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

I started with this article by johnnyoptic on As suggested, I bought some lenses from 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?

  • Matt 5y

    That's kick ass, dude.
  • daveoratox PRO 5y

    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.
  • [ Noktor-Matic ] 5y

    paint a thin red stripe near the front of the lens :P
  • daveoratox PRO 5y

    That's what I meant by an "L" ring. :) It's clearly high quality..
  • [ Noktor-Matic ] 5y

    daveoratox do it!
  • John Swierzbin PRO 5y

    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.
  • daveoratox PRO 5y

    Thanks for the article and the suggestion! I hadn't considered felt. I'll give that a try.
  • Fa__________ 5y

  • mang darpin 4y

  • Phillip Orr 3y

    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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Taken on October 1, 2010
  • EF28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
  • ƒ/10.0
  • 48.0 mm
  • 1/200
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