How to build your own smartphone lens out of a security camera


posted Monday, February 3, 2014 at 1:41 PM EST


Smartphone lenses are a surprisingly big business, with people wanting to be able to slap all manner of new glass on the top of their phone. But seeing as they tend to be pretty low quality anyway, how hard would it be to make one for yourself? Over at DIYPhotography, they've talked with Maciej Pietuszynski, who explained how he took an industrial CCTV lens, and turned it into his own piece of lo-fi glass.

Pietuszynski used an affordable CCTV lens, in this case a Goya 4.5mm f/1.4, but any number of similar lenses will do. Then he stripped off the front and rear elements, and screwed them together into his own, makeshift lens. Then he used a zip-tie for what we assume is added structure, and simply rubber-banded it to his phone.

You can see the results on his Instagram page, and it's exactly the sort of soft, dreamy, and blurred around the edges look that people seek in Lensbaby and other such lenses. It's not what everyone wants from their photos, but it's a decent effect, and one that obviously has its fans. And if you happen to be able to get your hands on a CCTV camera on the cheap, you could probably cobble one together for yourself very easily.