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Hardware Hacking Technology

Macro Lens from a Pringles Can 241

isharq writes "In a cool little feat of extremely low-tech hardware hacking, Photocritic has created a macro lens out of a Pringles can. According to the article: "with less than £1 worth of equipment, a little bit of sweat and tears, you can build yourself a surprisingly good macro lens". The results are astonishing."
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Macro Lens from a Pringles Can

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  • by Ka D'Argo ( 857749 ) on Monday December 12, 2005 @02:08PM (#14239971) Homepage
    Occasionally there's some miswordings in article titles or you have to RTFA to really understand what the brief summary was trying to convey.

    But this is the first /. I've read that is totally, wrong. Sure you can make a cool macro lens out of a Pringles can for less than $1 but you forgot the important part you need a lens slash full normal 35mm camera already to pull this off.

    Totally misleading summary. Mod me down if you want, I'm not trying to flame but seriously this is just hitting a low for /.

  • by Ancient_Hacker ( 751168 ) on Monday December 12, 2005 @02:11PM (#14239993)
    So all you need is:

    • A camera.
      • A SLR.
      • That you don't mind getting wrecked.
      • Due to getting Pringle-bits in the mechanical bits.
      • Or due to getting Pringle-salt in the mechanical bits.
      • With a removable lens.
      • But not a lens scheme that telemeters f-stop or focus or depth-of-field indicators or flash timer.
      • And not an old Retina-Reflex with the shutter built into the lens.
    • And you can stand putting duct-tape on a piece of precision equipment.
    • And you don't already have a lens with the twist-to-macro feature.
    • And you don't mind wrecking the lens when it falls off the end of the tube.
    • And you don't mind the idiocy of using a tube with reflective insides when optimally it should be just the opposite.

    Otherwise, it's a swell idea.

  • Re:Hmmmm ..... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot,kadin&xoxy,net> on Monday December 12, 2005 @02:15PM (#14240024) Homepage Journal
    Yeah really. It was Slashdotted before there were any posts on the article, I think. Is that a record?

    The Coral Cache seems to be working okay. Some of the photos seem to be missing, though, and the background is a little messed up (although perhaps it's that way on the 'real' site also). Link for the lazy:
    http://www.photocritic.org.nyud.net:8090/2005/macr o-photography-on-a-budget/ [nyud.net]

    Basically what the guy does is take a SLR body cap, cut it up with a dremel and use it as a mounting ring to attach a pringles can, which is essentially an extension ring to move a inexpensive 50mm prime lens further away from the film plane. I'm not knocking this guy's work -- it's a pretty neat idea -- but really he's doing a DIY extension tube, not a lens.
  • Not 1£ lens (Score:4, Insightful)

    by elgatozorbas ( 783538 ) on Monday December 12, 2005 @02:20PM (#14240055)
    This is a nice contraption, kudos to the guy.

    However it is a bit frustrating to see all these post lately 'build $$$ device at peanut cost' which then usually involve having all kinds of stuff in advance, e.g. "cannibalising a few of the lens- and body covers that most of us have laying around."

  • Re:Lens, my foot! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Don Negro ( 1069 ) on Monday December 12, 2005 @02:36PM (#14240206)
    You're corrent that he didn't build a lens. That misrepresetation is the editor/submitters fault. It's entirely possible neither of them knew any better.

    I want to point out that any vitriol anyone needs to spew about this should be directed to the editor himself, and not confused with comments about this guy's work. He built a cool hack, turning several pieces of cheap equipment into one piece of expensive equipment in the finest tradition of geekiness.

    Just because someone mischaracterised his work doesn't make his work of lesser intrinsic value. It's not what we were told it was when we clicked on the article, but it's pretty cool in and of itself. Let's not let that get lost.
  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday December 12, 2005 @02:47PM (#14240304) Homepage
    But this is the first /. I've read that is totally, wrong. Sure you can make a cool macro lens out of a Pringles can for less than $1 but you forgot the important part you need a lens slash full normal 35mm camera already to pull this off.

    Yeah. Just like when someone points out that you can build an antenna for wireless networking with a Pringles can, it's all a big scam because you already needed to have a working computer and a wireless infrastructure, how lame. What a rip-off, you can't build the whole network with just the pringles can?

    We should all feel greatly deceived when there are any pre-requisites for a DIY project. I'm still waiting to get instructions on making a supercomputer completely out of a pumpkin, but no luck so far.

  • by Golias ( 176380 ) on Monday December 12, 2005 @02:56PM (#14240376)
    Astonishing indeed.

    NEWS FLASH: Hallow tube may be used to do the job of... a hallow tube.

    Next on Slashdot: Make a crude beer stein out of an ordinary measuring cup!

    (Insert oblig. "hacking is way cooler than just BUYING a beer stein like the rest of the sheep!!!1! It's about the JOURNEY d00d!!" comment in response to howls of laughter over such a useless activity.)
  • by cant_get_a_good_nick ( 172131 ) on Monday December 12, 2005 @03:48PM (#14240804)
    I was thinking the same thing. He saved about $100 for extension tubes, for a $1200 camera. He also lost all automatic function, lost a bit of control (the normal 2 pack of extension tubes allows you 3 lengths depending how you stack). Ok fine, this is just a hobby, he can do what he wants...

    He also gets poorer optics by the fact that there is no way he can align the egdes to the tolerances of a real lens, even one as cheap as the 50mm mkII. I'd bet this would void all types of warranties. He looks like he has no back cover, just straight into the camera, meaning that any flash or residue from the surgery would end up inside his nice new camera. Fun to play with, but the savings not worth the risk to the electronics, especially since a commercial solution is safer and not that expensive. (and if the guy has a > $1000 digital SLR this isn't the cost optimization he should be looking at).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 12, 2005 @04:14PM (#14241013)
    (Disclaimer: I can't read the article currently.)

    This is a "5 - Insightful?"

    In your attempt at sarcasm, I think you described plenty of us -- our SLR's have removable lenses (go figure!), we don't have shutters in our lenses, we don't mind putting duct tape on our old FE-2's or A-1's, we use skylight filters, and we'll clean the freakin' can out first.

  • by LordKronos ( 470910 ) on Monday December 12, 2005 @04:24PM (#14241110)
    Yeah, but a professional/semi-professional would just buy a REAL extention tube (if not a full out macro lens). Extention tubes are cheap. I think they start at $30-40. I bought a set of 3 different sizes for $80. And these are quality engineered parts with full support for aperture and auto-focus control.
  • by deacon ( 40533 ) on Monday December 12, 2005 @04:47PM (#14241297) Journal
    1: Take a cardboard tube that contains greasy, salt-laden + crumbs material.

    2: Using a dremel tool grind out the sheet steel bottom. Leave metal swarf and dust inside tube.

    3: Glom this mess onto your camera and lens.

    4: Wonder why your camera develops problems later.

    Seriously, read the article. The complete carelessness is horrible. This article is like a sick joke on people who don't know or think about the implications of getting salt and metal dust into their camera.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears