How to mod an old 35mm SLR lens to make your own DIY “Anamorfake” lens

May 2, 2019

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.

How to mod an old 35mm SLR lens to make your own DIY “Anamorfake” lens

May 2, 2019

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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Anamorphic lenses have become very popular again, ever since somebody realised you could mount one to a DSLR and then stretch the footage out in post. But anamorphic lenses are not cheap, not by any stretch of the imagination. They do produce a very unique look, though, that a lot of people find attractive.

In this video from Todd Blankenship at Shutterstock, we see how to modify an older 35mm SLR lens to produce a similar look to an anamorphic lens.

To make the transformation, you just need a lens wrench, some fishing line, acetone, spray pant (or a sharpie), double sided tape, sandpaper, metal polish, cotton pads, gloves and some aperture discs. With all those at your disposal, Todd walks us through the process step-by-step.

While it won’t give you a look exactly like you’d get from an anamorphic lens, these modifications do attempt to simulate anamorphic lens characteristics. You get the oval shaped bokeh, the horizontal lens flares, and issues like aberration and fringing sometimes become more apparent. More apparent than your old lens already had anyway.

I wouldn’t try it on something recent, as it will almost certainly void your warranty, but if you’ve got a few old lenses you don’t mind risking, this is an interesting DIY project. It might be fun if you’ve got an old Helios 44-2 laying around.

[via No Film School]

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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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