Build a $4 lens with interchangeable kaleidoscopic filters for any digital camera

Picture of build a $4 lens with interchangeable kaleidoscopic filters for any digital camera
in this instructable i show you how to build a really cool lens attachment for almost any digital camera.

with the advent of digital cameras, i blossomed (not like that chick in that sitcom, though). if i had had the money, i would've loved to get into developing my own film and slr cameras and what not, but alas. . . i did not. taking film to get developed at exorbitant rates didn't help. digital let me do it all without the expense or the darkroom. i'm sure many out there feel the same.

i still can't afford the cutting edge, so no digital slr. but, here's a novel way to make abstract lenses for almost any digital camera.

Step 1: The lens

Picture of the lens
i began by looking for some sort of lens to experiment with. i was hoping to find something like a kids science optics kit but came up short.

at michael's (a craft store) i stumbled upon some cheap plastic kaleidoscopes and a light bulb turned on above my head.

these things are $1.49 apiece, and there were different types of lenses. i'll show you the two options that i liked the best in this instructable.
Soxbleed4 years ago
flight of the conchords love :)
hmm... how might you do this with a camera with a bigger lens... like an slr or something? otherwise, very nice.
pdub77 (author)  iamthemargerineman7 years ago
i'm not really sure, margerine man. you would probably have to find a larger kaleidoscope with a bigger lens. after that, i would more than likely go to a pawn shop or thrift store and find an old slr lens i could modify on the cheap.
flio191 pdub776 years ago
You put a macro lens behind it first, so the focus lengh is shorter, then attach the kaleidescope, and depending on the power of your macro lens, you can almost eliminate a black round border. You might end up with a blurry edge, but it might look cooler for that... Meh, I might try it.
pdub77 (author)  flio1916 years ago
freakin sweet thought, flio. much obliged.
pdub77 (author)  pdub775 years ago
With cameras out there now that have really high megapixels you can simply take pics and crop in your photo editing software.  Just a thought, right?
Clayton H.5 years ago
FOTC For the WIN!
pdub77 (author)  Clayton H.5 years ago
They rule!!!  Awesome stuff!
BlueMoody6 years ago
I received my Teleidoscopes in the mail from the Internet, just like those pictured, and spent part of this weekend constructing two for my video camera. I used a Square one, and a Circular one. I did a quick instalation, disregarding appearance, using a toilet paper roll. The Teleidoscopes sized nicely to my lens, with just the edges of the barrel showing in the side screen, so I zoomed in some, and I get a full image from edge to edge. Check my example 25 sec video at
pdub77 (author)  BlueMoody6 years ago
Very cool. Thanks so much for sharing.
asho7 years ago
yoyo, i did this a wee while ago! check out my flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ashleyo/sets/72157603800748668/
i ended up using velcro to attach the lenses and carried them round in a little mints tin. i like the barrel thing though. i just about buggered my camera trying to force the plastic ring onto the its lens! also i used old pieces of coloured plastic (from tic tac containers/ cellophane) over the flash. lomos are ncie but i ain't paying that much money for overpriced accessories...
Hahaha, cool! Do you think it will work with a video camera too?
pdub77 (author)  GorillazMiko7 years ago
hadn't thought of that, but that's a freakin' awesome idea!
Awesome! I'd love to see the video.