Introduction: Free Lensing

I really like to experiment with my camera and new techniques and you do probably too.

I had an old lens laying around and thought about a way how I could use it without buying an expensive adapter.

I've heard about Free Lensing and decided to try it on my own. After experimenting with it I got some good results and it's quite easy to learn.

Before you try it yourself you should be aware that your camera is pretty sensible and could get damaged when your lens is removed and the sensor exposed! You shouldn't try it in an area where dust, water or sth. like that can get in your camera! Also don't touch the sensor, lens or mirror (dslr) while experimenting! If you are careful nothing should happen. Do it on your own risk and only if you feel comfortable with it. So let's have fun learning a new technique. From my point of view it's totally worth it.

So let's get started

Step 1: What You Need:

- A Camera that is able to shoot in manual mode and where you can change/remove the lens.

- A lens (I got the best results with a small focal lenght (35mm)) it doesn't has to fit your camera but it should able to focus manually and keep the aperture open.

- An Object to photograph, in my case an old camera and an apple blossom.

- Good lighting (day light, a bright lamp,a photo lamp or sth. like this).

- Time ;)

- Knowledge how the manual mode and the camera works.

Step 2: How to Do It:

Choose the widest aperture on your lens if you have a manual lens, on most lenses this is automatically the case when it's removed from the camera, some nikon lenses are closed and you have to pull on a small lever to open it completely.

Then set your focus to infinity. (It also works with a different focus setting, but from my opinion it's the easiest way of doing it with the infinity setting)

Place your object on your background or stand infront of what ever you are shooting.

The next step is pretty straight forward, you set the ISO and exposure in manual mode, hold your lens infront of your camera where it would normally sit. Then experiment with the distance between the lens and your camera and the distance between camera and subject to get it in focus. If your camera has live view use it to focus your subject. It is also a good tip to hold your hand as a shade between camera and body, that way you avoid light leaking into the sensor and creating a flare. Experiment how much light you let leak in and what effects it can create.

Step 3: Tilt-Shift Photoraphy

By tilting and shifting your lens you get some interessting effects. In the pictures you can see that the camera or flower is sharp in the foreground and the camera body is sharp in the background but the middle is out of focus. This effect is only possible with tilt- shift lenses, lens babies (pretty expensive) or Free Lensing. When you are taking photos as usual you can get either the fore- or the background or both (small aperture) in focus.

An other effect I've read about is that you can get is a miniature effect by tilting your lens, but I havent't tried it yet. Something I will definitely try in the future :)

Step 4: Macro

If you put your lens further away from the camera body and then get the object with the distance between body and camera in focus, you will get a macro like effect.

Step 5: Try and Have Fun :)

If you have a question feel free to ask. :)