Making Manual Lens Flares With A Few Simple Parts

DIY Lens Flare

If you’re an aspiring film maker hoping to be the next [J.J. Abram] with a mild (severe?) obsession with lens flares, then this Instructable is for you!

Modern camera lenses are designed to prevent lens flare, but sometimes, just sometimes, you want a cool lighting flare in your video. Of course you could add them in post production, but that’s kind of cheating, and if you don’t have expensive video editing software, not very easy to do either.

Now you could just throw a super bright LED flashlight on set and hope for the best, but you’ll never get that cool Star Wars or Star Trek blinding purple line… unless you add something on your camera to help scatter the light! [Jana Marie] has figured out just how to do that.

She’s taken a filter for her camera and removed the glass element. Some actually come apart with a few small screws, but if not, you may have to carefully break the glass to get it out. Once you have a glass-less filter that can be attached to your camera, you need to add a vertical strip to it, which will cause light to scatter horizontally in your image. [Jana’s] using a 3D printed part, but really you could make it from scratch just as easily. It’s as simple as that!

Take a look at the results:

16 thoughts on “Making Manual Lens Flares With A Few Simple Parts

    1. Well, the technique is not really that new, it’s been around for years, and in a plethora of variations. I wonder why this particular one made the cut for Hackaday, just because it was 3D printed?

  1. I would think a scratch or physical score on the filter glass would be much more effective. This is how star-4 and star-6 filters work.

    Better yet, DIY anamorphic lens using a large prism pair.

    1. I have tried building an anamorphic lens out of prisms and it ends up being incredibly heavy. The only affordable wedge prism which are large enough are trophy prisms and these don’t have a sharp enough angle. I needed to use 4 of these prisms and the whole thing ended up weighing about 5 ~ 6kg (10 ~ 12 pounds) on it’s own (no camera).
      DIY prism anamorphic lenses are fine for projectors, as they don’t need to be portable and quite hefty brackets can be used to hold it up.

  2. Or you could instead use a cheap periscope-lens design camera that already exhibits terrible lens-flare (most of which are also waterproof). Such as the Canon D20. Or get an even older one with a CCD sensor and also get vertical purple bars around the highlights aswell!

    Kudos for the harvested 18650 cells though.

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