There are lenses on the market for many thousands of dollars, optics wonders that give meaning to the world of photography, so it’s rare to see someone making lenses for just over $ 10.
That’s what photographer Felix Steele did, he created a 164mm f / 2.5 lens with a 3D printer, no screws or anything.
He used inexpensive glass to create what he calls “pixels and prisms”, with a fully adjustable aperture and focusing mechanism, without unnecessary fixed tubes like other designs of this type. They have the instructions on their website to complete the project in order to be able to replicate it.
It is therefore a customizable optical system that offers an open source and low cost alternative thanks to 3D printing, a technology that allows you to use a manual focus mechanism that can be locked in different positions, just like normal lenses.
He says it’s a viable option for travel, portrait or street photographers, as well as an affordable entry into telephoto photography.
It took him three months to design it and he created the correct instructions for everyone:
First, place the lens upright (on the edge) on a table or desk. Then place a light source on the other side of the room and point it at the lens element. The lens focuses the light to a point above its surface. The exact spot is easily found by moving a piece of paper to and from the lens – a halo appears, moving in and out of focus as the card is moved. Finally, it marks the sharpest AF point and measures the distance to the lens element. This is your focal length (although I’d recommend double-checking your calculation).
It is not an easy process, but fans of the photography world will appreciate it because they can create their own projects with patience, technique and passion.