Introduction: Ghetto Macro Lens

Macro lenses for SLR cameras are expensive. After experimenting with rolled up magazines and other tricks I came up with the "Ghetto Macro Lens" for about $10 worth of supplies.

You will need:

A 12 Fl. Oz. Red Bull can, a camera body cover to fit your SLR camera and a throw away camera lens. This lens came from a flea market and was actually free as it is a piece of junk. It is from a plastic camera that probably didn't cost more than $15 - $20 new.

You will need a hot glue gun or some good hard glue that will dry quickly.
Cut a hole in the body cap like you see here. I used a drill press and then just broke off the little pieces of plastic that didn't get drilled out. You don't need to get fancy with this as it won't show up in the pics you take.

Step 1: Step 1

Cut both ends off the Red Bull can. You don't need to be very clean with the cuts as you will be taping them soon.

The other end (bottom of can) needs to be cut like you see here because it needs to fit into the body cap.

Step 2: Next You Need Black Construction Paper or Paint

I didn't have any paint or black construction paper so I took an open copier machine image of my hand. Take the paper and cut it to fit just slightly higher than your can and enough that when it is rolled it covers the entire inside of the can.

Step 3: Overall It Should Look Like This

This is what it should look like on one side, then on the other side and then the next pic is what it should look like overall

Step 4: Assemble and Test

Slide the entire thing inside the can and then try taking a pic. If the lens is level with the body cap it will make a cool macro. If it is not level, level it and then tape the top (lens side) so it doesn't move. If it was not level when you made it you will get a "Tilt Lens" effect where only the center is in total focus. See the fly Macro pics at the end to see what I mean. The pics I took of the flies did NOT have the lens quite right and it was after I was done shooting them that I realized my mistake.

Step 5: What It Should Look Like and How to Focus

This is what the Ghetto Macro Lens looks like when attached to a camera. You need to ve VERY close to your subject because of the tight depth of focus (DoF).

You will have to have good lighting and move in and out from your subject until you can focus. There is no focus except for the "in and out" method.

For the camera settingsI have the aperture set to 4.5 and the exposure to 30/100 with an ISO of 1600. The next picture is exactly what you see this picture taking.

Step 6: The Results of the Ghetto Macro Lens

This is the tip of the Phillips tip screw driver you saw in step 6. The camera aperture is set to 4.5 and the exposure to 30/100 with an ISO of 1600.

The next pictures are of the tip of a rose and of flies on a mushroom.

I hope you enjoyed this.

Boris Kafka