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Making your own lens


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#1 Alex Conway

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 04:29 AM

Just wondering if anyone has built their own lens?

 

I recently made one using glass from a telescope eye piece and drilling a 10mm hole in a canon body dust cap and just duct tape it in, and stick it back on the body of the camera. Amazing how close I could get to the subject with an amazing focal length.


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#2 dan kessler

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 04:19 PM

Absolutely.  Not that difficult, really, but take some time
to study up on photographic optics, too, so you understand
what's going on.

Don't forget that the earliest photo lenses were pretty simple,
but people took lots of pictures with them.


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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 06:30 PM

I've done quite a few FX lenses-- for stuff which is supposed to look-- well-- odd, but yeah it's a bit of good fun. Experiment to your hearts content! Also see if you can find some Military Surplus auctions-- they often have optical elements.


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#4 Zac Fettig

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 07:15 AM

I've never built a lens per se, but I've designed lens assembly fixtures (for a production line). If you want to build a creative lens, it's fairly straight forward. If you want to build a precise, Zeiss quality, cine lens; forget it. It's really, really hard to design and assemble. The technicians who do it are highly skilled.

 

This is a good video:

http://vimeo.com/26251829

A brief overview of all the steps involved in making a lens. It's all really high skilled tech work.


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#5 dan kessler

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 10:02 AM

No, of course, I was talking about some of the useful configurations that are fairly simple
to obtain with off-the-shelf or surplus components. If you've got a bench lathe, so much the better.
But computer modeling, CNC manufacturing and precision clean room assembly by skilled technicians?  I wish.
 


Edited by dan kessler, 16 June 2014 - 10:06 AM.

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#6 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 10:12 AM

That's pretty cool and right up my alley.  But what items would one need to build a simple lens?  I really have no idea where to start...

 

I've done quite a few FX lenses-- for stuff which is supposed to look-- well-- odd, but yeah it's a bit of good fun. Experiment to your hearts content! Also see if you can find some Military Surplus auctions-- they often have optical elements.


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#7 dan kessler

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 10:24 AM

Don't laugh, but something as simple as an empty toilet paper roll can get you started.

Edmund Scientific has been one good source for optics experimenters for years, both with
parts and information on how to build. Another good place I've used is Surplus Shed.
There are others.

Obviously, if you have some machining skill, you can get a little more ambitious.


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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 10:50 AM

I mean you basically need glass elements. You're not going to be bringing your own, so you'll be getting pre ground concave an convex elements.

Start with something simple, look up a "cooke triplet."


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#9 Zac Fettig

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 01:49 PM

If you want to go the simpler route, here's a couple of links:

http://www.diyphotog...our-own-lenses/

 

http://forum.tz-uk.c...-telephoto-lens


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#10 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 06:57 PM

Cool.  Thanks, guys.


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