Jun 11, 2012

DIY Fisheye Lens for Less than $15

How to Save Hundreds of Dollars by Making Your Own 

Today at Phlearn Amelia, Angela and Jenna decided to make their own fisheye lens! This gives a really cool wide Angle effect and can be done very easily in a few simple steps.

Just so you know, a Canon fisheye lens on Amazon is $889.00 and a Nikon fisheye lens on Amazon is $698.88.

We spent about $15 total to make ours and love the results.

See how we did it with a lens cap and door viewer on a DSLR.


1. Door Viewer

We got a 190 degree door viewer, 160 would also work well. We bought this at a local Home Depot for about $10 but it can be purchased at just about any hardware store. The higher the degree number the wider Angle of view.

2. Lens Cap

For our DIY fisheye lens we are using a Nikon D700 with a 24-70mm lens. So we went to a camera store and bought a knock off lens cap for about $8. The only important thing is that it fits your camera. We don’t want to use the actual lens cap, you’ll see why in just a moment. You could also use an old rear lens cap if it’s the right Size.

3. Drill

Any will work. Just make sure your bit is large enough to drill a hole that the peephole will fit through snugly.

4. Duct Tape

Just in case the knock off lens cap doesn’t fit 100% properly.

5. DSLR Camera


Putting Everything Together

Make sure your drill bit is about the same diameter Size as the peephole and drill a hole into the center of the cap. Our hole was slightly too small to fit the peephole through, so we were able to use scissors to carve  it out a little more until it was the right fit.

Next unscrew the door viewer and then attach the two parts again with the lens cap. Clear off any extra plastic and make sure the peephole is centered and won’t move around, glue it in place if necessary.

Attach your cap to the camera, but be cautious with the viewing end of the peephole to make sure it won’t scratch your lens.

Set your camera to manual focus and you’re ready to shoot!
It’s as simple as that.

We had fun walking around the city and shooting with our DIY fisheye lens. Check out some photos we shot with our lens and if you decide to make your own be sure to share them with Phlearn! We would love to see them!

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    David Velez

    this is a great idea! i already had tried months ago. but my door viewer is broken , i have to buy a new one and try this idea!

  • user image
    Quality Police

    The quality is totally lacking. Isn’t the point of a DSLR to take quality pics, or are we going to settle for instagram quality out of DSLRs? Cellphone cams have already dumbed down photography, basically eliminating the point and shoot camera market. Now someone has invented a way to bring your DSLR down to the same level by spending $15!! awesome! 

  • user image
    Quality Police

    It’s much easier to shoot a regular shot and fisheye it in post processing software. This fisheye conversion, while it may be fun, is totally useless for making quality photos. Seriously, you have a nearly top of the line DSLR and a 24-70 ED N lens, easily a $2500+ combo, and you add on a peephole viewer??? blah! Look into the cheap 10.5 DX fisheye.. it makes cool effects on full frame cameras.