Introduction: Wide-Angle and Fish-Eye Camera Lens Adaptor

How to build a lens adaptor for your camera for about $5-10. This adaptor allows you to get wide angle shots up to 200 degrees field of view and take funny fish-eye effect photos. Uses only commonly available materials. The entire process and example photos are shown in the video.

Step 1: Parts List

Picture of Parts List

A picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth even more. All of the instructions are demonstrated in the Instructional video.

You will need:

1. A peep hole - the kind you use on your front door to see who is on the other side. Get one at the hardware store. They come with 160 degree or 200 degree field of view. The 160 is probably fine for most wide-angle work. The 200 is as wide as most people will ever need. You can actually see slightly behind the lens with this one. And, it works better for fish-eye effect. However, is may show more barrel distortion. If you can't decide, get both.

2. PVC Pipe. The smallest diameter you can find that will fit around your camera's lens barrel.

3. Craft foam. These EVA foam sheets are available at craft stores and any place that sells scrap booking supplies.

Step 2: Build Up the Diameter of the Peep Hole Barrel

Picture of Build Up the Diameter of the Peep Hole Barrel

Measure and cut strips of the foam sheet. The width of the strips should be the same as the length of the peephole barrel. [Instructional video

Measure the length of the strips so that they wrap around the peep hole barrel.

Build up enough layers of foam so that the peep hole fits snuggly into the PVC pipe.

I used spray adhesive to glue the foam layers onto the peephole barrel and on to each other.

Step 3: Prepare the PVC Pipe

Picture of Prepare the PVC Pipe

Cut a piece of PVC pipe to the length of the camera lens barrel plus the length of the peep hole

Paint the PVC pipe if desired

Step 4: Make the Camera Interface

Picture of Make the Camera Interface

Make a fitting for the camera lens by building up the thickness of the camera lens to fit the inside diameter of the PVC pipe.

Glue the resulting fitting inside the PVC pipe.

Step 5: Finish

Picture of Finish
Push the built-up peep hole into the other end of the PVC pipe.

That's it.

I got best photo results when I had the camera lens zoomed in as far as possible.


nvranješ (author)2011-10-28

Very nice project indeed. I made this today, but I used a 120 degree peep hole and it had a too big circle around it, I even sawed it off quite a lot, but it was still a bit big. Anyway I am pleased with the result, but I gotta get myself the 200 degree one. Here is a photo. Camera used is Coolpix L22.

sjoobbani (author)2009-12-31

I have trouble with 2 things:


Focus: i tried on landscape, i tried autofocus, and I tried macro. what to do? still blurry, i understand the edge's could be blurry, but the whole thing?

Lighting: everything seems a darker, and flash ruins things even more. tried different exposures, brightness... only thing to do, is use the Nightvision mode on the camera, from my 'ible : and that makes everything green, so...
please help.

shoemaker (author)sjoobbani2010-01-04

I didn't have any trouble at all.  Maybe some cameras are just not well suited to this. 

Also, you might try sawing off a bit of the length of the peephole tupe.

sjoobbani (author)shoemaker2010-09-26

Yea, you could do that, or you could just manually adjust the focus.
depends on how much you use it..

archmadtramp (author)sjoobbani2010-07-01

I occasionally have troubles with focus, but it's usually because my hand wasn't perfectly still. I'm not sure of this, but with the fisheye lens, the camera's focus seems more temperamental...

Fantastic project that resulted in some fantastic pics.

Recycled an old plastic 35mm film canister instead of using the PVC pipe (cut out the entire bottom of the canister and mounted the peephole in the grey lid). Got the 200 degree field of view peep hole and wrapped it in the craft foam... fits like a glove on my Casio Exilim!


rada194 (author)2009-09-03

How Would i make it for this camera

MrShambles (author)rada1942010-01-23
J@50n (author)rada1942009-10-18

i would guess that it might work. but probably not. you may need lots of duct tape.

goeon (author)2010-01-09

 works great ! thanks for the ible 

(sorta took the picture in a rush hence the blurryness

ry25920 (author)2008-01-30

nice idea. I gotta try this. It would be great for security.

shoemaker (author)ry259202008-01-30

Yeah, I guess there are a lot of really small video cameras these days. This thing would probably work with a lot of those cameras too.

sjoobbani (author)shoemaker2009-12-31

the corner security camera's and also, Dashcams
sometimes just for fun, or for "spying" on teen drivers...

asianpuff16 (author)2008-07-12

do you think i could make one of these to fit on this camera?,has anyone tryed it on this camera?:

sjoobbani (author)asianpuff162009-12-31

This is an excellent one, I've done it on a similar camera ( Flip Ultra HD )

shoemaker (author)asianpuff162008-07-14

I think it would work. The only problem is how to attach it. I think you could figure out some fitting that could hold it in place.

