Turning a Broken Lens Into a Macro Lens


You’re out and about and have your film camera slung around you and you’re taking the most epic photos when suddenly, the cheap lens that you bought on the street for a price too low suddenly breaks. Now you are left with 2 lenses which are pretty much useless. Here’s what I did.

As I was frolicking about in Disneyland, I had the great misfortune of having my Nikon 36-72mm lens break (the front element of my lens – the bit where the rubber was glued onto and where the focusing happened – popped right off as I was turning it). But what I discovered afterwards gave me such pleasure. I turned this misfortune into an opportunity.

So, we were seated at a restaurant after the long but fun-filled day and I was fiddling with my camera, still in shock at what had happened. I set my dinner aside and popped off the prism of my F2 to see if I could at least get anything decent off the broken lens. I moved the front element of the lens to and fro and what I saw there, made me giddy. As I moved the front nearer to the body of the lens, it would focus to infinity but as I moved the front farther away, It would act as a macro lens and focus on the closest subject to me. My hands were up in jubilation. I may have lost a lens – an albeit crappy lens to begin with – and gained a macro for free. I was so enthralled with what I got that I went on further and shot even more!

Aye but then all fun must come to a sort of plateau, I guess. I was in a Camera show in Pasadena and I was short on money and I ended up selling my 36-72mm. What I bought with the 20 I got from the 36-72 plus a little savings was even better though – a 55mm micro nikkor! But that’s another story.

So the next time something like this happens to you – don’t fret. You’re a lomographer! Think up something creative!

written by takeaphotoitlllastlonger on 2011-11-28 #gear #tutorials #camera #bokeh #smooth #tipster #macro-lens #broken-lens #disneyland #camera-modification #nikon-36-72mm


  1. parky
    parky ·

    you don't need to break the lens to make it work, just turn it around and hold in front of the camera body and it'll work as macro. Steady hands and a tripod required!

  2. walkerchoo
    walkerchoo ·

    this is cool! thanks for sharing

  3. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    I quoted @parky comment! :) however, very cool macros!

  4. gvelasco
    gvelasco ·

    Nice idea.

  5. jeffr
    jeffr ·

    Cool. Nice photos!

More Interesting Articles