Sunday, March 21, 2010

DIY Selective Focus Lens

If you've ever seen photos from Selective Focus Lenses, you'd know what I'm talking about. Pictures where parts of the image even though in the same plane are completely blown out of focus. Sure you could go out and buy yourself a production lens. Lensbaby makes a range that start at USD 100+ for plastic optics and USD 300+ for glass optics. Canon and Nikon make Perspective control or Tilt-Shift that cost in the thousands. That's money better spent on other stuff. Besides..... where's the fun?????

I started off, as I always do, by trolling the Interwebs for information. There are a couple of ways of approaching a solution. The better of them involves getting your hands on a Medium Format Lens which even on the second hand market cost more than I was willing to spend. The other way to go is to use enlarger lenses and a quick search on Craigslist garnered me a complete enlarger replete with a 50mm and a 75 mm lens for CAD 40.00

I collected the unit yesterday and was really eager to kludge together the contraption. I say kludge, because this is exactly what I did. I harvested the lens mount with the bellows and pressed it against the SLR body to see what sort of images I would get. I threw the aperture wide open and set the shutter to 1/60 of a second and wished myself luck.

In the coming days, I will attach the bellows to a spare body cap and try to figure out a way to hold the lens in the desired position without requiring more that two hands for the entire process. I'm also looking for 105mm and 135mm lenses with M39 thread. Know of anyone who has these lying around?????

So here are the test shots, very Holga-esque complete with light leakage and everything. The images were shot around 5 in the evening of what was a very dull day. No post processing was attempted or done on any of the images.

First shot. Near the kitchen window. Tried to keep the nose in focus.

Our outdoor Chandelier. I tried to focus on the center spar

Christmas lights on the tree. The lights are all in the same plane, yet only the center light is in focus.

The hinge on my Garden Shed

This is with the 50mm lens. I had to go in really close, but I like the way it's filled the frame.

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