If you are tired of your old headset, here is a quick and fun way to make them worthy again – by turning them into a tilt shift lens, courtesy of Brian Schauer.
There is no need to kill a new good lens though, you can find amazingly sharp old lenses on eBay.
*Actual headphones were injured during the making of this tutorial.
- 1 set of headphone ear pads
- Adhesive, either a minimum of scotch tape or preferably a contact cement or super glue.
- Optional items: piece of chipboard (back of notepad), black spray paint, dry erase marker, rear lens cover, body cap.
Remove the ear pads from the headphones. Make sure the speaker opening is at least the size of your body opening. A little smaller won’t hurt, but too small and your image will be heavily vignetted. Apply a small bead of adhesive around the ear side of one of the foam pieces. Or, roll 4 pieces of scotch tape and arrange on four sides of the foam, no letting the tape into the opening.
Sandwich the the other ear pad onto the piece with adhesive, placing ear side to ear side and carefully aligning the holes. If you used glue, you only have one shot at this. If you used tape you can reposistion as needed.
You can stop here and use pressure to hold the newly formed foam tube in place between your lens and camera, setting your lens to infinity focus in the beginning, and closer as needed. Go on for a little more ease of use.
Take the piece of chip board and trace the outside of the foam tube. Then I found the easiest way to get a pattern of the mount is to take a body cap or lens and cover the bayonet with dry erase marker, then center the cap or lens on the trace of the foam and press down. The marker will transfer to the chipboard to give a pattern for the lens mount. Cut out the pattern, coat with black paint and let dry.
Since you traced a likely less than round foam tube, align the pattern with the tube so the lens mount is centered. Use contact cement to adhere the chipboard to the foam and let dry. You can now mount the lens to the chipboard. You again are ready to shoot. This seems to be the best method for me becasue you can slide the foam to one corner or another for vignetting effects as desired.
One step further for the perfectionists. Bypass the chipboard, you’re going to cut the centers out of a lens end cap and body cap, retaining the mounting. Adhere to one to each end of the foam tube and you can mount the tube to both camera and lens. I’m using this with an old M42 body, so I didn’t take it this far.
Here are some results:
taken with Mamiya 1000 DTL, Exaktar 35/2.8, Kodak 2486 film.
taken with Mamiya 1000 DTL, Pentacon 50/1.8, Kodak 2486 film.