This $200 DIY camera with dreamy background blur beats the best camera lens out there

Always cribbing about the background blur in your portrait shots for that Instagrammable picture? Then this DIY will have your wildest pipedreams fulfilled. Built by Matthew Perks who’s a very sorted and respected DIYer in the tech community, this amazing project dubbed Perkiscope is the result of a unique lens salvaged out of an Episcope. It focuses the view from the inside onto the outside world rather than the conventional method of focusing on the view from the outside to the interior.

Since it projects onto a screen, it doesn’t matter which camera or lens is used, the effect of the DIY lens remains the same. Even a smartphone can be used with it, so pop-out social media posts are guaranteed since the subject separation is exceptional. Now don’t even compare the blurring effect to that achieved by today’s smartphones having digital blurring effects.

Designer: DIY Perks

The optical effect achieved with the unique lens is dream-like quality, and virtually incomparable to the unreliable and very fake-looking digital blur. The only justified comparison would be with a full-frame shooter like the Cannon R5 – 35mm f/1.8 large aperture lens.

The blur achieved with the camera is elusive and has immense potential for film production, wedding photography, music videos, and other related industries. That’s if somehow the bulky build can be more compact and manageable. To give you an idea, the fastest full-frame lenses ever made is a 50 mm f/0.7 lens. It is better in low light photography due to its project direct to sensor technology, but even this lens can’t reach the subject separation of this DIY camera. The special episcope lens has a crop factor of 0.08 – meaning that even though it is a 432mm f5 lens it performs the same as a 35mm F0.4 lens. Due to its very large imaging circle of 0.785 square meters, the lens is wider and faster than the Carl Zeiss lens that’s the holy grail of photography.

Something worth highlighting with this DIY camera setup is its $190 cost which is a no-brainer when compared to the 50mm f/0.7 lens costing a mind-numbing $200,000. Although the setup is quite large, the photography opportunities it offers are worth their weight in gold. Frankly speaking, the results of this DIY lens are mind-blowing, and Matt of DIY Perks has achieved something special here. He’s even generous enough to give away his package of the 3D files and the method to create one for yourself.

Samples of the Perkiscope camera lens

Comparison with other camera lens systems