Lens Whacking for Beginners

A Guide to Lens Whacking on your camcorder or dslr.


Lens Whacking or free lensing is the process of disconnecting the lens from the camera and allowing light to leak into the sensor and cause a flare.

In a nutshell lens whacking involves you disconnecting the lens from your DSLR or FS100at different degrees to allow flare to enter the sensor, while you bend and twist the lens to create some very funky visual effects.

I was introduced to `Lens Whacking' recently by James Miller, an English film maker and graphic designer.

The look reminded me of 1960's super 8 flare. Lens whacking is really fun and creates some crazy effects

Lens Whacking

So I went out on Sunday and filmed some tests to illustrate the effect that lens whacking would have on the Sony FS100 and I've created this short tutorial so you too can give it a go.

The best lenses to use for lens whacking are either 28mm or 50mm prime lenses. I used a Zeiss Contax 28mm and I used this using an E Mount to Canon EOS adaptor (which doesn't fit) and this means you can get the lens focal plane flush for accurate focus. Then bend and twist the lens to achieve different levels of flare.

The best part about lens whacking is the fact it's about you as a film maker connecting with the camera and creating one of a kind effects.  You simply cannot replicate this with a post production plug in.

Each time you move your hand a different amount of flare is leaked into the lens and this is when the lens whacking magic happens

Enjoy and post your results below.


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