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Freelensing Frenzy

Let me introduce you to the wonderful world of freelensing. Freelensing is a technique where you hold the lens of your SLR loosely in front of the camera when taking a picture. The result? Selective focus and a dreamy look.

Photo by stratski

Surfing the web, I came across this intersting technique: freelensing. Trying it out is simple enough:

  • take an SLR and unscrew the lens
  • hold the lens in your hand, close to the camera body
  • tilt or move the lens slightly to see the plane of focus change
  • snap the shutter

The result, in the ideal case: a picture with a distinct tilt-shift look, or a cool macro shot. Or both.

Photo by stratski

Now it’s a little more complicated than that of course, if only because it takes some practice to hold your camera body in one hand, the lens in another, and then try to work the focus ring. I regretted using my super heavy metal Praktica for my forst try…

So to get the titl shift look, you tilt the lens a bit. Like — you guessed it — a tilt-shift lens does, only with added light leaks and risk of overexposure.

For macro pics, move the lens away from the body to get really, really close. You’ll want a fast shutter time to compensate a bit for the extra light sneaking in between lens and body.

Careful, though, if you move your lens too far, you’ll get the edge of it in frame. A little vignetting is fun, but this may be overdoing it…

Photo by stratski

For my pictures, I opened up the aperture to its maximum width, and used shutter speeds of 1/250 and faster. As you can see, the results are never quite tack sharp, but the dreamy look is pretty cool I think. This technique works best in scenes with a bit of depth, like my flower garden. I also found food photography works pretty well with freelensing.

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written by stratski


  1. gothcupcake


    Looks pretty cool! I'll have to give it a try!

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  2. carsten-schmitt


    This is awesome. Will try as soon as I can!

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  3. lokified


    These are amazing! I'm going to try this today!

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  4. alemancachondo


    I'm gonna try it with my konstruktor ;)

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  5. martagoesanalog


    this looks amazing ! need to try it someday n_n
    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  6. monodistortion


    I remember seeing a YouTube video about free lensing now. I want to try it with a cheap medium format lens so that there's more coverage for shifting...
    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  7. lauraaeclem

    So pretty!
    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  8. gemmatus


    these are some pretty photo's

    9 months ago · report as spam

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