For his latest project, Stern wanted to create his own lens. “Wouldn’t it be great if you could create a lens from scratch?” Stern asked himself.
Stern decided he would try his hand at using a 3D printer to make his next lens.
“As I never really learned how to make 3D models on a computer, I started by making a cardboard prototype with a found lens from 1890 I had in a box,” he says.
“It was ugly and not easy to use but I was able to focus and take the measurements I needed to create a 2D design.”
Stern then met Arnault Coulet, CEO of a French 3D printing agency called FABULOUS. He and his team designed Stern’s 3D prototype and printed the lens.
“I worked with them on designing a lens that could be mounted directly on my camera,” Stern says. “Once I received the 3D printed parts from Arnault, I saw my crazy lens come to life and… it worked!
“I had in my hand a monocle lens (meaning it has just one glass lens in the front) and in my estimation (I did the maths) it is a 135mm 1.8 lens.”
To test the lens, Stern mounted it on his full-frame mirrorless camera and travelled to Le Mont St Michel in France. Here is his incredible video.