It can get a bit monotonous in isolation, especially if you’re out of work right now. But hey, there’s always something to do, and Mathieu Stern has some crazy ideas and makes them real. After the crappy lens made from toilet paper, he now turned to Lego and made another working lens. And unlike the previous one, this DIY lens actually does a pretty good job!
The wide-angle paradox
As we know, wide angle lenses show a larger field of view and therefore make things appear smaller and appear further away than they are. Which contradicts the concept of macro photography, where we want our subject to be projected onto the sensor at a magnification ratio of at least 1.0x. So how can we combine a wide angle perspective and macro macro-capabilities?
The concept of wide-angle macro photography is not exactly new and there are other photographers out there, who built their own super-wide macro lenses. There even are a couple lenses on the market that provide 1.0x at a15mm focal length, but I much rather an interesting DIY project than spending 500$ on a niche lens.
If you ever visited some industrial surplus shops, very often you would see some cameras and lenses used in industrial automation. But you probably do not know that these lenses can have very high optical performance and features we want: high resolving power, large image circle, low distortion, and often very long working distance compared to some of the other lenses we use.
Are you looking for an affordable but also electronic macro lens? Or maybe you have an old kit lens, that’s just sitting around, collecting dust since your last upgrade?
Well, then read on, because in this article I am going to share one cool hack that will allow you to transform almost any kit or standard zoom lens into a capable macro lens!
And I am not talking about reversing the lens or mounting it on extension tubes, we’re actually going to convert the lens for good. And it’s incredibly simple.
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.
We’ve seen some interesting DIY lenses, like those made from crap, an iceberg, or 3D-printed components. But have you ever seen a lens made from scratch? And by that, I mean sand, rocks, and metal turned into a lens? Well, Andy George of How To Make Everything took DIY to a whole new level. He combined raw sand, rocks, and metal with his knowledge and experience and made a working camera lens entirely from scratch!
Photographer and filmmaker Mathieu Stern enjoys buying, modifying and even making his own weird lenses. He dreamt of his latest project for two years and now he’s finally made it – a lens made of ice. He traveled all the way to Iceland to be able to turn his idea into reality.
Making the ice lens came with a lot of challenges, but Mathieu managed to overcome them. He kindly shares with DIYP some photos and videos he took with this ice lens, as well as the story of how he made it. And it’s all really cool (no pun intended)!
We’ve shown a few DIY lenses in the past, including a 3D printed lens. This one, though, really takes it to the extreme. Based on a Petzval design, Swedish camera maker Mats Wernersson built the lens completely from scratch. But looking at the final product, you’d never know it. It looks like it came straight from a factory production line.
No stranger to building cameras of all types and sizes, even digital, a lens appears to be a new first for Mats. The amount of work and attention to detail that’s gone into its construction shows a level of patience I definitely don’t possess.