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How to Make a 1.5 Diopter Lens

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 1/28/2011

Want to learn how to make a 1.5 diopter lens? Well, we can help. This article tells you what equipment and materials that you need and the steps for making a diopter lens.

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    Using a Diopter Lens

    A diopter lens is placed near the front of the lens, and it reduces the lens’ minimum focusing distance. You can place this lens on your viewfinder, and it helps magnify objects. This is especially helpful if you are far-sighted or just can’t see that well. While you can buy a diopter lens, you can also learn how to make a 1.5 diopter lens yourself. This project is fairly easy, and you only need handful of equipment.

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    Cheap Reading Glasses



    Epoxy Glue

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    Project Cost

    The total cost of this project depends on how cheap you can get the reading glasses for. Sometimes you can pick these up at your local thrift store or garage sale. Really try scoping these out before you go out and purchase these new. Just remember that you are looking for ones with 1.5 diopter clear lenses. If you can’t find any in the secondhand stores, you can purchase this item for about $10.

    A caliper is a device that measures the distance between objects, and you can purchase an inexpensive plastic one for between $1 and $3, and a pack of needles is only about $2. A file is usually less than $5, and the glue is between $3 and $4. Based on these estimates, this project costs less than $25.

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    Now, it’s time to make the project. To do this, measure the opening of the diopter, and then place that measurement over the lens of the glasses. Mark the measurements directly on to the lens using a marker so you don’t scratch the lens. Do this for both the vertical and horizontal measurement.

    Next, you need to cut the glass. More than likely, you don’t have a glass cutter lying around the house. If you don’t, then use this method. Soak a piece of string in alcohol, and then squeeze out the excess alcohol. Place the string on the lines that you marked on the lens, and then light the string on fire.

    Let the string burn itself out, and then immediately drop the lenses into cold water. Keep the water in the glass, and hit it with a wooden spoon or stick right about your line. The glass will fall out, and you just need to file the edges to remove any sharp points.

    When all the sides are completely even, it’s time to attach the lens to your viewfinder. Using just a small amount of epoxy glue, place the diopter lens over your viewfinder glass, and straighten it so that it sits right. Hold it in place for a few seconds to ensure that the glue sticks. Immediately remove any excess glue using a wet cloth or paper towel. Then, let it dry over night.

    Now, you have your own handmade 1.5 diopter lens.

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