Here’s a quick photo related life hack: if you have a lens filter that just won’t come off, try using a rubber jar opener to do the task. If you don’t have one already in your kitchen, there might be cheap ones at your local dollar store!
Want more precision in your focus adjustments when shooting video with your DSLR, but don’t want to shell out money for a pricey follow focus? Flickr user Adam Lisagor shot this photo showing how he created his own DIY follow focus for $6. All you need is a steel hose clamp, drawer handle, nut, and bolt. Drill a hole through the clamp, and put it together as shown above.
I put a rubber band around my focus ring before I put the clamp on it (to protect it). You can also put another rubber band on the ring, draw your witness marks for focus, and wedge a paper clip in the focus pull ring to show you where your focus is.
There you have it, an easy way to get a handle on your focusing (pun intended).
This neat DIY video shows how you can convert an ordinary digital camera into a night vision camera. The video uses a digital video camera, but the same concept can be applied to still cameras as well.
Digital camera sensors are sensitive to both visible and infrared (IR) light. However, there’s a special IR filter used to block IR light from the sensor, keeping images from being washed out. If this special filter is removed, the camera can be made sensitive to IR light. The hack in this video involves replacing the filter with the black end of a film negative, and then using red and blue lighting gels on a flashlight to have it give off mostly IR light. The result is a camera/flashlight setup that can be used to take stills and videos in the dark where ordinary cameras can’t.
This is similar to the pricey modifications you can have done to your DSLR to use it as an infrared camera.
Some battery chargers (e.g. those that come with Canon’s pro and prosumer cameras) plug directly into the wall and have prongs that fold into the charger, while others (e.g. the Canon T2i charger) connect to the wall via a removable cable. Though this may be more space efficient when connecting to a socket or surge protector, the extra chord takes up space and can be a hassle. CheesyCam has a clever solution: use an Apple wall plug duck head adapter to transform the charger into a wall charger. Read more…
The ratio between the focal length and the aperture (diameter) of a lens is called the f/number. The smaller the f/number, the more light is let in. Fast lenses start around f/2.0, and the light let in goes as the inverse square. Compared to f/2.0, f /1.4 lets in twice as much light, f/1.0 four times, and f/0.71 eight times. The fastest camera lenses designed for DSLRs and widely available are between f/1.4 and f/1.2, but lenses as fast as f/0.75 have been made in quantity for special applications, and some of those are available quite cheaply via scrap yards, surplus stores, or eBay.
These ultra-fast lenses usually are branded either Kowa or Rodenstock and were designed for use in medical or semiconductor industry equipment, etc. They are not well-suited for use on DSLR cameras, and are no substitute for an f/1.4 or f/1.2 lens that was designed for your camera. However, they easily can produce very distinctive images. Here’s how to use one on a DSLR. Read more…
This is one of the most intense do-it-yourself videos I’ve seen, showing how to hack a Canon 18-55mm kit lens into a super macro lens for extreme closeup shots. It involves sawing, disassembling the lens, using wires from a floppy drive cable, and all sorts of advanced awesomeness. Unless you’re extremely good with your hands, you probably won’t be trying this, but it’s very interesting to watch nonetheless.
Self-described creative technologist Thiago Avancini hacked this Atari 2600 joystick into a shutter release cable — complete with an autofocus control for his Canon T2i. The controller is considerably larger than the average cable release or remote control, but it’s a pretty nifty. Avancini has more photos of the contraption on his site, but so far, no DIY instructions.
Ken Rockwell posted some links to photos of a Canon AE-1 Program Digital a couple days ago, and photo-enthusiasts around the web have been discussing whether or not it’s a real camera.
From the photos and videos showing the camera, it’s pretty clear that it’s fake, and that someone with a lot of time on their hands hollowed out a Canon AE-1 Program camera and lens, put in a PowerShot SD 870 IS, and got the thing working.
It’s pretty amazing that the AE-1 was modified so that all of the controls on the PowerShot are still accessible. Here’s a video posted to YouTube showing that the camera actually works:
There’s also a separate video on YouTube with a few more still photographs of the mod. Addition photographs posted by Rockwell are here, here, and here.
Anyone know how they were able to get an “AE-1 Program Digital” logo on the point-and-shoot?
If you have multiple lenses and not enough space in your camera bag, carrying an extra lens might require you to stack a lens on top of another in a single lens compartment. The problem is that the bottom of one lens might rub against and scratch the lens below.
Derrick Story over at The Digital Story has a simple do-it-yourself solution to this problem: a Rear Lens Cap Pad. Cutting out a piece of adhesive, padded material and attaching it to the rear lens cap allowed him to rest his 50mm lens on top of a 70-200mm lying horizontally below.
If you’re working with smaller primes, another tip is to attach the rear lens caps of two lenses together, allowing you to securely transport two lenses together. The downside of this method is that your lenses won’t be able to travel separately.
Do you have your own tips or tricks for saving space when hauling your glass around?