Instructables
Picture of $6 Macro Tilt Lens without glue or duct tape
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I just came back from the Christchurch SuperShed (our city council recycling centre) where I bought a discarded slide projector for $6.  In less than an hour, I turned the projector lens into a tilt macro lens for my dSLR.  I know there have been lots of these sorts of projects but I tried to do this one without hot glue or gaffer tape so hopefully my process will help you to turn your odd lenses into useable ones.
 
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Step 1: Finding the right lens

Picture of Finding the right lens
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Any lens can be adapted as long as the distance from the back of the lens to the focal point (slide, film, or whatever it is projecting from or to...) is more than the distance from the flange (where the lens attaches) to the sensor.  Don't stick a ruler into your camera, just look it up.  For my camera (Olympus 4/3rds), the flange distance is 38.67mm (Wikipedia - Lens Mount) and the back of the slide projector lens to where the slide would be is around 45mm.

This lens has a focal length of 85mm, and compared with some of the other lenses I saw, I guess it is about f2.8. I should point out that most projection lenses do not have variable apertures so you have to shoot with them wide open (shallow depth of field).  This one has a spiral groove which makes it easier when enabling twist focus.

 

Step 2: Additional Materials

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In addition to the lens, you'll need a length of hose and a body cap for your dSLR.

Step 3: Determining Infinity Focus

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Hold up the lens to your camera and point to something in the distance.  Move the lens in and out until the distant objects come into focus.  This lens came into focus around 10mm out from the camera flange.  Measure the distance from just inside the camera flange to the end of the lens and that's the length you need to cut your hose.
dan30085 months ago

Addition of a filter ring and iris/aperture disk, while adding cost, would really add to this lens.

Time to find someone throwing out an old projector, and make a custom lens :D

Aaron10881 year ago
Thanks this seems simple and cheap (tilt shift lenses are like £1000 whilst projector lenses are around £10) (unlike other instructables which seem rather complicated). I may make this to use for 'toy town effect' for my A level work.
tewharau (author)  Aaron10881 year ago
Tilt shift would be easy to achieve as long as you have a flexible tube. One easy way to do it would be put your DSLR on a tripod and move the lens at different angles in front of it and you'll quickly work out the rough field of view, focal range and tilt you'll need to achieve. After that, it's just a matter of determining how "tidy" a job you want to do.
crazyg3 years ago
duh projector lens!
i am currently experimenting with the shift and tilt thing,hav orderd enlarger lens off ebay,also disasembled a ded sony handy cam,when iv got several slide/stuper8 projectors sitting in the attic.
looking forward to reading the rest of your adheisve free approach to assembely
fordmw5 years ago
you have great results  I have been doing this with film camera and now digital on the  one lens may fit all
davidwp135 years ago
 Hi I checked outthis project and I am just getting in tophoto. i am not sure what this is doing. PLEASE do not take me wrong I just donot understand and for cheap if it does anything i could use i am VERY interested
tewharau (author)  davidwp135 years ago
I bought my digital SLR just as a body (no lenses) and I have been having a great time buying old 35mm lenses and projection lenses to convert and use on it.

With this in mind, I could distill this instructable into a few phrases:

1) Its fun to see what types of lenses can be turned into usable ones for photography, and how you could do it.

2) You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on lenses to get reasonable photographic results.

3) Don't throw anything away until you make sure you can't upcycle it.
This is cool. Is your camera a bronze color, or is that just because of the light in the first picture?
tewharau (author)  LuminousObject5 years ago
 No, it's not bronze, its just afternoon sun on the kitchen table, I mean photography studio.
ramses tewharau5 years ago
and you didn't adjust white balance? For shame!

jk lol
tewharau (author)  ramses5 years ago
 HaHa!  Looking at it again, the white balance is only one thing that is wrong with those pics....bad lens flare, blurry focus, grainy, crap in the background.  I wish I could blame the camera :)
ramses tewharau5 years ago
I didn't even see the picture. but since you mentioned it looked bronze because of light. You might be able to blame the camera if it is a point and shoot. I would know already if instructables didn't corrupt the exif data...
twoherbs5 years ago
And I just got rid of two projectors......ugh!
Edaemus5 years ago
Great to see a fellow Kiwi featured on here - especially a photography instructable :) 
fazgard5 years ago
Very nice!

Lookin for an old projector lens now. 
Bradhadair5 years ago
You said it was pretty unwieldy, have you tried using it with a tripod?
Maybe you could combine it with this other 'able
http://www.instructables.com/id/iSteadii-20-Image-Stabilizing-Unit/
 
tewharau (author)  Bradhadair5 years ago
Thanks for that. The lens in the pics is very easy to carry around & use.  In fact, the Olympus E-520 has image stabilization in the body so I just dial up 85mm and it works a treat.  It only gets unwieldy with the foot-long tube on it. That super macro shot (about 2:1 magnification) was about 2 inches away from the altoid tin and you don't gain anything from the flexibility of the hose.  Perhaps a PVC pipe slid over the hose would be more stable for a super-macro walkaround
afxzanac5 years ago
That is really really amazing.  The image quality is astounding, and the final picture of the altoids tin just proves how effective this is.  Great 'ible!
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tewharau (author)  DELETED_One.5 years ago
Yeah, we're pretty lucky.  Hey, there were two more slide projectors there last week; one was a Hanimex with a big (but pretty dusty) 85mm lens.  I was surprised to see some LCD monitors being recycled....Great for Instructables projects!
Punkguyta5 years ago
 My fujifilm takes better pictures than that WITHOUT a macro lens
tewharau (author)  Punkguyta5 years ago
Technically, a macro lens is one that can focus to 1:1 magnification (image on the sensor is same size as the object) so you might have a macro lens after all.
Kaiven5 years ago
The mountain picture is awesome! And how small is the plant in the last photo (so we know how good the macro is)
tewharau (author)  Kaiven5 years ago
 Yeah, we're pretty lucky with scenery around here....  The globe artichoke is about 75mm X 75mm (3 X 3 inches).