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How to Build a Soft Focus DSLR Lens for Only $15


Want to shoot soft focus photos without shelling out money for a specialty lens (like a Lensbaby)? You can build your own soft focus lens to play around with for about $15.

College professor and DIY enthusiast Randy Snook made an 8-minute video tutorial for this lens, which he calls “The Pipe Dream”:

All you’ll need is a PVC joint union pipe piece (about $5), a single element positive meniscus lens (~$4.5), a reverse adapter ring from 55mm to your camera’s mount (~$2-$3), and some glue.

After arranging the pieces together and making it permanent with glue, you’ll have a simple lens that produces a special look.

“Anyone can make this simple, but elegant device,” Snook tells PetaPixel. Here’s what the finished lens looks like by itself and mounted on a Canon DSLR:

Here are a couple of sample photos Snook shot using his “Pipe Dream” lens:

If you do try your hand at making one of these DIY lenses yourself, feel free to share your results with us in the comments below!