U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: dreamy Nikon lenses

Re: dreamy Nikon lenses

If any of you all are looking for toy-camera like look using a
regular camera, there are a few ways that can be done.

One obvious way is to excise a plastic lens from Holga or
other toy camera and mount it on a body cap and use a
bellows. Mamiya TLR is handy for projects like this.

Another way I found satisfactory, though not very cheap, is to
use a "wide angle converter" for digital cameras and
camcoders. Some of them offer 0.4x or something like that (I
need to check mine but something like that), and it can be
combined with a standard or medium telephoto (50-85mm) to get
a decent semi-wide lens with lots of spherical
aberration. These adapters run for a bit below $100 I
think. They also increase other aberrations and many (all?) of
them do not allow to focus beyond several meters unless your
camera body allows focus beyond infinity. This latter
technique is totally usable for most studio photography.

I like the latter technique particularly because it does not
lose much contrast due to unreasonable amount of "flare"
unlike those techniques using diffusive materials such as

The effect of these manipulation becomes much more obvious
after enlarging. It's hard to assess them in viewfinders. This
is probably when it's useful to test the technique using EOS
5D and then use it on an EF mount film camera. On a wide 24
inch LCD, one can get a decent preview of the effects in 11x14