This homemade lens was crafted from sand and rocks

On YouTube channel How To Make Everything, host Andy George tried his hand at making a homemade lens out of sand and rocks. The result is a very interesting lens!

George, in the video, attempts to make his very own camera lens with borax, river sand and soda ash. The video covers topics like creating optically clear glass, measuring properties of the glass and grinding the glass. George even casts his own lens body using copper.

You can watch George combine all of these raw materials to make a lens in the video below:

Making this homemade lens proved to be How To Make Everything’s toughest task ever

This project was not easy. In fact, George says it’s the hardest project he’s ever taken on. “It has been one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever done,” George says after completing the lens. “Every single step in the project has been a huge pain.”

Andy George holding his homemade lens
Making the homemade lens proved to be the hardest thing Andy George has ever done

It took George over a dozen tries to make his clear glass. Annealing the glass pucks took up to four attempts. Grinding the lenses took 30 hours to complete. That’s 30 hours of continuous grinding!

So much work went into creating the lens, but what George ended up with was a blurry image. Still, it works in principle, and we’d consider that a huge success! It may not be usable, but the fact that a single person made it is pretty awesome.

Foggy homemade lens image
The homemade lens may be foggy, but it’s still a great feat that it could be made

It really puts into perspective the amount of work that goes into making the lenses we use on the daily. Sure, Sony, Canon and Nikon aren’t doing what George is doing, but a lot of the same science goes into the process.

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's managing editor.

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