What to do with a ruined zoom lens?
November 20, 2007 8:39 AM   Subscribe

What can I do with a "ruined" autofocus SLR zoom lens? Anything cool/neat I can turn it into? Any fun optics demonstrations I can do with the lenses inside?

I have a Canon EF 35-105mm zoom lens that has recently become surplus to my requirements. When I tried to sell it to a camera store, they examined it and said "no thanks, it's got fungus inside it" - and sure enough, when you hold it up to the light, there is some kind of crap inside it, and I'll take their word for it that it's fungus. I could probably sell it on eBay 'as is' for $5, but I'd much rather doing something fun or neat with it, especially given that it's basically otherwise worthless, and I can't really do any more harm to it at this point.

Any neat project ideas? Can I turn it into a $10 Lensbaby ripoff? A $5 telescope? Anything cool I can do with the focusing micromotor?
posted by kcds to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Take it apart, and post the pictures of the disassembly to the Internet as an educational thing.
posted by fogster at 8:50 AM on November 20, 2007

Can you make a camera obscura?
posted by jpdoane at 8:58 AM on November 20, 2007

a friend and I spent about a month making a crank operated camera that would spin while it spooled film through, so we were able to control the exposure for a given region and the image tracked as you rotated the lens. We never ended up finishing it because we lost our machine shop access, but if you have the gumption you could try something like that. However, we had a manual control lens so we could adjust aperture.

I bet those little motors in an AF lens are pretty sweet too though
posted by Large Marge at 10:06 AM on November 20, 2007

Does the fungus affect the image quality? It may be perfectly fine - your camera store may be picky. I had an older K mount Pentax lens that was pretty fungus'd and it shot things just fine. YMMV.

If it is a bad lens you could try for the lensbaby DIY. It is always nice to invest as little as possible into fads like that. I remember several photobloggers jumping on this in, like, 2005. Orbit1 had a tutorial up, but it seems he has redesigned his site.
posted by roygbv at 12:43 PM on November 20, 2007

Can you buy a telescope adaptor? I am using one on my old Nikon 200mm non AE mount lens.
posted by Raybun at 4:35 AM on November 21, 2007

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