Without hurting my SLR camera, I was able to "hack" the lens (i.e. shift it away from the camera body) to create somewhat awesome macro photos.

I'm taking a class called CS178: Intro to Digital Photography. In this class we learned that if you move the lens further from the sensor it makes your image larger.


I decided to try this with construction paper, masking tape, a lens for my film camera (thus a manual SLR lens) and an inch or so of toilet paper tube.

I put this modified lens up to the front of my digital SLR camera in place of a normal lens, and proceded to take pictures.


I focused by moving myself forwards and back over the object, instead of by turning the focusing ring as one normally does.

I used two desk lamps to get enough light, but still had to have a very wide aperture (very small depth of field) to let enough light in.


The first hack resulted in the following images:

I then extended the lens further to make the image even closer. At this point the quality of the image began to suffer, and although looking through this modified lens was really fun, the pictures didn't all come out well. Following are the best ones:

Creating a longer tube resulted in the following images. Note that they have less contrast and a much smaller depth of field than the earlier images.

Comments, suggestions, questions? e-mail kaytdek(at)gmail.com. Please do not use any content on this site without permission from and credit to Katie Dektar. Last updated 2013