Our new YouTube series ‘Back to The Basics’ will focus on a set of challenges selected by our team here at SLR Lounge and audience participation. The goal is to create incredible imagery with any gear by using foundational photography education found in our Fundamentals Series.

Thank you to Canon for sponsoring this video/project.

Episode 2: Learn 5 Cheap Lens Hacks in Under 5 Minutes

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In this episode, we will teach you 5 inexpensive lens hacks in under 5 minutes using the Canon EOS R and a Canon 50mm F/1.8 II.

The Gear

Camera: Canon EOS-R

Lens: Canon 50mm F/1.8 II


Lens Hack #1: Plastic Wrap

The key for all of these lens hacks is to use them with a prime lens. This is why we chose the Nifty Fifty for this challenge because like our objects, it is super affordable and gets the job done. At F/1.8 we are letting a lot of ambient light in allowing us to get great background separation and a brighter image. Placing the plastic wrap at the corners of the frame will create a hazing effect as you can see at the top of the final image.

Lens Hack #2: Crystal Bookmark

You can snag one of these crystal bookmarks on Amazon or at your nearest craft store. These will give us a different characteristic of flare appearing more streaky and linear in camera.

Lens Hack #3: Phone or Prism

One of the easiest ways to avoid distracting elements in your frame is to use a reflective device like a phone, prism, or mirror. Instead of just reflecting the sky try and find objects like trees or other natural elements to reflect into the frame.

Lens Hack #4: LED Video Light + CTO Gel

You can find these small square LED video lights on Amazon. Pair them with a CTO (Color Temperature Orange) or CTB (Color Temperature Blue) gel to either add a flare of color in your scene or to enhance existing light in the frame.

Lens Hack #5: Plants/Flowers

The important thing about choosing an object to add to your scene within your environment is to make sure it matches the color scheme of the photo. Adding these elements in the frame gives us more depth in the photo.

If you enjoyed this video and want to see more like it please let us know in the comments down below. If you would like to see a specific piece of gear or have an original idea for our Back to Basics series comment down below!

This is video is sponsored by Canon.