If you think a 50mm f/1.2 lens that captures sharp portraits with gorgeous bokeh is hundreds or even thousands of dollars away, think again. If you’re willing to get creative, you can have one for just 20 bucks.
That’s what Mathieu Stern—YouTube’s patron saint of weird lenses—discovered when he adapted a 51mm f/1.2 Bell and Howell projector lens to his camera using a macro ring. For $20, he created a setup that yields portraits like these:
And creamy macro photos like these:
Of course you can’t stop it down, and being fully manual it can be very difficult to use for a beginner, but we’re talking about an unbelievably fast lens that produces beautiful results. It might be a one-trick pony, but for $20 that trick is worth every penny and then some.
Check out the video above to see more sample photos captured with this simple little hack.