Mobile Video | My Current Obsession – Moment Lenses

mobile video

Your back is aching. Rain streaming into your eyes as you fight for every step up that hill. The straps from your camera bag pushing you back down, as if wanting you to turn back! “Give up on this sunrise,” they seem to be telling you. “It’s not worth it anymore” But you persist. As you look into your camera bag, you try to decide what to use first, “Should I film some vlog content on my vlogging setup? Or maybe grab an Instagram story with some mobile video? What about a group shot or maybe a long-lens-landscape shot?”

You’re not only numb from carrying the weight, but you’re also paralyzed by too much choice! There has to be a better way than this, right?

What’s The Problem?

Using Canon Lenses on Sony

I’ve had this gear for a while, just sitting in a box. Not being used and slowly going out of date. The lenses, especially, were from a time when I thought “more gear equals more options” They were from a time when I thought you needed a set of cinema lenses to achieve a cinema look.

Read here about my Minimalist Content Creator Setup – Do More With Less!

Since then my perspective has changed. I’m loving mobile video and the freedom it brings. I don’t want to be weighed down with gear. Being slowed down under the physical weight of my “creative options”. If I can’t carry the gear I need with me in one bag then I’ve got too much. I’m not going hiking with a Peli Case under each arm just to get a cinematic look and cover all my creative options.

“Have you ever returned from a trip with gear that you didn’t use?”

But, One Day …

I realised I was only holding onto this gear for sentimental reasons. A tether to my corporate filmmaking days that I couldn’t let go of. They hadn’t been used in years. So, I could turn them into cash and use it to fund my current photographic obsession. Which is Moment lenses, mobile video and mobile photography.

mobile video

Because of that …

These lenses need to be sold. I’d tried selling to second-hand photography stores before. On one hand, CVP and have been very helpful in the past. But, this time I wanted to try eBay. This is because I have a lot of gear that just won’t be accepted by CVP or MPB as it is classified as a “slow mover”. The only problem was that I needed to set up an eBay and PayPal account.

The Quest For Cash

In the past (10 years in the past) I had a PayPal account. I used it for my business when I was selling digital artwork and printed canvases (a story for another day).

“And It Caused Me No-End Of Trouble!”

I didn’t want to go through all of that again. However, my wife offered to deal with all of that. She is an accountant and finds dealing with hoops much less of a challenge. She set it up and deals with all of the online side. Leaving me to deal with product descriptions, photography, pricing and dispatching.

We got three lenses listed and within a day, they were all sold. We got a great low-ball offer on one of them, though. Someone offered £100 below our minimum saying, “I’m a student and this lens would really help me with my studies. I don’t have a lot of funds and I think this is a fair price.” Needless to say, we declined but then, the same person is responsible for the current high bid. £152 above our minimum! I guess they are not as poor and starving as they made out.

What a wonderful new world we have discovered, on eBay.

The Return

So, things are selling and the funds will be released soon. Now, why am I obsessed with Moment Lenses, mobile video and mobile photography?

Gear get’s in the way, and time is short.

I tend to shoot quickly and too many options slow me down. They get in the way of what should be important.

Composition, lighting and story.

mobile video

I always have my Fuji GFX in my bag. I use the Fuji for stills and the Sony for Vlogging and video (great autofocus, picture profiles and slow-motion options). But I’m always switching between cameras. And I don’t always get all of the vlogging footage that I want. It’s also a pain offloading three different cameras (Fuji, Sony, GoPro) from different days.

So, I’m ditching the Sony in favour of mobile video on my phone. The super small form-factor means I can go handheld or even use my new gimbal for some great looking mobile video shots.

This is why I’ve become obsessed with moment lenses. Because they release great potential from this small setup. I can have 3 lenses in one pocket and hike up that hill for the sunrise.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d still take the Fuji, but for vlogging and Instagram stories, mobile video is the way to go.

The Gear Paradox

My motivation was to get rid of extra gear. But, I’m talking about getting extra gear! Silly, right? But, the way I see it is this.

I won’t have to choose between a 24mm, 35mm or 50mm cine prime. Also, there is no need to pack an adaptor for a Canon lens on Sony body I will just need to choose between Wide, Tele or standard. AND, I can pack all of them! They are so tiny!

Read my Sony Adaptor Guide For Canon Lenses!

I’m not out to make a mobile video feature film. I want to capture Instagram stills, Instagram stories, Vlog content and Instagram video. My phone will record 4k, or 1080p at 240fps. Job done, move on.

When creating content every day, anything that saves you a little time is a must. And when the location matters more than the gear, going light and being able to reach great locations seems like a win-win.

mobile video

Is Mobile Video Good Enough?

Absolutely! In my mind, phones today are more capable than the cameras I had when I started out. The Canon 7D mk1 – a great crop sensor DSLR. That never stopped me. I didn’t wait around until I had 4k at 24p or 1080p 240fps. My 7D had 18 Megapixels and could film at 1080p24 and 720p60 for “slow motion”. Today, I can do mobile video in a LOG profile, 4k or 1080p Slow motion, even capture a time-lapse – thanks Filmic Pro {Google Play, Apple App Store}.

And now, thanks to Moment Lenses, I can have interchangeable fields of view. Giving me a wide and a telephoto perspective to shoot with and make mobile video footage that will be more interesting.

Which Lenses Will I Get?

mobile video

I’m hoping to get three Moment lenses.

  • The Wide – a grand perspective that makes the phone slightly better for vlogging.
  • The Tele – adding optical zoom to phone footage and some of that telephoto compression that brings the background closer.
  • The Anamorphic – For that telltale anamorphic distortion that you see in cinema. It’s a different look than being just “Wide” and it’s something that I’ve wanted to shoot with for a long time.


I’ve been searching for “My Way” of doing things for the longest time. However, I’ve come to realise that it’s an illusion. As creative people, we need to explore and to challenge ourselves. Trying new things and creating. This makes it hard to stick to one way of doing things.

Having tools to hand that don’t get in the way and allow you to try new things is extremely freeing. On the other hand, having tools that get in the way, take your attention away from the story, and demand a certain way of doing things is limiting.

For me, staying light, flexible and always ready – so that I can move quickly – gives me the freedom to create.

This is what mobile video is all about.

Thanks for reading this far. I’d like to know how other creative people get on with the gear that they have. Do you find it too much at times? Or maybe you feel like you don’t have what you need just yet? Let me know in the comments below or drop me a message on Instagram or Twitter.

Also, check out the YouTube channel as that is where I will be publishing most of my video content and subscribe to Friends Of #J below for the occasional bit of extra content.

Thanks again for your time, have a great day, watch less, create more,

Ta Raa!


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