In a previous post, I shared how I converted my Afghan Box Camera into a slide projector. The principle of the slide projector involves putting a light source at the back whose light passes through some condenser lens. The light then goes through the slide and finally pass the projector lens and be projected big on the projector screen.
If you ever want to experiment with optics, making your own lenses (or adapting old ones to fit on current cameras) is definitely a good way to do it. Lenses now have gotten pretty complex, though, with elements acting in pairs or groups that are often too complicated to try to reassemble in your own custom housing (especially if it’s held together with gaffer tape).
In this video, though, the folks at Fotodiox show us how we can make our own lens using nothing more than some macro bellows and a magnifying glass. This is about as simple as a lens gets and it’s absolutely not going to give you the same results as an expensive GM lens (not even close), but it’s a lot of fun to experiment with and can produce some pretty neat in-camera effects.
There are a lot of 3D printed accessories out there for photography and filmmaking. One of the more popular items that people print are lens caps. There are quite a lot of different lens cap designs out there, but most of them have one big problem. They’re entirely 3D printed, including any spring mechanism to lock them onto your lens.
Depending on the material you print with, such as ABS, PETG or perhaps Nylon, this might never be a problem. But if you print with the usual PLA, this can become very weak over time as it’s used. YouTube channel DSLR CNC DIY has a solution, though, with a rugged lens cap design that uses a binder clip arm as a spring for maximum longevity.
Macro is always a popular photography subject. Even if it’s not something you shoot all the time, it’s something that pretty much all of us will have a go at given the chance. But macro lenses are expensive, so it’s not something that a lot of people will try, even if they want to. There are less expensive options out there, though, especially if you own a 3D printer.
We’ve featured photographer Nick Sherlock and his 3D printed extension tubes and macro accessories before, but this pair of extension tubes is particularly interesting. They’re variable extension tubes with ranges of 0-35mm and 50-150mm, designed to let you adjust their length to whatever you need using Canon EF mount lenses on Sony E mount bodies.
Picture the scene: You’re up at dawn to photograph the local wildlife. Your car is miles away, and you’ve hiked in the dark. A stag pops his head up out of the foliage in the distance. You reach for your long lens, you want to make sure this is a pin-sharp killer image, and then Dang! You realize you’ve left your monopod or tripod at home! This is exactly what happened to London based photographer Hiren Vekaria when he was out photographing deer with his Nikon Z6 and 500mm lens.
When old tech basically becomes completely practically obsolete, I love seeing it get a new lease of life and this is no exception. In this video, Clem from Element 14 found a Super 8 camera in the trash. After realising just how expensive it is to buy and develop the film for it, he decided to send it digital, replacing the film cartridge with a Raspberry Pi.
The great thing about this project is that the camera isn’t destroyed in the process. Electronics have gotten so small these days that you can just fit everything into the film cartridge slot and you’re good to go. If you ever want to shoot film with it again in the future, you’re good to go.
Shooting small products can be a lot of fun. It can also be quite challenging, too. In the case of Clayton Parker of 3D printing YouTube channel Uncle Jessy, he wanted to photograph the models he’d been creating on his resin printers. He essentially wanted to build a studio for them, in miniature. He decided to go for what is essentially a seamless backdrop.
It is exactly the sort of thing you see in human-sized studios for shooting portraits. Only smaller. Clayton tried some not-so-great solutions in the past and just learned to deal with them before finally stumbling across this locking Photographic Sweet Stand by HPaul over on Thingiverse. And, well, judging by the video, it seems to do the job pretty well.
I gotta admit that half of the reason I bought a film camera was to post cool-looking pictures on Instagram, so when I saw these things called “wigglegrams” on IG I immediately wanted to make my own. I found out that they are typically made with a Nishika camera which has 4 lenses to capture 4 separate images, which can be animated into a 3D-looking video.
There are a lot of reasons why one might want to have the sensor in their camera modified. We see it all the time for those who wish to shoot infrared or ultraviolet photography. There are even companies out there who will do the whole process for you. Usually, though, it doesn’t involve stripping off the Bayer filter array. Typically it’s just removing the filter that blocks UV and IR.
Well, for Les Wright at Les’ Lab, just removing the blocking filter on his Raspberry Pi camera wasn’t enough. he wanted all the raw data, without any colour interference at all from every pixel on the sensor. So, he went on a mission to figure out away to remove it without killing the sensor. Ultimately, the best method proved to be to burn it off with a laser!
If you shoot food photography, a good backdrop is a must. And if you enjoy making your own props and backdrops, you’re going to love this project. In this video, Amie Prescott shows you how to make your own DIY background from a few simple ingredients and on a budget. You can give it your favorite colors, and paint it on both sides to get two looks in one.