Canon’s 50mm f/1.8 Mark II is a terrific lens for its price, but its build quality definitely leaves something to be desired. Do a quick search, and you’ll find legions of broken-hearted Canonites who had their ‘Nifty Fifty’ split into two pieces after accidentally bumping or dropping it. Flickr user tastygiant is one such Canonite, but he subsequently discovered an awesome use for the broken lens:
Being a geek, I figured I could use the broken pieces in the future, so I shelved it and bought a new 50mm 1.8 Canon lens. One day, while taking shots around my apartment, I stumbled across the broken lens again and decided to reverse the “barrel assembly” onto the front of my intact 50mm. Everything was blurry of course, but I noticed if I got very close to an object the detail came into view. After adjusting the aperture to around f5.6, I had a clear image.
It’s important to note that you should switch to Manual focusing and rotate the focusing ring to “infinity”.
Here’s a quick tip for if you ever have a hard time removing a lens filter from a lens (e.g. when it’s damaged): use a shoe. Simply take any shoe with a grippy flat bottom, press it firmly against the filter, and then turn it. It’s a super simple technique that should work every time unless the threads on the lens itself are badly damaged.
Thanks for the tip, Luke!
You don’t need to shell out money for a nicer camera or a special lens to play around with macro photography. In addition to freelensing and using your lens backward, you can also place an ordinary magnifying glass in front of your lens to enlarge the world. Graphic designer Clif Dickens shot these close-up photos using a magnifying glass and an iPhone 3GS.
Modern DSLR lenses don’t usually have aperture rings, and opening and closing the aperture is the camera’s responsibility. If for some reason you need to keep the aperture blades locked in a certain position, the “lens twist trick” can help you do so. Simply untwist the lens from the camera while holding the depth of field preview button.
One practical use for this trick is time-lapse photography. Cameras don’t always close the aperture to exactly the same size every shot, and the slight variation can cause a flicker in the resulting time-lapse video (a problem called “aperture flicker“).
Claus Thiim captured this beautiful image of fireworks showing both in-focus and out-of-focus burst of light. The trick is to capture most of the photograph while focused on the fireworks, and then throw the lens out of focus shortly before the shutter closes.
On a slightly related note, check out this crazy video of an entire fireworks display released in just one minute (something went wrong).
Image credit: Thunder in the Valley 2009 by iamclaus and used with permission
Photographer Peter Wirén came up with a super cheap and easy way to record sliding shots using his DSLR. Instead of buying an expensive slider or dolly system, he simply cut the fingers off an old glove and used them as “socks” on his GorillaPod.
Having this image on your camera might get you out of a situation where someone illegally demands that you delete a photograph. You can download a higher res version here.
Sorry No Data Found (via Mzbali Photography via Reddit)
Optical sensors are a cheap way to trigger slave flashes if you don’t want to pay for a wireless transmitter, but the fact that you’re firing your on-board flash to trigger the sensors limits your creative options. Flickr user Victor came up with the idea of turning an on-camera flash unit into an infrared transmitter by covering up the flash with a filter. The filter is simply a piece of processed (but unexposed) E6 slide film — it blocks visible light, making it completely black, but allows infrared light to pass through and trigger optical sensors.
Using Infra Red Masters To Trigger Optical Slaves [DIYPhotography]
Image credit: Photographs by Victor W.
Like many electronic devices, cameras often come with certain cables that are neither necessary enough to be used often nor useless enough to be tossed into the trash. A neat trick for keeping them organized and away from other cables is to stick them into toilet paper rolls. You can even go a step further by making a DIY cable organizer using a shoe box, which makes finding a particular cable a breeze.
TP Roll Organizer Box (via Lifehacker)
Image credits: Photographs by berserk
Here’s a quick and easy tip from Scott Kelby for portraiture: reduce the number of distracting elements in the shot by positioning yourself with the background in mind. Sure it’s a simple and obvious tip, but those are usually the kind that come in handy most often.
(via ISO 1200)