BLACK FRIDAY SALE
Save up to 60% on all Fstoppers tutorials

Add This 'Frankenstein Lens' to Your Camera Bag

Once in a while a lens comes along that makes you want to reach for your wallet without hesitation. While this 35mm "Franken-lens" may need some additional steps to get it to work, the results are rather breathtaking.

For those who can't get enough of obscure camera lenses, photographer and camera enthusiast, Mathieu Stern, is back once again with another addition to his weird lens museum. This week, Stern presents the Helios 33 which is a 35mm f/2 movie lens that was used on cine cameras in the 1950s and later on by the military for their aerial cameras. The video goes on to explain how it's not possible to mount this lens to a modern camera "out of the box" but it can be adapted to work with the help of a carcass of a more modern lens to create a Franken-lens.

The sample footage shown in the video is rather impressive for such a small lens. Get ready to see beautiful bokeh, surgical subject separation, and a lens that is more than usable in low light. A quick look on eBay shows there are a few of these lenses for sale for the sub $250 mark which seems very reasonable to me. This video is a nice reminder that with a little DIY you can get interesting results from a cheap vintage lens. Halloween may be long over but a Frankenstein lens could easily become your favorite lens to use all year round.

Would you use one of these lenses? Ever made a Franken-lens? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Log in or register to post comments

2 Comments

Viewfinder Journey's picture

Beautiful video. Thank you so much for this.

Johnny Kiev's picture

Pretty sure I picked one of this up when living in Moscow and could never figure out what to do with it.
I have dozens of odd lenses stashed away in boxes in my loft, probably time I had a look for it and try to do something with it!