Price of a broken 50mm 1.8 lens – $20
Price of duct tape – $1
Photographs – priceless
Professional tilt-shift lens are disgustingly expensive. Therefore, I decided to make one myself with the Canon 50mm 1.8, which is known to be very fragile and usually breaks into several components if dropped. I got it for 20 bucks.

One problem with using the normal optic as tilt-shift lens is that they usually became quite soft, to counter that I have to stop down the aperture. The solution? Couple the electronic. This became more challenging to modify but in the end, I have this unique one and only semi-auto tilt-shift lens.

More info:

The lens and camera

Electronic intact with usable aperture from f1.8 to f22. Also compatible with full frame with little vignetting. The following shots are taken with both crop sensors and full frame.

Hakodate, Japan

Schwangau, Germany



Nanjing, China

Venice, Italy

Taipei, Taiwan

Czech Republic

While the lens is not restricted to ‘miniature’ effect for landscape, it is also useful for portrait similar to Lensbaby’s selective focus.

With little practice, focusing can be pretty quick and usable in street photography. Probably works much faster than the ‘professional’ tilt-shift lens where you have to turn the knob.

My cousin took this shot of me at Berlin. Requires some technique to use!

Video of how I made the lens: