Create A Shaped Bokeh Lens Cap
DIYP has covered shaped bokeh from any possible angle, this is why I was surprised to see that we actually never did a tutorial on converting a lens cap into a bokeh holder. To rectify this, Nadine Spires shares how to easily make a holder like this.
The idea came from Pompo, where the author used a lens cap to make a rectangular Bokeh shape.
I wanted something that was easy to set up and didn’t interfere with the zoom mechanism of my lens, the natural choice was a lens cap. I bought a few cheap lens caps from ebay for under $4 each. You need to get the older version lens caps as the center will be cut out.
- Cheap lens cap from ebay (I bought a few under $4 each)
- A4 sheet of cardboard
- A4 sheet of black paper
- Piece of plain white paper
- Craft knife (an old one without a metal handle)
First measure and cut out a cardboard square for your lens. For my Canon 100mm f/2.8, it worked out to be 35.71mm (which was rounded to 3.5cm).You will use this card to measure the hole on the cap.
Temporarily secure this in the middle of the front part of the lens cap. Now we are going to make a groove in the cap which will be used to guide the cutting.
Heat up the tip of the craft knife (any plastic in the front will be damaged which is why I suggest an old one). Be careful not to burn yourself. And using a ruler make a light groove along the outer sides of the white square. If you’ve done that correctly, you now have a square design on the lens cap. This will act as a guideline for cutting out the center.
Remove the paper, heat the craft knife and start making the grooves deeper until you go through the back end of the lens cap. You will need to repeatedly heat the craft knife.
Tip: I found that placing the heated knife in the groove, pressing down as far as I could and quickly removing the knife while still hot, prevented less stress on my hands.
Once you have removed the center it will look like this
Take your time, you can always smooth any excess pieces with the heated craft knife. Sand smooth.
Next, cut out two small piece of cardboard. I made mine 1.7cm x 5cm. Add glue to the top most and bottom most part of the lens cap where you will be attaching the cardboard (don’t place the cardboard over the clips on the lens cap).
Make sure to leave about 0.5cm from the outline of the square top and bottom so that you can slide in the Bokeh design.
Now cut out a rectangular piece from the A4 black paper, just big enough to fit between the two piece of cardboard. Cut out or punch your design in the middle. In this case I just made a funny squiggle to test my experiment out. Slide the paper underneath the cardboard and over the square cutout.
And that’s it.
I bet you already know what to expect, yet here is a sample of the resulting image
P.S. – once completed, check out this tut that will show you how to keep them from ever getting lost.
Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.