Detached Lens Photography

So, you bought your fancy new 14 megapixel DSLR with the best lens you could afford, then you find out the latest trend is to take pictures that look like they were taken with a toy camera from the 1960’s.

Now, you could go and spend even more money on the latest products that degrade your picture quality, or you can just try this technique.

Take the lens off of your camera body and go get a $5 magnifier from the book store. Now hold it in front of the camera as shown. At a certain distance, the magnifier will focus the image onto your image sensor. You can look through the viewfinder as usual to focus. You focus by moving the lens in and out. Don’t worry about the 6 inch gap between your camera and lens, the light leaking in around the sides, etc.

Lens is on the right, camera body on the left.

Looking thru the lens toward the image sensor

Example of the image being projected onto a plane. In this case, it’s a piece of paper.

With this technique, you can make your high dollar DSLR take such terrible photos as the ones below.



Be warned, this is a good way to get little dust particles on your image sensor. Cleaning the image sensor is not for the faint of heart 🙂

Many cameras have automatic sensor cleaning technology that basically tries to vibrate the dust loose. Dust on the sensor will show up worst on small aperture photos, and can lead to temporary insanity until the dust is finally removed.


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