Photographer 3D-Prints His Own Lens, and You Need To See the Results!

Photographer 3D-Prints His Own Lens, and You Need To See the Results!

A French photographer has shared the results of images he took with his own 3D-printed lens. Mathieu Stern, a freelancer, came up with the idea due to his passion for collecting cheap and unusual lenses.

Stern runs a Youtube channel, reviewing and discussing many of the lenses he has encountered. The process of creating a lens through 3D printing involved putting together a cardboard prototype, using glass from a 1890s lens in his collection. Moving forward with the measurements of the prototype, Stern met with Arnault Coulet, the CEO of Fabulous, who funded the lens into reality. As Stern puts it, "[Coulet] saw all the crazy potential and fun we could create with this project."

The lens itself

Stern and Fabulous worked together on the design, which was catered to the former’s full frame mirrorless camera. To Stern’s best calculations, the monocle lens is a 135mm 1.8 lens.


You don’t need to buy ultra-expensive lenses to make great images. A $4 plastic lens will make great results. What really matters is your vision, ideas, and creativity.


Stern trialed his lens at Le Mont St Michel, as well as trying out some portraits. Check out the results below! You can also find more of his work over at his website


All photos used with permission of Mathieu Stern.


[Via TCT Magazine]

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A vdS's picture

You made a mistake in the title, he didn't 3D print a lense, he rehoused an old lense with a 3D printed body. Not quite the same level of amazingness.

Patrick Callahan's picture

Sorry, but I gotta call B.S. on this one - 3D printing the housing for a lens is entirely different than printing a lens.

Anonymous's picture

I'm gonna go against the other 2 comments and say this is awesome. its obviously not feasible to 3D print glass,so if this is the best you can do with 3D printing at the moment I say good on ya. Seriously how many of us on here have built a lens? This was obviously still a big undertaking.

Some pretty awesome results from the lens as well. Good for him.

Wodan Rheingold's picture

The idea and the results are fun, but it's not a great lens.

Mike Mgee's picture

Nice title...what is this Buzzfeed?