April 30, 2019

How to Pull Off the DIY 'Anamorfake' Lens Mod

Give your lenses the signature look of anamorphic with these modifications.

You love your lens but you're not, like, in love with your lens? Yeah, I understand. Maybe you wish it were a little warmer or captured cooler flares or was a $20K anamorphic. We've all been through the struggle of our lens' limitations, but there are ways to add a little anamorphic pizazz to your little optical buddies as long as you know how a few techniques.

And I'm not talking about basic anamorphic hacks, like the ol' fishing line trick, I'm talking about straight up modding your lens.

In this video, Todd Blankenship of Shutterstock shows you how to mod your lenses to give them the highly sought-after effects that anamorphic lenses can provide. Check it out below:

So, you're gonna need some stuff before you even start your mod, starting with amassing some necessary materials and supplies.

Supply List

  • Lens wrench
  • Fishing line (the thinnest you can get)
  • Acetone
  • Spray paint, paint pen, or Sharpies (whichever color you like)
  • Double-sided tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Metal polish
  • 100% cotton pads
  • Gloves
  • Aperture disks

After you have all of your supplies, you're gonna need to take your lens apart. That's where the video comes in...Blankenship walks you through the process step by precious step.

Once you have your lens disassembled, you're ready to start modding your lens to effectively turn it into a fake anamorphic lens...an "anamorfake" lens. These mods will give your lens those quintessential anamorphic properties, including:

  • Oval-shaped bokeh
  • Horizontal lens flares
  • Interesting characteristics (aberrations, fringing, etc.)

Blakenship goes over replacing your lens' round aperture disk with an oval-shaped one, taping fishing line across the new aperture disk to get those signature lens flares, and removing lens coatings with acetone and painting over them with whichever color strikes your fancy.

So, go! Go buy a cheap lens that you don't mind tearing apart and try out this DIY anamorphic lens mod. Let us know how it goes.     

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