Make your own lensbaby!


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StreetShooter

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Jan 17, 2002
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#1
OK so I was tempted to buy a lensbaby to play with.

Then I figured it would be more fun to make my own. How hard can it be?

So I planned to use an extension tube as the mount, black-tape a 50mm f1.8 lens onto it (leaving about 1-2 cm of "free play"), and viola! instant lensbaby.

Problem is that you lose infinity focus (that's what an extension tube does... duh!). So I had a macro lensbaby.

How to regain infinity focus? Get rid of the extension tube and bring the lens closer. So that's what I did. I just held the lens at the mount without screwing it in, and tilted it to my heart's content. Lens is set to manual focus, and set at infinity.

Results are encouraging. I've got to work on the camera shake part, and the thought of the mirror opening and closing while exposed to atmospheric dust unnerves me somewhat, but it works! Metering in Av mode is automatic (even though aperture reads at "00"). Focusing is a matter of tilting and moving forwards and backwards. There's lots of flare, but that just gives you the lomo light leak effect...

The discarded extension tube...


Gives a new meaning to "handheld" shot. Notice the spherical abberation (cylindrical distortion) and narrow asymetrical DOF.


Best of all you can use any focal length! This is the Sigma 20mm f1.8. Notice the lens is not even pointing at itself!
 

#2
Hey doctor, search the net lah.

I think I've seen someone modified his Hassey into Babylens. This was long before Babylens was born.

For free play he used rubber. Something ike a rubber lens hood so that he could twist and tilt the lens. Everything was taped down. The whole thing looks awesome.

The advantage of this system is that the lens stays in position for long exposure unlike Babylens or your GP lens which you have to hold the lens in position during exposure.

I like the flare you've achieved. It's argurably the best flare I've seen in this part of the world. :sweatsm:
 

locksley

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Jan 26, 2004
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#4
Care to share the steps ?
got pic of the cam + 50mm ?

me very keen to DIY :)

Thanks
 

kahheng

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Jan 20, 2002
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#5
StreetShooter said:
OK so I was tempted to buy a lensbaby to play with.

Then I figured it would be more fun to make my own. How hard can it be?

So I planned to use an extension tube as the mount, black-tape a 50mm f1.8 lens onto it (leaving about 1-2 cm of "free play"), and viola! instant lensbaby.

Problem is that you lose infinity focus (that's what an extension tube does... duh!). So I had a macro lensbaby.

How to regain infinity focus? Get rid of the extension tube and bring the lens closer. So that's what I did. I just held the lens at the mount without screwing it in, and tilted it to my heart's content. Lens is set to manual focus, and set at infinity.
Well, you can always just use:

1. Light tight bag from a pack of 4x6 B&W paper

2. 60-80mm enlarging lens

3. T-mount for your camera

4. Some glue, some black tape, some imagination, some free time and you'd have your own sharp and yet not necessarily sharp, infinity focusing 'plungercam'. Not necessarily good for digital SLRs unless you're shooting with a full frame one due to the focal length which may not be convenient for general photography.

Check the web. Lots of references.

Actually the only nice thing about the Lensbaby is the drainpipe and the mount. I'd rip out the lens and install a better one. Personally I do want parts of the picture sharp and the rest not.

BTW: What I didn't like to hear is how people actually backed out of Keng Hor's MO leaving him with a lot of his own money spent and goods in stock. Shame on these folks. Mind you, not that I know Keng Hor personally. But aren't people supposed to honour their MO commitments? How can they on the one hand, know that SOMEONE HAS TO PAY FOR THE GOODS, and yet be willing to let the organiser of the MO hold the short end of the stick and suffer the financial penalty? :thumbsd:

I suggest that these idiots be named and shamed.
 

StreetShooter

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#6
There are no steps. Instead of mounting the lens onto your camera, you simply hold it in front of the mount, then tilt it to any side you like - left, right, up, down. Lens is set to manual focus at infinity. Camera set to Av mode ISO 1600 (for maximum shutter speed). Then just shoot lor. You focus by moving nearer or further away from your subject, and by varying the degree of tilt, which will also vary the DOF (more tilt, less DOF).
 

StreetShooter

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#7
kahheng said:
Well, you can always just use:

1. Light tight bag from a pack of 4x6 B&W paper

2. 60-80mm enlarging lens

3. T-mount for your camera

4. Some glue, some black tape, some imagination, some free time and you'd have your own sharp and yet not necessarily sharp, infinity focusing 'plungercam'. Not necessarily good for digital SLRs unless you're shooting with a full frame one due to the focal length which may not be convenient for general photography.

Check the web. Lots of references.

Actually the only nice thing about the Lensbaby is the drainpipe and the mount. I'd rip out the lens and install a better one. Personally I do want parts of the picture sharp and the rest not.

BTW: What I didn't like to hear is how people actually backed out of Keng Hor's MO leaving him with a lot of his own money spent and goods in stock. Shame on these folks. Mind you, not that I know Keng Hor personally. But aren't people supposed to honour their MO commitments? :thumbsd:

Heh. But no flare. ;)

BTW enlarger lens hard to get hold of, for me. I prefer to use something I have at hand.

Yes, agree about the MO bit. That's why it's always best to collect cash upfront, as previous MO'ers have found out.
 

#8
StreetShooter said:
There are no steps. Instead of mounting the lens onto your camera, you simply hold it in front of the mount, then tilt it to any side you like - left, right, up, down. Lens is set to manual focus at infinity. Camera set to Av mode ISO 1600 (for maximum shutter speed). Then just shoot lor. You focus by moving nearer or further away from your subject, and by varying the degree of tilt, which will also vary the DOF (more tilt, less DOF).
Are you shooting with a dslr? You're not too fuss about dust get into the sensor meh?
 

kahheng

Senior Member
Jan 20, 2002
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#9
StreetShooter said:
Heh. But no flare. ;)

BTW enlarger lens hard to get hold of, for me. I prefer to use something I have at hand.

Yes, agree about the MO bit. That's why it's always best to collect cash upfront, as previous MO'ers have found out.
You want flare?

Use a 4x loupe, for the lens.

This would be only good for general photography with a 6x6 camera though.
 

kahheng

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Jan 20, 2002
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#12
StreetShooter said:
Oooh, yes yes.

Thanks for reposting the link. Must have missed it the first time around.

Mark II coming up real soon (just have to drop my 50mm lens again I guess).
Get a body cap for the mount
 

#13
kahheng said:
Actually the only nice thing about the Lensbaby is the drainpipe and the mount. I'd rip out the lens and install a better one. Personally I do want parts of the picture sharp and the rest not.
You mean you don't use the washer and put in a single lens e.g. from the Loupe instead?
 

kahheng

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Jan 20, 2002
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#14
Sion said:
You mean you don't use the washer and put in a single lens e.g. from the Loupe instead?
Not with the lens baby. I'd use the loupe if you're going the DIY way and you want a lot of inherent spherical abberation.
 

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