Friday, November 13, 2009

Vignetting Mod (I can't keep a secret)

OK, OK, I was going to sit on this for a while and have people guessing but... I am terrible at keeping secrets. Vignetting mod described here. Disclaimer: don't sue me if you break something.

The two screws on top of the lens "plate"? Unscrew 'em. Then fold out the entire mess (it has catches on the bottom). Stick a suitable washer on the back part of the "lens" (really just a fake lens and a plastic element on the front). Mine was attached with gaffer's tape. Reassemble (try to keep from getting dust inside). Voila! In-camera vignetting, and we're one step closer to a "digital Holga". When you reassemble, make sure that you line up the lens with the plastic catch that controls the "macro" function; just set the lens to whichever of the two positions it was in when you removed it.

As a bonus, if you use a shiny washer it should add some potential reflections off the internals, for some unexpected flare.


Anyone up for figuring out how to "ruin" the optics properly? I tried putting a big bubble wrap "bubble" in front of it and as long as you can keep it smooth it "smears" the image nicely, but let it wrinkle and you see the wrinkles in the final image. Maybe some sort of plastic lens, like from a cheap pair of reading glasses, would work?


Ta said...

How clever!
Thank you for sharing.


NaomiWeber said...

Thanks for all the information, I am seriously considering buying this camera, it will be my first. Would you advise?
Also, about the vignetting, when you say a 'suitable washer', well, what exactly do you mean?
Thanks again!

storpotaten said...

If you want a useful digital camera, I would recommend getting something like a used Canon A590 (or just about any other Canon compact) for about the same price, as it will be a far more practical everyday *camera*.

That said, if you want something that can produce some interesting, quirky pictures, then the Yashica definitely has potential!

Suitable washer, that means one that gives the amount of vignetting you want. One with a smaller hole will create much stronger vignetting with larger dark areas. One with a larger hole will create less. I went with a size that gave some noticeable darkening in the corners. It was just trial and error; as you can tell by the picture the hole in the washer is probably about 1/2 the diameter of the back of the "lens". I have a very similar washer here and it measures approx 14mm across and the hole is 7mm diameter. Hope this helps!

Evetseht said...


great blog, love your posts and pictures.

Could you elaborate more on how you made the washer? How did you make it and what material did you use?

I totally wanna copy it. If thats ok :P


storpotaten said...

Hi, the washer was just one I had sitting around in my "random nuts and bolts" box. You can get something like it at any hardware store (e.g. Ace, Home Depot, Lowe's if you're in the United States). Then you just need a way to attach it to the back of the "lens"; tape will work fine. I used gaffer's tape since I have a ton of it sitting around and it doesn't leave any residue.

Evetseht said...

thanks! great stuff!

Boltzmann said...

Cool, thanks for the info on making a vignetting mod, I'm looking forward to playing around with it.

Alberto said...

I really want this camera but i can't find it in US, the only place i can buy it is from japanexposures?

Anonymous said...

do you have any clues about infrared with this camera (remove the filter)?
Thank you.

storpotaten said...

Alberto: You might find other overseas retailers willing to ship, but to the best of my knowledge no US businesses carry it.

momilette: Interesting question. I might look into it; sometimes it's as easy as getting the entire lens assembly off (the front lens barrel part isn't a lens at all on these cameras) and then removing the IR filter with a small tool or even a finger nail.


I've got problems unscrewing the two screws. Is there a possibilty that my screws are actually glued?