A Canon Lens Adapter for the Game Boy Camera

Released in 1998, the Game Boy camera was a bit ahead of its time. This specialized Game Boy cartridge featured a 128×128 pixel CMOS sensor and took 4-color greyscale photos. The camera even rotated, allowing for selfies years before that word existed.

The fixed lens on this camera meant no zoom was possible. [Bastiaan] decided to address this shortcoming by building a Canon EF Lens Mount. The resulting build looks hilarious, but actually takes some interesting photos.

[Bastiaan] designed the mount using Rhino 3D, and printed it out on a Monoprice 3D printer. After some light disassembly, the mount can be screwed onto the Game Boy Camera. With the massive 70-200 f4 lens and 1.4x extender shown here, the camera gets a max focal distance of just over 3000 mm.

One issue with the Game Boy Camera was the limited options for doing anything with the photos. They could be transferred to other Game Boy Camera cartridges, or printed using the Game Boy Printer. Fortunately, [Brian Khuu] has a modern day solution that emulates the Game Boy Printer using an Arduino. This lets you get PNG files out of the device.

30 thoughts on “A Canon Lens Adapter for the Game Boy Camera

    1. Actually, never mind. A single seat license for Rhino 3D costs $995. Now I’m wondering what Rhino is offering that could possibly be worth it, when so many cheaper options exist.

      1. I’ve been using Rhino 3D for about 15 years.

        No good for animation and special effects and the like (leave that to 3DSMax, Maya, etc) but fantastic for architectural applications, industrial design, mechanical design, etc.
        It’s also popular with boat designers, jewelerry designers, even shoes too.

    2. One of the local universities uses it. I think it’s fairly intuitive for the students to pick up, although I personally haven’t used it. Price being one of the big reasons.

      1. Actually, people use single pixel sensors (photodiode, photomultiplier) connected to a telescope for very accurate measurement of variable star magnitude. It works for a single star of course, and you have to re-aim the telescope to measure target star brightness, comparison star(s) brightness and sky brightness.

  1. Am I the only one annoyed by the fact that, according to the referenced table on wiki, the crop factor should be 4500ish. A 3 point something square mm chip has a crop factor of ~15, not 10. But the whole project rocks anyway! All available thumbs up!

  2. These are the kind of projects that I enjoy seeing here. Specialized knowledge, software and processes leading to hit an absolutely absurd end result out of the park. A bit worried about the robustness of that long lever arm but this is already a somewhat whimsical build anyway.

    I wonder what happened if you were to mate up a more robust CMOS sensor to this. Could be a (small) market for really, really tiny sensors that actually had some resolution mated to actual glass.

    1. I bought a zoom lens a year or two ago at Salvation Army on the off-chance it would fit my Pentax (potato!).
      It didn’t.
      So, an article like this has me thinking about hooking that lens[e] up to my Pi Zero W and camera!

  3. It doesn’t have max focal length of 3000 mm. It has max equivalent focal length of 3000 mm. It’s a very big difference – equivalent focal length depends on actual focal length of lens and image sensor (or photographic material) size.

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