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

Shang-Chi Poster

Shang-Chi Director Directed From His iPhone

I enjoyed reading this brief ScreenRant story, so I thought I’d share it here. It describes how Destin Daniel Cretton, the director of Marvel’s Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, was forced to direct an important scene via his iPhone while in the hospital for the birth of his child! Sadly, it doesn’t divulge the details of that unusual workflow, but it’s an excellent reminder that we’re all toting the world’s most versatile piece of filmmaking gear in our pockets and purses!


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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

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