July 9, 2019

Moment Unveils an Anamorphic Lens for DJI Drones

Smartphone lens maker Moment has a new and very impressive Anamorphic lens for DJI drones that will give great results for a very affordable budget.

Mobile filmmaking powerhouse Moment, known for their stellar smartphone lenses, have taken to their air with the launch of their new anamorphic drone lens, Moment Air, which will retail for $299 but is available for $199 on their launch kickstarter.

The impressive thing here isn't just the image quality (though the longer launch video has some nice looking footage in it), it's the engineering. Drones are very complicated machines.  Aside from all the tech that goes into keeping them in the air, there is a tremendous amount of tech that goes into stabilizing that little camera box that hangs below it. Three axes of stabilization work together contstantly to smooth out any vibrations or other distrubances from the drone, and any misbalance in the camera head means the motor needs to work harder, which drains your battery faster. Since the biggest hurdle to drone flying in battery time (drones are at least partially flying batteries), you don't want to mess with that delicate balance.

Moment solves this problem by rigging up a counterweight to the back of the camera. When you attach their adapter, a counterweight is built in that rigs up behind the camera body and should ensure that the center of gravity for the unit remains in the same place and that your drones battery time will not be drastically changed. You will notice some change in battery, of course, since you are adding more weight, but since the unit only weighs in at 79.2 grams (for the Pro, 20 grams + 59.2-gram counterweight) you shouldn't notice too much.

Why is the counterweight so heavy? Well, it can't be as far from the pivot point, so it has to be heavier to compensate for being closer in. High School Physics turns out to still be very useful to filmmakers.

It's also interesting to really see just how dominant the Mavic 2 has become in the "indie filmmaker" space that this accessory is so clearly designed just for that camera platform. Yes, we all wish we could be on an Inspire, but they are a bit pricey. And while the Phantom was once dominant, the lack of updates and the lack of folding has really positioned the Mavic as "the" drone.

What does Mavic footage look like with and without the Moment Air? Take a look at this comparison video:

Tech Specs:
  • Magnification Ratio - 1.33x Horizontal Squeeze
  • Aspect Ratio (Video) - 2.40:1 Cinemascope (after de-squeeze)
  • Distortion - Vintage Anamorphic barrel type distortion
  • Later Color - Minimized
  • Design - 2 Cylindrical Elements
  • Lens Coating - Anti-reflection coatings create vintage horizontal flares
  • Orientation - Unidirectional, direct horizontal mount to drone camera
  • Mavic 2 Zoom - Lens Weight: 14.3 grams + 24.6 gram counterweight
  • Mavic 2 Pro - Lens Weight: 20 grams + 59.2 gram counterweight

Moment Air is currently on Kickstarter now, along with a 6-filter set ($99) and a new photo case, as well as bundles that include either a Mavic 2 Zoom or a Mavic 2 Pro for $1599 and $1799 respectively.     

Your Comment

7 Comments

Great read, Chris!

July 9, 2019 at 6:54PM

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Nick Friend
Freelance Technical Editor

This is awesome ...albeit expensive. On a side note, there are very few reasons that you'd want an Inspire 2 over a Mavic Pro 2... only if you went with the X7 and if you needed the drone speed. And then it becomes a 10k+ package.... sooo

July 9, 2019 at 7:47PM

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So as a followup ... i checked out all the info on the kickstarted page. Still bothered by the $199 price tag, $299 retail !! .... i did some research. I already have the ability to letterbox and create Anamorphic elements in post... now i found a free Anamorphic plug-in with many adjustment layers. So i will be doing a test with my Mavic Pro 2 and some post "fun" ........ my current theory is ..i don't need this at all .... off to prove my thesis !!

July 10, 2019 at 9:39AM

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at the moment, you'd film it as wide as the mavic will go and crop it with letterbox, however does this give you a wider view then what you can get now ?

July 11, 2019 at 4:42AM

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rehan
81

Rehan... It won't be wider, if you compared apples to apples. You would add the anamorphic plugin and it would stretch/compress the image (to your liking) ..but to truly get a wider shot you would have to use camera position/placement.

July 13, 2019 at 9:41AM

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The fish eye effect is really noticeable in the building at 1:45 in the comparison video -the outer edges look bent. I think in the right situations it looks great though, I would love to try it out. I wonder if it works ok with Polar Pro's ND's.

July 9, 2019 at 11:49PM, Edited July 9, 11:49PM

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Stephen Herron
Writer/Director
1776

Until the appearance of zoom lenses, this would be indispensable, but now the benefits of this lens are not entirely justified.

July 10, 2019 at 5:06AM

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George Hanson
freelance writer
109