DispoLens gives you that perfect old disposable camera look

Aug 15, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

DispoLens gives you that perfect old disposable camera look

Aug 15, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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That lo-fi retro aesthetic has become massively popular in photography. It’s not much of a surprise, and I blame Instagram. But whatever the cause, it’s a thing, and it’s here to stay. I do actually quite like some of it.

One way to get an old-school look is by using the lens from a disposable camera. DispoLens (buy here) has taken that one step further to produce what is essentially a camera body cap with a built-in disposable camera lens.

Created by photographer Michi Sgouro, the DispoLens presents the aesthetic one would expect from a disposable camera, with very few added artifacts in the translation to digital. Each DispoLens is a 3D-printed housing for a disposable camera lens that fits onto one of several camera mounts.

DispoLens – 30mm f/10 full-frame

The DispoLens is currently available for Sony E, Canon RF, Nikon Z and Leica M and offers full-frame coverage (because it was designed for 35mm film). Hopefully, we’ll see a few more mounts added to the list in due course (Micro Four Thirds, please!), but for now, these are your options.

The disposable lens inside the DispoLens offers a 30mm focal length field of view with an f/10 aperture. Obviously, you need a good amount of light to shoot with an aperture like that. So, you’re either shooting outdoors in bright conditions or with the assistance of artificial lighting. Of course, you can always do a long exposure, and high ISO is much better today than it once was if you need to raise things up a bit.

Yes, it’s a 3D-printed housing, but this is not a free or open-source project. You can’t download or buy the STL files to be able to print your own. Michi is only selling the final printed and assembled product. And he should be paid for his efforts. Even though they’re 3D-printed, thought and time have gone into designing and refining the product.

The disposable camera is not a look that everybody is going to want. That’s fine. This isn’t for you. But if you want to create a more vintage low-budget aesthetic in your photos and footage without resorting to digital post-processing trickery, this is a great way to do it.

Dispolens Specs

Well, there isn’t really much to tell you when it comes to specs. It’s a single-element lens with a fixed aperture and focus distance. But here are some handy graphics.

Price and Availability

The DispoLens is available to buy now in Sony E, Canon RF, Nikon Z and Leica M mounts for $39.79 from the DispoLens Etsy store.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “DispoLens gives you that perfect old disposable camera look”

  1. Arthur_P_Dent Avatar
    Arthur_P_Dent

    Or you could just show people how to cannibalize a disposable camera’s lens and mount it in a spare body cap for a fraction of the price. This is a DIY site, right?