DIY Camera Kaleidoscope


kaleidoscope image

While playing with the extra metal bar from the LED Apple sign stand, me and chris discovered that it makes a really good kaleidoscope.  I got the idea that we should try and attach it to the front of our camera some how.

Click the link for the how to article on how we made it, and some awesome photos taken through it.

Well, while looking around our room, we came accross a cone.


We put the rod through the cone, supported by some cardboard, and secured with some clear packing tape.

The sun being as bright as it is (really need to do something about that), caused the cone to glow red, and flood the lense with extra unwanted light.  To fix that, I put some aluminum foil around the inside.

That was version 1.0, it was almost perfect, the one flaw was that it required 3 arms, one to hold it, one to hold the camera, and one to focus (auto focus tends to focus on the end of the metal pipe/cardboard/foil/anything but the kaleidoscopic image (holy crap kaleidoscopic is a word!)).  So, we took our old, semi broken tripod, and made some semi-permanent adjustments to it:

kaleidoscope 1

auto focuses on the inside

I just taped the kaleidoscope to the tripod, and cut out the bottom of the cone to fit over the legs. It’s very simple, literally less then an hour of work, and $10 in equipment (assuming you already have a camera).

Now, here are some of the photos it takes:

kaleidoscope image 1 kaleidoscope image 2

As you can see, the red of the cone overpowers the rest of the image on the left, the right has the foil shield.

kaleidoscope image 3

kaleidoscope image 4

This was when I lost the foil shield, and used a CD instead, not so great.

kaleidoscope image 5

So far, all the above images were taken with version 1 of the kaleidoscope.  Which is why in some of them things aren’t aligned well.

kaleidoscope image

kaleidoscope image

kaleidoscope image

kaleidoscope image

Much better images, better focus.  Some of them are not aligned well either because the camera moves, but they are much better then doing it by hand.

Here’s a link to the photo album, with over 200 pictures we took through it, and here’s a link to the slideshow.

There are some beautiful images to be made with all the flowers blooming around campus right now.  The flowering cherry trees, and daffodils are really nice.  It’s been cloudy each night so far here, so no moon pictures yet.

8 responses to “DIY Camera Kaleidoscope

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