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Camera Swappage: Toy Lenses and Cheap Bodies

by Michelle Schusterman Jul 11, 2011
There seems to be a “swapping” trend going on in the photography world.

My mother and I were talking the other day and she asked if I’d seen the the lens adapter for iPhone on Photojojo. “Nope,” I replied, and she sent me a link to check it out. The noise I made when I saw a pic of this massive zoom lens attached to an iPhone was a cross between a derisive snort and an appreciative laugh.

“It’s brilliant,” I told my husband. “And ridiculous.” Because obviously if you’re going to carry around a $1,000 lens, you might as well carry around the camera body, no?

Or maybe it’s just another way to stretch the art form. Put a good lens on what is comparatively a joke of a camera. And according to Wired, the reverse is also a fad: check out this feature on toy lenses to, in their words, “grunge-ify” your photos.

It’s another swap, but vice versa: “cheap” lenses to put on great camera bodies. The title is a bit misleading – I don’t really think the LensBaby qualifies as a “toy” (in fact, I think it’s pretty slick), and number five on the list just contains tips and tricks on using lenses you own in a new way, or using junk like coke bottles as lenses. The first on the list, a Magic Toy Lens, is kind of cool, but overpriced for what it is ($120) and only for micro four-thirds cameras.

Still, a trend seems to be in place. 55-200mm zoom on a Nikon D3100? That’s so 2010. Try slapping that zoom on your Android and mount an empty bottle of Bud on the body, and let’s see what kind of shots you get.

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