Game Boy Camera Canon EF Lens Mount

 A ridiculous pairing. 

A ridiculous pairing. 

I designed and built a Canon EF Mount for my Game Boy Camera. The GBC has a sensor size of about 3.6mm² which seems equivalent to a 1/4" sensor (Wikipedia). This gives the GBC a crop factor of about 10.81. With my 70-200 f4 mounted on a 1.4x extender, this gives me a max equivalent focal distance of about 200x1.4x10.81=3,026.8mm.

The lens adapter was designed in Rhinoceros 3D and printer on a Monoprice Select Mini v2 in black PLA at a pretty rough layer height (for speed). Minimal supports and cleanup are required to make the lens fit semi-snugly. The GBC sensor PCB screws into the back of the 3D print and with a little cutting and filing, the whole things mounts onto the partly-disassembled GBC, all with the original hardware. If there is enough interest, I might make some modifications to the 3D model and post it on Thingiverse for others to print and experiment with.

I took my abomination out for a walk to the beach to shoot some nature and wildlife. (see gallery below.)

 A Seagull at Norman E. Klipp Marine Park (Canon 70-200 f4 + Canon 1.4x extender)

A Seagull at Norman E. Klipp Marine Park (Canon 70-200 f4 + Canon 1.4x extender)

 The full moon on 2018-05-30 in Greenport, NY. (Canon 70-200 f4 + Canon 1.4x extender)

The full moon on 2018-05-30 in Greenport, NY. (Canon 70-200 f4 + Canon 1.4x extender)

 Long Beach Bar "Bug" Lighthouse. (Canon 70-200 f4 + Canon 1.4x extender)

Long Beach Bar "Bug" Lighthouse. (Canon 70-200 f4 + Canon 1.4x extender)

Fun fact, this combination gives me almost the exact focal length to get the moon to fill the tiny 128×112px frame. Shooting the moon handheld with a ~3000mm equivalent lens on an unlit gameboy screen that updates at about 1fps in low light situations is not an easy task but I got a couple of shots in!

The bird shots actually show some surprisingly creamy bokeh for a 2-bit, 14 kilopixel image, there might be some portrait session in this camera's future.

I captured the shots to my PC using the great Arduino Gameboy Printer Emulator by Mofosyne (github). I cut a $5 Game Boy Link cable off of Amazon in half and soldered it directly onto an Adafruit prototype shield plugged into an old Arduino Duemilanove. Serial data comes in from the Arduino in HEX format and can then be converted to PNG files using a little included JS script (oh JavaScript what can't you do?!). When transferring multiple photos at once, the resulting file is one tall PNG reminiscent of analog camera film but can easily be sliced in Photoshop.

This work was originally inspired by Tim Binnion's work with the Game Boy Camera (GBC) and a cheap cellphone tele lens, I figured I'd up the ante a little bit and get some serious glass involved.

Images below are the birds and lighthouse shot on an iPhone 6s (29mm equivalent), to give an idea of the insane zoom you get from this kit. You can probably just barely make them out if you zoom and squint.