i recently found all my old DIY tutorials and i thought it might be fun to bring them back! first up, the DIY Tilt/Shift Lens. made on a trip to BC a few years ago. enjoy -
So, as would seem natural, i arrive in BC and what”s the first thing zeebo and i do? figure out how to build shit we can”t afford. i would so happily spend the $2600 on a real nice piece of tilt/shifty goodness, but that doesn’t really fit into the starving artist budget (feel free to sponsor me and send one over!). ever since i got my hands on one (and shot these…) i have been in love whit the tilt/shift effect for portrait photography. after attempting freelensing to various levels of success (photos coming soon) , i looked into it and found a really great resource for building you own tilt/shift lenses. i should say that these really focus on the tilt and not the shift, seeing as we aren”t building in the plates to shift properly. whatever, the shift is the fun part anyway. and i saved $2580…. warning, this will be a long blog post, so get in it for the long haul! i should also say, these are all versions of the bendycam feature on this site.
Bicycle inner tube, cheap old lenses, zip ties, body cap. tools needed are a small screwdriver set, scissors and an xacto knife.
Step 1 - take apart your lens and drill a whole in the body cap.
i tried three different lenses (well 4 but the last one was crap so didnt use it ever). in the picture above, the two outer lenses have been completed stripped of all non glass related casing. the center one allowed me to just take off the back and keep everything else attached. it is important to get a smaller back end (heh.) so that the inner tube will fit around. each lens is different, so we just started taking out screws and pulling apart as much as we could. as far as the body cap goes, we took out as much as we could to give ourselves a good amount of space to line the lens up. if you don”t know how to take apart a lens (as i didn”t) , you”re just gonna have to dive in a try it out (or ask someone i suppose). each lens is different, so we just started taking out screws and pulling apart as much as we could. if you don”t know what you are doing, you”re just gonna have to dive in a try it out (or ask someone i suppose). if you go too far, you”ll end up with this….
which is a pain. putting a shutter back in place = frustrating 30 minutes. if you can avoid it, do. ideally, you will get one of these two:
easy! and depending on the lens, you may retain control of the aperture (the little fork thing…).
Step 2 - Cut your tube and attach it to the body cap.
stretch the tube around the body cap and attach a zip tie. you wanna make sure you cut of all excess tube from behind the tie so that the cap will still screw in place.
Step 3 - attach the lens and screw that shit on!
just pull the other end of the inner tube over the back of your lens. zip tie it in place if you want it to be secure (i didn”t at first cause i was trying out a couple different options)
i know i know, insert phallic reference here… unfortunate looking, but fun none the less (i know, i know)… So this is as far in the tutorial as i got, and is also where i learned some shit. lenses are configured to be a certain distance from the sensor, and the farther you pull them away, the more macro the focus gets. which is cool, and obnoxious. the set up in the pictures above as are actually completely useless for anything other than macro. the way to get around this is to pull the lens back in towards the sensor. one of the lenses i bought actually ended up being significantly larger (and sharper) than the others. it was a haiou 64, which means nothing to me except that it was $10 at a pawn shop. the good thing about it being larger? it fits almost perfect, with one layer of tubing, into the whole cut out the body cap, which gets it nice and close to the sensor. warning: do this at your own risk, the closer you get in there the more chance you have of hitting the mirror when it flip (which i did a couple time) and it in no way is a safe thing to do to you camera. i”m gonna assume that if your into this stuff you”re gonna say fuck it, but you were warned.
i”m going to attempt to figure out a way to make it stay there, as it isnt the most secure thing in the world, but the proof is in the pudding right? so here’s the pudding, taken with all three lenses:
So there you have it! there are varying levels of grain and sharpness happening, from both the cheapness of the lenses and the low light conditions, but there it is. some more real worldly applications, including a video of the focal effects below. oh, and all told, i spent $40 on 4 lenses, $6 or $7 on each body cap and had the inner tube and zip ties already. $17 a lens! how can you go wrong.