Create Analog Lens Flares on a DSLR with 'Lens Whacking'

Now that everyone is shooting digital (at least on the low end), it takes a few tricks to achieve an analog look. Beyond adding film grain and burnouts in post, one way to do this is to slightly detach your DSLR's lens and let in a bit of outside light during your shot. Thus the term "lens whacking," i.e. letting light in from the sides and creating lens flares the analog way. Don't literally whack your lens -- but through subtle manipulation you can allow light to refract through the rear lens elements, giving you some interesting-looking flares:

More videos and details on the process over at planet5D.

Link: Lens Wacking - planet5D

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Awesome, now Zacuto can sell some overpriced piece of gear to hold and wobble and such a lens just at the mount without full contact, it will be the Zwhacker® (don't try, I've already trade marked it). Not just content on hiring a focus puller we can also hire a person to be our lens whacker.

Whatever it takes to bring back that 70's porn movie look and feel in HDSLR (sorry not actual "feel").

All in good humor, this is a cool effect.

October 19, 2010 at 12:28PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


i did this exact same thing when i was waiting for my lens adapter to come in!

I thought it looked awesome then, didnt know it had a name hahah.

October 19, 2010 at 12:59PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Alexander Miller

Technically, this isn't a lens "flare," it's a light "leak."

Very cool idea for a lo-fi look. Love these simple hacks.

October 20, 2010 at 11:53AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

You voted '+1'.

I am glad you posted James Miller video because I saw it and i took out my canon 5d mark II and did the same.
There is a little but of more info on the page in vimeo.

After enjoying that experience so much I shot another video about that and will be editing that soon!


All shot with the Canon 5d Mark II

October 25, 2010 at 2:24PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Fernando Barrientos

We have created this FREE collection of 20 organic light leaks:


March 8, 2013 at 6:59AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Hey guys, if anyone is interested, check out
Its a universal lensmount designed to make freelensing a whole lot easier.

The Lensbender suspends your lens securely in front of the camera body, allowing a range of movement and flexibility and giving you an extra hand for aperture adjustment and focus-pulling.

Happy Shooting xx

July 6, 2015 at 7:09PM