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Fun With Custom Lenses

Published February 9, 2016

Last week, faculty member Dan Torop invited formLab head tech, Windham Graves, to be a guest speaker to his class of undergraduate photography students at FSU.

Windham explained the technical engineering concepts that go into creating photo lenses and shared a number of examples of custom lenses he has created recently. He regaled students with how lenses salvaged from various sources (old point-and-shoot film cameras, X-ray machines, aerial land-surveying cameras, etc) can be successfully used with modern digital camera bodies to create unique photo lenses. He showed them how they could do this themselves with relatively straight forward modifications using widely available adapters and custom 3D printed mounts.

While photo-editing software has made it possible to artificially produce nearly any effect there is still an enduring draw to the myriad of creative variations that are made available with custom lenses. Photographers are able to realize their greatest potential when they are able to harness the possibilities offered by both digital and mechanical technologies.