When we think of lenses, we usually think of chunks of metal or plastic with glass elements inside them. If somebody says “wooden lens” to us, we usually think of CNC or laser-cut models of lenses that don’t actually have any optical properties and are simply chunks of wood that resemble a lens. But not this time. Oh, no. This one’s a wooden lens, with glass optics that actually works.
And who do you think made this lens a reality? Yup, that’s right, weird lens king, Mathieu Stern, who teamed up with the folks at Hungarian photographer lens creator, Weird Lenses, to bring the lens to life and regardless of how it might see – which seems quite good – it looks pretty awesome, too!
The optics are based on the Super-Takumar 55mm f/2 M42 mount lens. It’s a pretty great lens (I have one myself) but not very expensive as far as old sought-after glass is concerned. The lens was shipped to Weird Lenses by fellow Hungarian photographer, Hispan, and when it arrived they immediately started working on converting the lens to bring Mathieu’s vision to reality.
The entire build is documented as a montage in Maathieu’s video and it even comes complete with a magnetic lens cap. It’s still M42 mount and can easily be used on Mathieu’s Sony cameras with the use of an adapter. Even the aperture ring still works, having also been swapped out completely with a new wooden one.
Despite the rehousing, the lens looks like its shoots as good as it ever did. And, of course, a new exterior shouldn’t affect how the optics work at all. But it sure looks a lot more pretty on the outside. Mathieu mentions in the video that during a trip to Switzerland to test it out, it got a lot of notice from people in the area whenever he was shooting it.
A very cool and fun lens conversion!