Home made macro lens.

I’ve been wanting to build my own lens for a while. Well actually I want to build my own camera but I lack skills and tools, so I thought I’d start with something simple. There’s a nice tutorial on the topic written by John Swierzbin.

A while back I ordered some glass from Surplus Shed in anticipation of the time to do some experiment with optics. The order included a small mounted lens.

I took a body cap for the Nikon D90, drilled out the centre portion, took an old plastic soap jar and made a corresponding hole in the bottom of it and glued them together with some hot glue.

Then I made a hole in the lid and stuck the lens in it. All together it made for a simple lens for my camera.

diy_lens_light_leaks

The first shots were very hazy and had weird distortion. But I sealed up some light leaks with black electrical tape and the results improved dramatically-

diy_lens_fixed_leaks

The soap jar was a bit too large for my purposes, so the distance between the lens and the sensor on the camera turned out too long. And since the lens did not allow any adjustments of focus that gave me a fixed focus macro lens.

It produces some usable but quite dreamy results.

diy_lens_dried_up

For the next attempt I’ll use a smaller can so I get the focus a bit further off. It would make a nice portrait lens I think, at least if I want to take magical dreamy soft portraits where people look like dream creatures or elves.

diy_lens_self

For now I managed to make the obligatory bathroom mirror shot by focusing on my reflection on the front (single) element of the lens via the mirror. With very little light to work with, and much lost in the reflection I had to set the ISO to the maximum.

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This entry was posted by Wilhelm.

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