5 Inexpensive Hacks for Getting the Look You Want from Your Lens

Lenses are expensive, so it makes sense that photographers and videographers alike want to pull the most value possible from their investments. Cinecom.net has a few tips for you to help you get professional-looking footage from your lenses on the cheap so you don’t have to torture your wallet to start experimenting with different styles and looks. If you're just not ready to start investing into expense equipment yet, or you're simply a videographer who wants some practical advice for getting the most out of your lenses, watch the video from Cinecom.net below.
In it, Cinecom.net uses tools as simple as some nylon pantyhose and a piece of see-through tape stuck onto your lens. They may not be conventional, but they sure are helpful and cost effective.
Here’s what Cinecom.net had to say:

1. Use Tape to Create and Control Lens Flares

By sticking a clear tape onto your camera’s lens and filming directly into a light source, you will be able to capture a professional-looking lens flare whenever you want one. When mixed with a color gradient, you can get a hollywood lighting effect. But be sure to not get any fingerprints on the tape or air bubbles under it or the effect will not look like it should.

2. Create Custom Bokeh with Construction Paper

Cut a sheet of black construction paper to fit your lens, then cut a cut heart-shape — or another shape of your choosing — in the middle. Attach this to the front of your lens. After attaching the cut construction paper onto your lens, shoot directly into a cluster of small lights, like holiday lights. This technique will allow you to get a easy custom bokeh effect in any shape you want.

3. Use Nylon Stockings to Soften Your Shot

In this technique, attach a pair of nylon stockings between your lens and camera body to soften your shots with a practical blur effect.
If you want to render your footage with a softer soap opera-like effect, use this technique. The skin textures of your actors will become much softer than before, and light sources will give off a sort of blue effect. When setting up this technique, you want to have the nylon stocking as close as you can get it to the sensor. However, make sure that the piece of nylon that you are using is clean from things like dust. Also if you have a speed booster or adapter you want to make sure that you attach the nylon stocking behind it.

4. Detach Your Lens for Macro Videography

Do you want to save the cash you would be spending on a macro lens? Make your lens into a macro lens by simply detaching your lens and bringing it closer to the subject you are filming.
When detaching your lens, have a small gap between your camera and lens that you can fill with either a manufactued tube that’s meant to hold the camera lens from your camera or simply use a homemade tube. The point of the tub is to make sure that it blocks out all of the surrounding light and to make sure that the lens is still and in the correction position over the sensor.

5. Use Your Sunglasses as an ND Filter

To prevent and over-exposed sky effect without having to close your aperture, you can cover the top of your lens with a pair of sunglasses. Your sunglasses will act like a neutral density (ND) filter, but it will only really work for really bright skies. You may also notice that their could be some ghosting happening in your shots when using this technique. It isn’t for every situation, but it can be helpful in a pinch.
These tips can be helpful for anyone looking to achieve nore creative results and isn't afraid to do a bit of experimenting. Use these tips to help you figure out your visual style before you lay down your cash for any additional equipment.
Nicole LaJeunesse
Nicole LaJeunesse
Nicole LaJeunesse is a professional writer and a curious person who loves to unpack stories on anything from music, to movies, to gaming and beyond.

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