Moment isn’t designing the filters itself, but it created an adapter that allows mobile photographers to add on any circular, screw-in 62mm filter, including polarizing and neutral density filters. A rubber collar, in two different sizes, secures an aluminum filter mount over the front of the lens, which allows the same filter adapter to be used with any Moment lens.
The adapter pops onto the end of the lens, with the snug fit of the rubber collar holding it in place. Once the adapter is secured over the smartphone lens, the filter screws into the aluminum threads just like adding a circular filter to a DSLR lens.
A 62mm filter is much larger than Moment’s smartphone lenses (and wider than the typical 52mm kit lens for a DSLR). Why so big? Moment explains that in order to use the filter on the wide fisheye, the filter has to be much larger to prevent vignetting or a darkening of the edges of the photo.
While a number of traditional colored filters can be mimicked with photo editing software, several can’t be replaced with editing techniques. Circular polarizing filters are one example, which emphasize or reduce reflections along with making the sky appear bluer. Neutral density filters, on the other hand, darken the shot for techniques like long exposures.
The Moment filter adapter isn’t the first to bring physical (rather than digital) filters to smartphone photography. The Bitplay Snap’s earlier line includes a “lens” that functions as a polarizing filter, while the latest iPhone X HD lenses are all compatible with a polarizing filter. Sandmarc designed clip-on smartphone filters, but its crowdfunding campaign wasn’t successful. By integrating with existing –and well-received — lenses, the possibility of adding a filter should add even more versatility to smartphone photography.
The Moment Filter Mount is expected to begin shipping this spring with pre-orders available now, retailing for $40. The price includes two different collars in order to accommodate all Moment lenses and a carrying pouch, but doesn’t include the filter, leaving the photographer to choose the brand and type of filter.
Updated on Jan. 8 to correct the reference to the Bitplay filter.
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