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Do It Yourself Suggestions

by Flo Deems
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Inspired by this great DIYPhotography's article, I decided to try their suggestions by using magnifying glasses/lenses instead of the car headlight lenses. I happened to have a Lensbaby Composer with the Soft Focus Optic on my Nikon D300 camera. So I picked up 3 magnifying lenses I'd bought at an arts and crafts store.

The first left image below shows part of my laptop screen. The image was made with just the Lensbaby (LB) Composer 50mm lens with the Soft Focus Optic. All other images are taken with this LB lens plus one of the magnifying glasses. Click on images to see larger size.

Second image shows what a small magnifying glass did when I held it against the LB.

Third image shows the same webpage image magnified by a dome-shaped magnifier the same diameter as the small glass used in the 2nd image.

The last image shows the dome-shaped magnifier sitting next to the laptop screen. The star shape is produced by the Lensbaby's Soft Focus Optic, because I used the on-camera flash for this image.

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LB 50mm

Small glass

Domed glass

Domed magnifier

This image shows the 3 magnifying glasses I tried.
I didn't make any image with the larger one at the left,
but it works well, also.

So try out some magnifying glasses that you may have around your home. Or go buy a few different ones from an arts and crafts store or a scientific supply store. Those with a 52mm diameter will work for most manufacturers' 24mm and 50mm lenses. You can hand hold the magnifier up against the front of the lens - or follow the directions in the DIYPhotography's article, hot-linked above.

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