DIY Homemade Camera Lens Magnifying Glasses

Written by mark spowart
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DIY Homemade Camera Lens Magnifying Glasses
When you look through the rear element of the lens, you can use it as a magnifying glass. (Stock pictures or lenses and other camera accessories image by Albert Lozano from

Camera lenses must be manufactured with quality lenses and coatings. When used on a camera, a lens transmits the image through its different internal lens elements or groupings, and ultimately the image is recorded on the digital sensor or film plane. The quality of these glass components affects the quality of the image. When you remove the lens from the camera and look through the lens from the rear element, the lens can be used as a magnifying glass.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Metal band clamp - approximately 3-inch diameter
  • Small wood handle with drilled attachment hole
  • Nut, bolt and washer to fit clamp and handle

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  1. 1

    Shop online auction sites or visit a local camera store that sells used equipment. Look for a manual-focus 50mm lens with a minimum aperture setting of f1.8 or lower. This is a very common lens, and relatively inexpensive to purchase. Buying a version with a larger aperture results in the rear element of the lens being larger, making it easy to look through.

  2. 2

    Position the band clamp around the outside of the lens barrel. You do not have to worry if it covers the focusing ring, as you will not be using the focusing ring.

  3. 3

    Position the wood handle in the band clamp. Insert the bolt through the band clamp and the wood handle. Attach and tighten the washer and nut on the other side.

  4. 4

    Hold the lens-magnifying glass in your hand and position it 2 to 3 inches from the object you would like to magnify. Adjust the distance until the object you are looking at is in focus.

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