More and more things are being personalized these days including the world of photography so how about a personalized 3D printed version of a lens? This is exactly what photographer Mathieu Stern was thinking when he created his interesting project of creating a special one of a kind 135mm f/1.8 lens out of plastic created with a 3D printer and and old lens.
Mathieu had a collection of old lens elements (some quite old actually), he choose a specific one which looked like a good candidate for the project, did some calculations to determine what lens he can create with it and how it should look and designed a model in a 3D software.
He used the services of the French 3D printing company fabulous (you can see their post on this project here) who helped him print his project from PLA plastic. The result might not win any design awards for aesthetics but functionally speaking and given the way it was made and its single element design it is surprisingly functional judging by the images Mathieu was able to take with it (especially if you consider just the center of the frame (he used a Sony A7 II camera).
The plastic lens – Sony E-mount and drop in filter in the rear
Another fun addition to this lens – a drop filter slot for 3D printed plastic filters that can change the bokeh to basically any shape that you like – pretty cool (although you can pretty easily do something similar even without this trick.
How much time before we will see a true 3D printing service for personalized lenses?
An image shot with the lens – sharp center