Manual Lens From PVC Pipes

Manual Lens From PVC PipesThere are proven ways to become a professional photographer, ask Zack Arias. Looks like building your own lenses (which we have done before) ranks pretty high. #3 in fact. And I do want to be a professional photographer. I want it real bad. REAL BAD!

So I looked for the cheapest way to come up with a lens like this. Antonio Montesinos was kind enough to allow me to feature his lens building tut on DIYP. In Your face Zack, I m gong pro for a Dollar fifty.

Materials (Around $4)

  • A camera body cap (Less than a buck on Amazon)
  • Two PVC pipes – to create a focusing mechanism. The wider one has to perfectly fit in the thinner one.
  • A magnifying lens from the local Dollar store.
  • Super Glue or other superstrong glue

Manual Lens From PVC Pipes

Step 1 – Glueworks

Find the focal length of your lens. If it is a really cheap lens like the one used here, you will need to find this data yourself. Hold the lens above the ground on a sunny day and move it up and down. once the sun appears like a dot on the ground, the lens is focused, and the distance between the lens and the ground is the focal length.

Make a piece of the thinner part slightly shorter than the focal length.

Glue the magnifying glass to the end of this pipe.

Cut a hole in the body cap. make sure to leave some inner edges so the thinner pipe wont accidentally slip in. Now, glue the thicker pipe to the body cap.

Manual Lens From PVC Pipes

Step 2 – Assembly & Mounting

Before finalizing the lens make sure you sand off any shreds from the PVC pipe.

Put A in B :)

Manual Lens From PVC Pipes

Mount the body cap on the camera.

Manual Lens From PVC Pipes

Manual Lens From PVC Pipes

The focus is changed by pulling the thin pipe in and out.

The Aperture cannot change without additional accessories. If you stop here, you will need to adjust shutter speed to obtain proper exposure.

If you want Aperture control, there is an added step, not shown in this project and it is making aperture discs from black stock card where each disk has a smaller hole to act like aperture stopping device.


Manual Lens From PVC Pipes

Manual Lens From PVC Pipes

A Word Of Warning

Using this lens is almost a sure way to get dust on your sensor. If you’re gonna go with this project, consider taping some Nylon on the part of the lens that move. Make sure that your glue is sealing the piping nice and tight. you’ll be a happier camper.

  • Belze

    So, this will only good for macro isn’t it?

    Nice Job!