that wider angle, a lens will start to lose quality around the edges but that’s thankfully not the case on this lens. Moment says that their bi-aspherical design enables edge-to-edge clarity and it really shows in the final result as you can see above. That quality, by the way, beats out what you’d see on a wide-angle lens that’s built into a phone. Interestingly, the lens also makes macro shots a breeze. You can get extremely close to a subject without losing focus and for shots along the ground it ends up with some stunning results.
On Pixel 4 specifically, though, this lens really shines when it comes to astrophotography. Pixel 4 is the only phone with a built-in mode to capture the stars and its results are fantastic on their own and only amplified by this lens.
Due to poor weather, I only had a single night to test this out, but the results were great. The fisheye lens helped my Pixel 4 XL capture a much wider view of the night sky with seemingly no effect on the quality of the shot. With some light editing, shots taken on the Pixel at night look super dramatic using this lens.
Unedited astrophotography samples from Pixel 4 w/ Moment 14mm lens
Is Moment’s 14mm Fisheye lens worth buying? For $120 – $90 for the next 48 hours – it’s not a bad GoPro alternative especially since you can use the phone already in your pocket. Fisheye photography isn’t for everyone, but if you want to expand your smartphone’s photography capabilities – especially on a vacation – this is a pretty killer addition to your phone. It’s available now directly from Moment.
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