Photographer Adrian Onsen wanted to use the AI Servo autofocus mode on his Canon 40D in low-light situations, but found that the AF assist beam is only emitted once until focus is achieved rather than every time the camera needs to refocus. He then purchased a laser pointer from a dollar store, disassembled it to obtain a defocused beam of light, and attached it to the top of his camera. The hacked-together AF assist tool ended up working pretty well — Onsen was able to shoot sharper photos at a dance club without anyone noticing the extra light. To learn more check out his in-depth writeup here.
Here’s an interesting video that walks through how the highly regarded — and fully manual — Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95 lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras is made at the Cosina plant in Nagano, Japan (jump to 2:30 to skip the intro). It’s interesting how each of the 10 aperture blades must be carefully set in the lens using tweezers.
Alan Morris created a DIY LCD viewfinder loupe by slicing the viewfinder off a pair of child binoculars and building the loupe using plexiglass. The total cost came out to about $10-15. It’s a bit wobbly when not in use, but that just gives it character, right?