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DOF: Depth of Field Using 35mm Lenses Continued…

Enclosure Finish

Working in CAD, is great, but now it’s time to start building again, which comes easy to the handyman.

The first enclosure part, will hold the lens board.


Below, the lens board is attached with screws. The hole was made in the plastic lens cap and if necessary, is attached or glued.


In order to keep the noise inside of the box, we utilized foam. This is the kind of foam that many kids use and can be found at any craft stores.


We also used foam underneath of the motor board.


Below we see the macro board attached to the other part of the box, which also includes foam.


We closed the box together and put the battery box on the outside to make it more accessible. Because we only need one AA battery we decided to put that on the inside.


Here is another image from a different angle. Easy, straightforward and strong.


Here is what the switch looks like. We also included a low voltage LED battery. (Here we used a 1.5V battery, so an LED that runs below 2V is needed)


Below the mechanism is connected with a TRV900 video camera.


The First Test

We overemphasized the need for foam so in turn, the device is extremely quiet. In fact, it’s so quiet, the only way we know it is running is because of the LED. The first tests were successful. Even though everything is upside down, the camera now can give a super shallow depth of field. We used the low cost Canon F1.8/50mm, really displaying the F1.8. With auto focus out of the picture, it really does take some time to be able to figure out which way to direction to rotate the focus wheel.


The First Observations:

  • The DOF is extremely similar to that of an SLR
  • The footage looks more “film-like” due to rotatable CD (ground glass) and the slight diffusion effect, which produces a softer contrast.
  • The camera takes upside down photos making it so you aren’t sure how to follow up the scene
  • Learning to focus is time consuming
  • Pattern filters can successfully be used

The Next Step (Not Yet Done)

The next thing to do is to attach the camera and the device on some sort of railing, which can be put onto a tripod so it is not weakly joined by just the lens.


What’s with the rotated image upside down on your screen?

The easiest way to fix this issue is to get a normal mirror and a hood for the LCD screen so we can correctly see it vertically. (It will still be opposite horizontally) It can easily be turned (flipped and mirrored) in post-production.


The Final Word

After 4 hours of work put into this and $18 for the things I couldn’t find around my house, the device works pretty well. Obviously it’s not an ENG or something you could use for rapid action. But some film makers could really get good use out of this device and a great lens for each scene. After fixing and flipping the image it starts to get more characteristics of film. Its surprising how the 35mm lens changes the look of it and how the rotation of the ground glass makes the appearance of the image look softer.


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