By now you should know that I like to tinker with lenses. I’ll experiment with existing glass, reversing lenses on one another, fiddling with all sorts of various combinations until something cool comes of it.

And when you least expect it, magic happens, your experimentation comes to fruition, and you achieve a photographic look that can only otherwise be obtained through the wave of a magic wand (or Photoshop, though we’ll forget about that for the sake of this discussion ;) ). The magic in play today comes in the form of a 37mm wide-angle camcorder lens.

The 37mm wide-angle camcorder lens

I purchased the lens from eBay to provide my Lensbaby a wider angle of view and expected the least from it. Meh, $15? If the quality’s no good then it’s not a big waste. Well, my expectations were right where they should’ve been; the build quality is nothing to write home about and nor is the image quality. But it serves well, and it does give my ‘Baby a nice, wide-angle view.

Geekery (is that a word?) took over, I soon became bored with it affixed to the Lensbaby, and it was thus the next victim┬áto my experiments. I soon discovered that reversing it on a standard 50mm or 35mm lens results in a bizarre, distorted and heavily vignetted image and immediately fell in love with the look! The only problem was securing it to the other lens so it needn’t be held in place.

Some Googling around, and another $10-eBay-purchase later, I had an answer. Both my Nikon 50mm and 35mm lenses have 52mm filter threads, with the filter thread of the 37mm camcorder lens being 46mm. So I purchased a male 52mm-52mm macro reversing ring and a 46mm-52 mm step-up ring.

The only rings you need

With this combo I was able to screw the 37mm lens to the 46mm ring, attaching that to the 52mm reversing ring, providing a snug fit on my 35mm lens. I then hit the streets for some shooting with my new member of the family…

Attached to my Nikon 35mm

Lost in bokeh

Bokeh full of traffic!

Distorted sunset

Thanks for reading!

Links of interest:

  • jiakgong DIGITAL‘s eBay store – where I purchased the whole bunch. The 37mm lens, and two filter rings.