Lens Element Chainmaille Wrap

As I mentioned in my Tamron 17A review, a few months ago I purchased one on eBay that was listed as mint. When it arrived, it was anything but mint – there was heavy wear on the lens barrel, the glass wasn’t in very good condition, the focus was far from smooth with a bit of a grinding feeling at one extreme, and the aperture was sticky. It was obvious I’d been sent a different one to the one shown in the listing photos, not only due to the condition, but also because the lens in the listing had different markings (Tamron produced several different versions of the 17A, all mostly similar but with different labeling). I requested they send me the correct one and I’d return the incorrect one, but I was told they’d already sold the correct one, so gave me a full refund and said I could keep the wrong one as compensation for the inconvenience.

It wasn’t much use, because in the condition it was in it was basically unusable, and I’d managed to pick up another very good condition 17A when I bought one for it’s M42 mount. But, since I effectively had one that I didn’t have to pay for, that wasn’t much use for anything else, I decided I’d disassemble it… for science…

I only got as far as removing the front element before I started to get an idea, what if combined my two main hobbies, and make a photographic lens element chainmaille wrap?

And so, after much experimentation, here's a combination of my two favourite hobbies... The initial wrap is 3/4 Persian, with a number of Euro connections and a expanding circle on the back. Chain is Byzantine with 3 ring flowers for the connectors. All in anodized aluminium in various sizes.

And so, after much experimentation, here’s a combination of my two favourite hobbies… The initial wrap is 3/4 Persian, with a number of Euro connections and a expanding circle on the back. Chain is Byzantine with 3 ring flowers for the connectors. All in anodized aluminum in various sizes.

Honestly, no matter what I tried I just can’t capture in photos just how amazing this thing looks IRL. The front element from the 17A is a highly convex lens, and changing your viewpoint makes the expanding circle behind the lens look like it’s moving in ways that aren’t possible. Obviously, being a first prototype, some of the closures aren’t ideal (it’s a pretty tight wrap, no glue needed), but it still a very pretty little pendant, and, now that I’ve got the basic design sorted, the next ones will be even better.

This shot from a different angle kinda shows what I'm talking about, but it looks a lot better when you're actually holding it.

This shot from a different angle kinda shows what I’m talking about, but it looks a lot better when you’re actually holding it.

After how well this turned out I was thinking about the fact that I have a whole box of old, faulty lenses in storage upstairs… I think I know what I’ll be using them for…

Ring Details

All the materials in the pendant and chain are made from The Ring Lord’s anodized aluminium. The main sizes are 18g 3/16″ and 18g 1/4″ or 1.2mm wire in approximately 4.8mm and 6.4mm ID’s, but I had to put in a couple of odd sizes as well.

Shannon Walters

An amateur photographer who also spends time making chainmaille and doing too many other things to mention.

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