After reading our review of Moment’s lenses and how it made the Pixel 2’s camera even better, I knew I had to get my hands on the different pieces of glass. Unfortunately, the $90 to $100 per lens stopped me in my tracks and made me reconsider the purchase. Thankfully, RhinoShield, the makers of one of the best bumper cases on the market, now has its own line of smartphone lenses available for just a fraction of the cost (25 to $60).
Here’s a detailed look at both company’s lenses, the photographs they allow you to take, and my thoughts on if they’re worth the money.
Cell Phones from Amazon
Unlike professional DSLR or mirrorless cameras, you can’t just mount a different lens onto your smartphone to take a different looking photo. Instead, both Moment and RhinoShield manufacture its own cases that allow you to screw on the different lenses over the handset’s camera.
Moment’s case is pretty plain, simple, and nothing to get too excited about. It features a hard shell with rubber edges and will protect your phone from very basic drops and dings. The case’s primary functionality is the lens mount. That portion features an elegant notch system that allows each lens to quickly and securely screw on top of the camera.
Of the two, this my favorite mounting system because of how easy it is to use. Instead of having to worry about threading the lens on, you just line up a marking on the lens with a marking on the case and give it a quarter screw.
RhinoShield’s case is just about the opposite. The SolidSuit (which is what I’m testing these lenses with) features a “custom polymer” and other tech to help protect your phone from drops from 11 feet or less.
While this case feels more secure in hand, the company’s lens mounting system feels so unsafe. As you have to thread the lens into place, it can be tricky to get everything into place. Once on, the lenses feel secure, but removing them is a whole other nightmare because you never know when it’s going to completely come undone from the case. On multiple occasions I felt as though I might drop the lens.
I should note that in order to mount the lenses to the SolidSuit case, you have to buy a $5 lens adaptor. Once you have it, the adaptor just splits into the camera cutout on the case and stay in place. There’s no need to actually mount it onto your phone or anything.
Additionally, if you have an iPhone, RhinoShield also makes the Mod case which also allows you to mount the company’s different lenses.
In hand, there are a lot of differences between Moment’s and RhinoShield’s lenses. When you pick up a Moment lens, you can immediately feel its premium quality through the metal and glass used to construct the item as well its weight. It’s hard to describe, but each person I had hold a Moment lens was surprised by how it felt more like a camera accessory and less of a phone add-on.
RhinoShield’s lenses, which also feature a metal and glass construction alongside some plastic bits, just don’t have the same premium feel to them. They feel well constructed, but they just don’t have the weight or feeling of quality to them.
I do have some pet peeves with both company’s products, though. Starting off with Moment, I love the lens caps that come with each item, but I hate that nothing is protecting the mountable end of each lens. Thankfully, RhinoShield includes a small plastic cap that can be placed on the lens when it’s not in use.
Next, other than the larger 0.6x wide-angle lens from RhinoShield, all of the company’s other lenses include rubber lens caps that cover the glass and a portion of the lens body. This is great for protecting the glass but sucks for identifying each lens because the cap covers the text which states which lens is which. Basically, when you want to find a specific lens, you’re going to need to pick it up, slightly lift the cap, and then read which one it is.
Lastly, and this seems odd, but I hate RhinoShield’s fabric carrying cases. As you can see from the last photo, both company’s almost identical pouches that come with each lens. The difference is that Moment marks each case with the type of lens that’s inside. This makes for finding the desired lens so easy, especially when they’ve all been thrown into a backpack or left on a shelf. With the RhinoShield lenses, you have to dig through each bag until you find the right one.
I will talk more about the different lenses that are available in the following sections.
Standard Google Pixel 2 photos
Before I go and show you comparisons of the different lenses from Moment and RhinoShield, I wanted to snap a couple of sample photos of the various scenes so you could see what the Pixel 2 captures right out of the box.
Wide angle shots
Most of the lenses that both companies sell are wide angle. These allow you to capture more of a scene, but some do distort the frame a bit. Moment sells an 18mm wide lens and a 170-degree “superfish” lens. RhinoShield offers a 0.6x wide angle, 0.65x wide angle, and a 0.4x super wide angle lens.
Below you will find photos of each scene taken using all of the different wide-angle lenses. They will all be labeled to help you differentiate between each.
While Moment does offer a “superfish” lens, it felt more at home alongside all of the above wide-angle lenses. RhinoShield’s lens felt more like a traditional fisheye with a large amount of curvature and vignetting around the edges.
Moment also stands out from RhinoShield with its telephoto lens. This 60mm lens allows you to almost “zoom in” quite a lot compared to what you normally see on your smartphone without the need to digitally zoom into the scene. Unfortunately, as you can see from the below photos, there is a quite noticeable vinette around each image.
RhinoShield was quite ingenious and doubled its 0.65x wide-angle lens into a macro lens. All you have to do is unscrew the top portion of glass and you can go shoot up close and personal with your subject.
The most significant downside of this process is the fact that the lens is already small so it can be hard at times to separate the two pieces.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get my hands on the macro lens from Moment by the time of this writing. I will add comparison photos between both macro lenses when it arrives.
While I’ll let you make the final decision for yourself on whether you should go with Moment’s ultra-premium lenses or RhinoShield’s less expensive options, I wanted to steal something a friend of mine said. Moment appears to approach these lenses from a photography company’s point of view with the high-quality materials, premium glass, and pays more attention to the lens rather than the phone case. RhinoShield, on the other hand, focuses more on its fantastic cases and then adds to those with various different lenses.
Personally, I love the quality of the Moment lenses and its photos seem a bit better in quality to my eyes, so I plan to continue using them. But I know how expensive they are and that most can’t afford to spend that much for a phone accessory. And because of that, it’s hard not to recommend the RhinoShield lenses as they also help create beautiful photographs for a fraction of the cost and without giving up too much quality.
Where to buy
RhinoShield Lenses |
Moment Lenses |
Wide Lens | Moment
Tele Lens | Moment
Macro Lens | Moment