April 15, 2020

Out of Toilet Paper? Use the Empty Rolls to Make a Crappy DIY Lens

Toilet Paper Lens
This filmmaker turned every human's nightmare into every filmmaker's dream.

I'll let you know right off the bat that this DIY hack is going to be ridiculous. It's also going to be kind of awesome...and useful...and clever...but definitely ridiculous and related to poop. 

Okay, back to your regular scheduled programming.

No one could've predicted just a few short months ago that toilet paper would become the ultimate symbol of comfort, status, and survival. But it's coronavirus times, and everything is backasswards. Those everyday pleated squares of tissue have become straight-up booty bullion—an absorbent talisman that drives the anxious to stockpile, the unlucky to ration, and the creative to...turn into DIY lenses.

Say what?

Oh yes, honey. There are other things to do with all of those empty toilet paper rolls than saturate them with your tears as you clench your buttcheeks. You can use them to create your very own camera lenses and here's Weird Lens Maestro Mathieu Stern to show you how to do it.

Back to the poop jokes. Just kidding! (But if I see an opening...)

Here's the thing about this DIY build: you're gonna need a lens. You probably haven't been scavenging camera parts like Stern, who has a vast collection of repurposed lenses from old projectors and 19th-century cameras, but you might have some broken/cheap glass lying around that you wouldn't mind taking apart for the sake of science (and boredom).

Once you get a lens, throw that baby into a toilet paper roll. Stern uses one adorned with TP that has yet to be sacrificed to the porcelain god, but surely you can use an empty one. Next, take a second roll (an empty one this time) and mount it to your camera with some gaff tape to create a DIY focusing barrel. Then, you'll be able to slide the roll with the lens over the roll serving as the barrel to focus your shot.

Here are some shots Stern was able to get with his DIY toilet paper lens.

Mathieu Stern_toilet paper lens
Mathieu Stern_toilet paper lens

Thanks, Mathieu for the laughs (and the clever idea). We're glad you're on the mend after your own battle with COVID-19.

Is anyone itching to try out this DIY lens? Have you made any cool things while on quarantine? Let us know down in the comments!     

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