How to Make a Cheap Fish Eye Lens

Fish Eye Lens can create a very unique look. They are very wide lenses that were originally developed for meteorology so that scientists could study cloud formations. They quickly became popular in photography because of the unique and distorted look they produce. While they can be fairly expensive to buy, it is possible to make your own with some cheap materials from the local hardware store. Here is how you make one for your stills camera. 

What You Will Need

You will need one entry door viewer (the peephole you find on an apartment door), one 3" by 3" square piece of particle board, one 1.5" by 1.5" square piece of particle board, tape (either duct of gaffers) and a spare lens shield. You will also need a utility knife or a box cutter for shaping the particle boards, as well as a drill. 

Step 1: Selecting the "Lens"

The most important piece of your homemade fish eye lens is the entry door viewer. This will determine the look of your lens. Take your time picking one out. Go through all of the ones available at the store and select the one that you like best.

Step 2: Assembling the Lens

Now that you have the entry door viewer you want, it is now time to start assembling your fish eye lens. The first step is to place the lens shield over the 3" by 3" square piece of particle board. Trace a circle on the board using the lens shield as a guide. Then, cut the board into the circle.

Drill a hole into the center of the board. This is for mounting the door entry viewer. The size of the hole is dependent on the door entry viewer that you purchase. Check with the instructions to see what hole size is needed before you drill into the board. After you drill your first hole, you will drill a second hole into the center of the 1.5" by 1.5" particle board. Once your holes are created, you will thread the door entry viewer to the boards. The door entry viewer will hold the two boards together.

Once the door entry viewer has been attached to the boards, you will join it with the lens shield by taping them together. Once they are joined together, you can use the lens shield to mount the fish eye lens over your current lens. You will now be able to shoot photos that utilize the fish eye effect.