Photographer Attaches Telephoto Lens to Game Boy Camera, And it Somehow Works

Photographer Attaches Telephoto Lens to Game Boy Camera, And it Somehow Works

Nothing a little 3D printing can't solve.

Do you remember the Game Boy Camera? It was a little add-on that let you take pictures with your Game Boy. Sure, the pixelated, black-and-white mess meant that it wasn't really good for selfies, but it was fun and weird. Now 20 years later someone decided to make a 3D printed Telephoto lens converter for it, because why not?

The Game Boy Camera was released in 1998 as an attachment to the Game Boy. It fit in like a game cartridge but had a camera affixed to the top so that you could take pictures with it. While the modular approach was novel, it wasn't a good camera. But one designer seemed to have liked the little gadget enough to design and 3D print a new attachment that let him add a Canon telephoto lens to it.

Bastiaan Ekeler is part of a community that messes around with the Game Boy camera, and his curiosity led him to design a Canon lens adapter on Rhinoceros 3D and print it out using a Monoprice Select Mini v2. This is the result.

game boy camera mod1

While the final result looks unwieldly and is hard to shoot with, Ekeler was trying to compensate for the Game Boy Camera's puny sensor. Ekeler then went to the beach to test out his new creation.

He managed to get the images he captured off of his Game Boy through a hacked Game Boy Link Cable and Arduino Duemilanove. While devices like the BitBoy can streamline the process they're very expensive, so Ekeler opted for the long way around. Following a guide by Brian Khuu, he was able to convert this HEX files into PNGs.

According to Engadget, Ekeler has even bigger plans for his Game Boy Camera mods, literally. He's considering "something insane like a Canon 800mm" which could help him do something like wildlife photography. He might even experiment with fish eye lenses, or studio lighting for the full portrait experience. "I just really like the use of professional photography gear with this little 128x112 greyscale camera," said Ekeler.

Ekeler also said that he intends to make the original 3D drawing of his converter available on Thingiverse for others to mess around with if they too want to give their Game Boy Camera a big boost.

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Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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