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Bokeh On A Budget | Make Your Very Own 50mm f/1.2 for Just $20

By Shivani Reddy on September 16th 2016

For those of us that don’t have $1500 dollars for a f/1.2 Canon or Nikon prime laying around, Mathieu Stern, a connoisseur of odd lens discoveries, brings us a solution for achieving creamy bokeh on a budget, by way of adapting a projector lens.


Although not an easy to come by product, the Bell And Howell Projector Lens can be adapted to fit your camera using a macro ring. Stern crafted a makeshift lens that yields near identical results to a name brand prime, resulting in swirls of bokeh and intensely shallow depth of field.

Stern claims that the lens isn’t the easiest to maneuver, like most manual focus lenses, it isn’t meant to be in the hands of a beginner and requires practiced use in order to perfect the process. The burdens that come with this creation, however, shouldn’t discount its value, for it creates remarkable imagery while saving you a large sum of money. While it may not be your main workhorse, this specialty lens would work great for portrait and macro photography.

It should be said, though, a controlled environment is likely your friend when using this lens, as it’s not going to come with any aids, and metering with it may be off, requiring you to get to know it before relying on it in a work environment. If you’re looking for some creamy bokeh without the hassle or restrictions (and don’t mind parting with some more cash), you may want to check out the results from the Nikon 105mm F/1.4. See  real world test here.




Source: Mathieu Stern via ISO 1200.

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Shivani wants to live in a world where laughter is the cure to pretty much everything. Since she can’t claim “Serial Bingewatcher” as an occupation, she’ll settle for wedding/portrait photographer at Lin and Jirsa & marketing coordinator here at SLR Lounge. For those rare moments when you won’t find a camera in her hand, she will be dancing, eating a donut, or most likely watching Seinfeld.

Follow her on Instagram: @shivalry_inc

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