Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sugru hack saved my camcorder

My first camcorder was just a little bit disappointing; the zoom lense was such that it could easily film far-away stuff (e.g. I could just about make out the whitening of the pole during a Martian winter), but the field of view was way too narrow for close-up stuff (e.g. my fast-moving toddler).

I bought a wide-angle adapter, screwed it onto the filter threads on the front of the camcorder. Years of happy wide-angle filming followed... until my poor video camera drowned while surfing. I quickly bought a very similar model online... and was devastated to find that it couldn't take my old wide-angle adapter - in fact, it had no filter threads at all!

Years of miserable narrow-angle filming followed. Then, along came Sugru! The plasticine-like molding qualities and reasonable setting-time allowed me to mount my old adapter on my new camera (which had an awkwardly sloping non-perpendicular front end) and to get the optical alignment just right (I left the camera on while hacking so I could check for problems with focus or vignetting).

Wide-angle adapter mounted with (blue) sugru

I'm thrilled with the result - the camera is maybe slightly less pretty, but I can squeeze a lot more world into each frame. My wide-angle adapter is now a permanent feature of my camera - and I like it that way.

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