Quelso (author)2009-07-25

This is awesome. I don't have to spend several dollars on this. This is very cheap and useful! This is my cat at the fish eye, and me in the fish eye! Jeje Thanks

sjoobbani (author)Quelso2009-12-31

haha cat looking at a fisheye.. get it?

kitfoxtrot (author)2009-11-10

thanks for the info! always wanted to experiment with one but didn't have the $- this is great :D

Quelso (author)2009-08-09

Without feelings about make my video known, I made a video of parkour using the fish-eye lens.

I invite you to see it!

Greetings! And thanks again for the lens!

shoemaker (author)Quelso2009-08-17

You are welcome to post this as a video response to my instructional video on youtube. Cobbler

geemarc12 (author)2009-07-29

hi i live in england and i cant seem to find them any where any ieas where i could get one from because im not willing to pay like £400 for one im a skater so i need one for mine and my friends skate videos

baken411 (author)2009-07-16

i am definatly making this asap great 'ible

Clayton H. (author)2009-02-21

This would be cool to put on one of those old TRL cammeras but you would need to make two, one for the lense and one for the "veiwfinder?".

Kryptonite (author)2008-11-22

Wow, a fish eye or wide angle lens is quite expensive where I come from, looking forward to making this! :D

xskatinforsatanx (author)2008-10-15

I made my lens today and its sickkkk dude. I really needed it to make some skate vids. Heres a couple things i did with it so far.

rediculosis (author)2008-08-09

Is there a way to substitute a cardboard toilet paper thingy for the PVC piping? I mean, I'm like 16, and I could buy some PVC piping, I just don't know what that cutter thing is. Haha.

gordo (author)2008-07-21


alvincredible (author)2008-07-12

thats a super clean and well done design! i really like it good job

vanpaun (author)2008-07-03

how close to the camera lens should it go?

shoemaker (author)vanpaun2008-07-10

I would say touching or as close as possible.

vanpaun (author)shoemaker2008-07-11

Ok, I assembled it today! My only thought is that Spray adhesive isnt good, and can be replaced by scotch tape. You can also use scotch to build up a "Micro layer" if a whole one is not needed, Spray adhesive bubbled and stuck my fingers together. P.S. I adapted it for my video camera

vanpaun (author)vanpaun2008-07-11

Also, I used a sawed in half coupler witch has a really handy lip, so that it can only slide to a certain point.

zappBrannigan (author)2008-04-24

This seems to be a common way to add wideangle to your compact camera or webcam. The only thing is that its very unpractical. I took my saw out and chopped one of those peepholes up. It consisted of 4 lenses, throw the first one away, and you can attach the other ones directly to your camera, theyre small, light and a much better solution than this. It adds max 5 grams and 1cm to your cam. Just make sure to orient them in the same way they were in the housing, you can even use just one or two of the lenses with a narrower angle as a result.

theresanovak (author)2008-03-16

Really interesting and cool idea. Thanks! :-)

clarissa2k6 (author)2008-02-21

what a great idea... and cheap too...i'm doing this later... thanks

shoemaker (author)2008-02-04

I used 1 inch PVC pipe - standard, not schedule 40. I don't really know the length. I actually measured mine incorrectly, because the foam sticks out from the pipe just a little. Just line up the peep hole with the lens and cut the pipe to that length. Make sure to zoom in all the way before you measure.

cloner (author)2008-01-30

where are your sample photos? i wanna make this one :) tnx

shoemaker (author)cloner2008-01-30

The sample photos are in the video. Suppose I should post more of them here.

cloner (author)shoemaker2008-02-03

yes please. thanks. am now wondering how i can modify this one to use a fiber optic snake camera. interesting eh? am not sure yet if its really feasible :D

bumpus (author)2008-01-30

heres mine, haha i love that mask

shoemaker (author)bumpus2008-01-31

Cool. One thing I have found is that you lose a fair amount of light with the added lens, so its good to plan accordingly.

bumpus (author)shoemaker2008-01-31

yeah, i took it to school today and got some good pics, especially in the gymnasium (basketball game)

About This Instructable



More by shoemaker:World's Most Powerful Marshmallow Gun -- How To Make Your OwnPyrotechnical Application for Potato CannonsSky Lantern/Hot Air Balloon from a Dry Cleaner Bag
Add instructable to: