The Homemade Combined Macro Lens

Copyright Tom Burger 2005. All rights reserved.


If your camera doesn't have the ability to attach other lenses to it, like mine, there is an alternative way to attach them to your camera. I prefer to use toilet paper rolls, because they are already curved and are therefore easily fitted and customized.

I wanted to couple my 135 mm and my 55 mm lens together so that I could get a better magnification from a greater distance and to reduce the loss of light in a photo.
First, I turned both lenses' focus rings to the position you see on the right (infinity focus). It gives a better focus in the auto focus mode of my digital camera.
Then I stacked both of the lenses, one on top of the other, so that I could get the right width for the "coupler ring".
Now, take a toilet paper roll and hold it next to the lenses. Mark the correct width with a pencil or pen. Cut the marked piece off. I use tape to form a line along the length of the piece of cardboard. Works better on curved surfaces.
You will find that the toilet paper roll isn't wide enough to get around the lenses. Mark a new piece of cardboard in the same way as before, fit it in the gap, and tape it to the rest. Keep adding layers in the same way until you have reached the same diameter as the outer diameter of the lenses.  
Add a larger piece of toilet paper roll to the finished rings, you will probably have to fit in an extra piece , also, as this is an even larger diameter. Make sure that the larger lens is nicely wrapped in the coupler; it needs to give stability to the construction in the end. If the lens isn't far enough in the coupler, it will constantly fall out.  

When that's done, and well taped together, take both lenses out of the coupler and glue the coupler together with, preferably, a hot glue gun. This assures a good fit and leaves some time to get the glue out of the inner rings.

After gluing you can put both lenses back into the coupler, assuming the glue is dry. Now you can start building the coupler for the camera lens and other lenses you may want to add to your camera. This is done in roughly the same way as the coupler between the two lenses.

Make sure that the end that goes around the exterior of the lens is tightly fitted. You cannot make a screw fitting because cardboard and paper tape are too weak to support the weight. However, if you fit it tightly, it will clamp the lens in such a way that it won't fall off. Wrap tape around that end to make it fit tight.
The end result will look somewhat like this, depending on the lenses and camera you use.  

This is an example of the hiighest magnification one can get with this new lens combination combined with the 3x optical zoom and 2x digital zoom in my camera. It is a photo of a flower stamen with the pollen grains clearly visible. It isn't the best shot in the world but I still have to get used to the limited freedom of movement the lens combination provides.

I hope this can help you. It surely helped me because I don't have money for a digital SLR or even another lens to put on one.

All the best,

Tom Burger
A.K.A. Nephiliim

Copyright Tom Burger 2005. All rights reserved.
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