This Photographer Made a Working Camera Lens Out of LEGO

Weird lens enthusiast and YouTuber Mathieu Stern has created another fun stay-at-home DIY lens while stuck in quarantine. This time it’s a functional camera lens, complete with focusing mechanism, made almost entirely out of LEGO bricks. The lens is the result of 2 weeks of sickness and well over a month of self-isolation. Working together […]

This Photographer Made a Working Camera Lens Out of LEGO

Weird lens enthusiast and YouTuber Mathieu Stern has created another fun stay-at-home DIY lens while stuck in quarantine. This time it’s a functional camera lens, complete with focusing mechanism, made almost entirely out of LEGO bricks.

The lens is the result of 2 weeks of sickness and well over a month of self-isolation. Working together with his wife, the Sterns encased a single optical element inside a makeshift LEGO housing, and then set about building a lens barrel around it.

They then attached a glass “shield” onto the lens mount to protect the sensor, and put the entire thing together into a sort of drop-in enclosure that holds the camera on one end, and the lens enclosure on the other. The lens element itself can slide back and forth within the lens barrel, allowing Mathieu to focus.

While contrast and sharpness obviously leaves something to be desired here, it’s fair to say this LEGO lens works better than anyone could reasonably expect.

Scroll down to see a few sample shots captured using this odd bit of DIY optics. Gotta love that rectangular bokeh…

Check out the full video up top to watch the lens build process and see several more sample shots captured both indoors and out. And if you want to see more crazy stay-at-home lens creations from Mathieu, you can find his toilet paper roll lens here.


Image credits: Photos by Mathieu Stern and used with permission

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US Camera Sales Dropped by 64% Last Month; Only Luggage is Doing Worse

As the coronavirus pandemic brings the world economy to its knees, retail intelligence firm Stackline put together a report identifying the 100 fastest growing and 100 fastest declining industries based on e-commerce data from March. No surprise, the outlook is especially grim for cameras. According to the Stackline infographic—which compared March 2019 to March 2020 […]

US Camera Sales Dropped by 64% Last Month; Only Luggage is Doing Worse

As the coronavirus pandemic brings the world economy to its knees, retail intelligence firm Stackline put together a report identifying the 100 fastest growing and 100 fastest declining industries based on e-commerce data from March. No surprise, the outlook is especially grim for cameras.

According to the Stackline infographic—which compared March 2019 to March 2020 using e-commerce sales data from across the United States—Cameras are the third fastest declining businesses in the country right now, with sales dropping a whopping 64%. Only two categories did worse: “Luggage & Suitcases” and “Briefcases,” which both saw sales drop by 77% year-over-year.

That 64% number is brutal, but unsurprising. A recent BCN report showed that mirrorless camera sales in Japan were down by 50% in March 2020 vs March 2019, and while we usually try to factor in regional differences, the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have not been confined to a single region. You can see some of the other industries called out by Stackline below, or browse the full list of 200 at this link:

These e-commerce numbers confirm what the BCN data already hinted at: not just March, but the entire rest of this year will be the most difficult yet for camera makers, who were already fighting an uphill battle against the smartphone revolution.

In mid-March, we wrote that the coronavirus pandemic would force companies to “find the floor” of the industry—that number at which sales stabilize and brands can figure out how many cameras they can reasonably expect to sell in an average year—far more quickly than they had hoped for or anticipated, and adjust accordingly:

With less R&D money to go around, companies will need to cut operating expenses more aggressively than they have in years, focus on the products that turn a profit, and shrink to fit the market that they’re actually playing in… or diversify… or get off the field entirely.

Now, as the real-world ramifications of the worldwide economic shutdown start to hit, we’re seeing just how low those numbers can really go, and holding our breath to see how fast and how far they recover when this is all over.

(via Mirrorless Rumors)

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