I was inspired by Tim Binnion‘s work with the Game Boy Camera and a cheap cellphone tele lens. I figured I’d up the ante and design and build a full Canon EF Mount for my Game Boy Camera. The GBC has a sensor size of about 3.6mm² which seems equivalent to a 1/4″ sensor (Wikipedia). This gives the GBC a crop factor of about 10.81. With my 70-200 f4 mounted on a 1.4x extender, this gives me a max equivalent focal distance of about 200×1.4×10.81=3,026.8mm.
The lens adapter was designed in Rhinoceros 3D and printer on a Monoprice Select Mini v2 in black PLA at a pretty rough layer height (for speed). Minimal supports an cleanup are required to make the lens fit semi-snugly. The GBC sensor PCB screws into the back of the 3D print and with a little cutting and filing, the whole things mounts onto the partly-disassembled GBC, all with the original hardware. If there is enough interest, I might make some modifications to the 3D model and post it on Thingiverse for others to print and experiment with.
I took my abomination out for a walk to the beach to shoot some nature and wildlife. (see gallery below.)
Fun fact, this combination gives me almost the exact focal length to get the moon to fill the tiny 128×112px frame. Shooting the moon handheld with a ~3000mm equivalent lens on an unlit gameboy screen that updates at about 1fps in low light situations is not an easy task but I got a couple of shots in!
The bird shots actually show some surprisingly creamy bokeh for a 2-bit, 14 kilopixel image, there might be some portrait session in this camera’s future.
Images below are the birds and lighthouse shot on an iPhone 6s (29mm equivalent), to give an idea of the insane zoom you get from this kit. You can probably just barely make them out if you zoom and squint.
About the Author
Bastiaan Ekeler was born in The Netherlands and now lives in Greenport, NY. He works at a digital media studio based in NY, doing mostly front-end web development, photography and graphic design. He has a background in industrial design, digital fabrication, and product design, so he has a lot of experience in prototyping weird new products. He’s got a passion for taking technology and repurposing it in interesting and unusual ways.