Felix Steele, a photographer, has created a 3D-printed 164mm f/2.5 lens with no bolts or screws. It’s also less expensive than standard lenses.
According to Peta Pixel, he was able to design a lens for less than $15 using inexpensive glass. Steele’s first significant effort was likewise titled “Pixels and Prisms.”
The Pixels and Prisms lens has a focusing mechanism and an aperture that is entirely adjustable. This differs from existing 3D-printed lenses, which hold parts in rigid tubes without adding functionality, according to the official website.
“Every photographer has various lens requirements in terms of price, speed, and focal length.” “Through 3D printing, the Pixels and Prisms 163mm f/2.5 telephoto lens is a configurable optical system that offers a low-cost, open-source alternative to commercial lenses,” Steele adds.
“As a photographer, the process of creating this lens was a wonderful way for me to connect with the ideals that underpin much of my work.” When a lens design change affects your depth of field or sharpness, you get a keen grasp of, and appreciation for, the equipment and techniques you use “He continues.
The 3D-printed lenses have a manual focusing mechanism that, like normal lenses, can lock in the fully-extended or fully-retracted positions. The latter is the first patent for a 3D-printed lens based on a full-frame digital camera system.
“Pixels and Prisms is a feasible low-weight lens alternative for travel, portrait, or street photographers, as well as a cost-effective entry point into telephoto photography, for under $15.” “The aperture and zoom mechanism can even be changed to function with any lens element if an extension is attached to the front of the optic,” he adds.
“The design and production of this telephoto lens took three months, beginning with the development of an optical formula.” “The print files are available for download, and the steps that follow will allow you to locate and fit a lens element to go with them,” Steele adds.
How does it function?
“To begin, position the lens upright (on its edge) on a table or desk. Then, on the opposite side of the room, direct a light source towards the lens element. The light will be focused at some point above your surface by the lens. Moving a sheet of paper to and from the lens will reveal the exact point: a halo will appear that drifts in and out of focus as you move the paper. Finally, mark the sharpest focus point and measure the distance from the lens element. This is your focal length (though I would double-check your math) “Felix Steele explains the lenses’ working mechanism.
“The end result is a measurement that can be used to build a rudimentary lens housing and test image clarity and focus before proceeding to the full project.” Adjust the focus of your lens in front of your camera until you are satisfied with the quality of your element. Alternatively, you can slide your lens element down a cardboard tube. Any component that allows you to test the performance of your lens by adjusting the distance to the sensor should work here. Set away your lens after you’re convinced that it’s suitable for 3D printing.”