How to make your own Microlense Array [DIY LightField Camera]
Making your own DIY LightField Camera is not very hard, provided that you have a DSLR camera with detachable CCD back.
One of the things that may be hard to get is an array of microlenses – e.g. the cosine film mask we mentioned in our earlier Do it Yourself post is virtually impossible to come by these days.
Microlense sheets are available at reasonable prices from a few sources, but their specifications may not be ideal for your camera or image sensor (e.g. size, focal length, …).
That doesn’t put off real LightField fans, though: Mats Wernersson shows you how to create a microlense array yourself.
He basically uses a copper plate with little, defined dents as a mould for his custom polycarbonate lens array. After polishing the metal plate, the little indentations are created in a regular pattern using a modified Sherline mill. Using this matrix, he uses a small home-made molding press and a sheet of polycarbonate.
The final result of his DIY project looks impressive: It’s an array of about 6000 microlenses on a 36 x 48 mm surface, with a focal length of 1.36 mm and an f-number of 2.8.
Mats provides a detailled description of this project over at CameraMaker.se, including a video of his customized Sherline mill in action.