A camera with a 35mm lens attached, and duct tape on its battery compartment indicating a makeshift repair.

Attaching a 35mm lens to an iPhone

In case you missed it, Gizmodo ran a story yesterday about an ILM Research Engineer who used DVD player parts, PVC piping, and duct tape to mount an 18-55mm zoom lens on his iPhone.

You can read all about the Phone-O-Scope on the creator’s blog.

While this isn’t the first experiment of its kind (OWLE did something similar), it is additional evidence that we are inching closer to a palm-sized camera capable of shooting big-screen worthy vids — shallow depth of field, and all.

Good times!


More to explore

Man presenting on stage with a microphone and a projection screen in the background, focusing on Mobile Filmmaking.

Video: The HHH Mobile Filmmaking presentation at LACPUG

Just in case you missed my Mobile Filmmaking presentation at the Los Angeles Creative Pro User Group back in July, here’s a (low angle) video of the whole enchilada! It’s PACKED with apps and accessories you need to know! Check it out! And as always, if you dig it, share it!

Smartphone mounted on a tripod using a New GLIF clamp holder for stability.

The New GLIF tripod mount looks awesome!

UPDATE – MAY 30, 2017: Having successfully wrapped up its Kickstarter campaign, the GLIF is now available for purchase directly from the Studio Neat website! The GLIF will run you $28, while the full set with hand grip and wrist strap will set you back $55. The GLIF, one of the first iPhone camera accessories is still one of the best. And it’s about to get even better! Just in case you’ve been avoiding every article ever written about mobile filmmaking, the GLIF is a pocket-sized tripod mount for your iPhone.


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3 Responses

  1. Unfortunately, the lens does not dictate depth of field. Merely utilizing a 35mm still camera lens on an iPhone will not change the depth of field, unless an additional ground glass is inserted between the iPhone lens and the rear element of the 35mm lens and the iPhone re-photographs the image off the new ground glass (which would be larger than the iPhone’s 1/6" sensor). Otherwise, the sensor size (one of the most important aspects of depth of field along with focal distance and aperture) remains the same. The only difference you’ll get with different lenses are different focal lengths. It’s an interesting experiment, but of little practical use whatsoever.

    All the best,

    Jay Holben
    Technical Editor
    DV Magazine

  2. Hi Jay,

    Thanks very much for jumping in!

    I totally agree, the practicality of this unholy union can be measured in microns. And proper depth of field control is currently impossible. But I can’t help but get excited about the prospects that flicker, however dimly, within this sort of experimentation. Besides, the photos in the article put a huge smile on my face. I’m a sucker for iPhone porn. Perhaps the folks at Cinemek, Red Rock Micro, or Cinevate would be willing to whip up some sort of ground-glass-prisim-mirror-thingy. What do you say? Hello? Is this thing on?


  3. Taz –

    Who isn’t a sucker for iPhone porn? I mean – come on… did you see that ducktape? Looked kinda like fishnets to me… :) All it would take for a change in DOF for the iPhone is an additional ground glass to refocus the image on. Not sure what the minimum focus distance is for the iPhone, but a diopter, of some sort, could accentuate that. I’ve been amused by much of the third-party creativity surrounding the iPhone and enjoy reading about it.

    I appreciate the site and keeping up with what’s happening with the iWorld.

    Keep on with the great work.

    All the best,

    Jay Holben
    Technical Editor
    DV Magazine