French photographer designs and 3D prints his own lens and the pictures look incredible
If photography is your true passion, you’re eager to discover the ways to make your shots even more perfect and unique than they currently are.
It’s not only the places or people photographers capture, the time they put into finding the most flattering angle and waiting for the ‘object’ to show up (if it’s an incredible natural phenomenon, a wild animal or a once-in-a-lifetime sunset), the ways they edit their masterpieces, the natural light game they use in their favor that makes their work different from average photography every person who knows how to hold the camera is capable of and turns it into the art worth admiring.
The equipment they use is the tool that allows them to embody into the real life the perspective of the sites, people, nature and social issues drawn by their imagination. But, as all professional photographers know too well, apart from being dreadfully expensive, professional equipment doesn’t always satisfy the needs of a true artist, failing to give him/her the options they’d like to constantly have on hand.
Thus, Mathieu Stern, a French photographer, who’s initial mission was to discover the opportunities of inexpensive and unusual camera lenses to end the photographers‘ dependence on costly camera equipment and numerous attachments, took a completely opposite turn and decided to design a perfect lens of his own. And, after the model and the prototype were created, he did nothing but 3D printed the lens, took a few pictures and shared his experience, as well as the results of his unusual experiment with the whole world.
He did that having absolutely no experience in modeling, technical engineering or even 3D printing. But, he managed to combine the best characteristics of the lenses he’d ever worked with, ripped apart an old lens he owned and used its glass and cardboard to create a prototype, which served as the visual base of his 2D design.
Luckily, the 3D printing company he got in touch with saw the enormous potential in Stern’s project. They rewarded his enthusiasm by helping him transform the 2D design into a 3D model, compatible with the printer they had and printed the lens.
It turned out to be a 135mm f/1.8 lens that uses a single glass element in the front – definitely the most unusual lens in Sterns collection. And, he could totally take most of the credit for its creation.
#1 The lens itself
After receiving the lens, Stern rushed to test it. After mounting his 3D printed invention to the full frame mirrorless camera, he rushed to test it and shared the photographs he managed to take with it.
After going through this unbelievable journey, Stern emphasised once again that ‘You don’t need to buy ultra-expensive lenses to make great images. A $4 plastic lens will make great results. What really matters is your vision, ideas, and creativity’.
Even though his lens is not perfect, he considers it as his first and incredibly successful step toward designing his own lenses and developing the 3D printing technology in this sphere.
Check out the amazing shots taken with his lens.
The source of all pictures – Mathieu Stern Photography