• M42 to EF adapter and epoxy
  • 1 1/2" PVC pipe. Inside is a 28mm double convex lens.
  • -34mm double concave lens
  • Darkened using a black Sharpie. This ended up being shiny. I should have used flat black paint.
  • Threaded PVC connects front element to rear, and allows for focusing.

DIY EF Lens: ~30mm ~f/2.2 fixed aperture

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I started with this article by johnnyoptic on diyphotography.net. As suggested, I bought some lenses from www.surplusshed.com. I also picked up various sizes of PVC connectors from Home Depot. Finally, I ordered an M42-to-EF adapter from eBay (because M42 was the cheapest EF adapter I could find), and some JB Weld epoxy.

I considered cutting up a spare body cap instead of using the M42 adapter, but the adapter has the advantage of locking into place like a real lens. Also, the 42mm diameter of the M42 threads is conveniently close to 1 1/2 inches, the diameter of the PVC.

Eventually I arrived a combination of lenses and PVC that seemed like it would work. I confirmed exact positioning by wedging the lenses in place using tissue paper. Once I was sure of where everything should go, I blacked the insides of the PVC with a sharpie (too shiny, as it turns out) and epoxied everything in place.

Once assembled, I took some test shots and figured out the focal length and aperture. I was hoping for an oddball focal length -- 30mm is a bit disappointing, as I already had a 30mm prime. I could have checked this before any epoxying, but I didn't think to.

There is some slight vignetting, and I'm pretty sure it's caused by the extra PVC at the front of the lens. I could cut that off, but I don't care enough to bother. Also, I think I'd see better contrast in the photos if painted the inside with a flat black paint.

I'm looking for suggestions on how to decorate the outside. Maybe a red "L" ring for starters?

'Tis Me Indeed, Smerity, e-Shard, and 11 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. Professor Face 43 months ago | reply

    That's kick ass, dude.

  2. daveoratox 43 months ago | reply

    Thanks! I've got more evidence that the semi-reflective lining is a big problem. I'll have to work on that at some point.

  3. Noktor-Matic 42 months ago | reply

    paint a thin red stripe near the front of the lens :P

  4. daveoratox 42 months ago | reply

    That's what I meant by an "L" ring. :) It's clearly high quality..

  5. johnnyoptic 40 months ago | reply

    I'm happy to see that someone got something out of my article. That's a great looking lens. Nice PVC focuser. Regarding the shiny inside, I've had reasonable success with black sticky-back felt from the craft stores.

  6. daveoratox 40 months ago | reply

    Thanks for the article and the suggestion! I hadn't considered felt. I'll give that a try.

  7. Phil Orr Photography 16 months ago | reply

    this is great, I'm saving up for a wedding so any 'cheap' lens I can create myself to increase my photography potential is definatly worth a go. Thanks for the inspiration.

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