If your camera, lenses or accessories are so badly damaged that they’re sadly destined for the trash, an outfit called CameraBands can salvage and transform them into wearable objects d’art.
CameraBands owner Levi Arnold specializes in taking old lens barrels and filter rings and performing feats of mechanical magic to transform them into unique unisex jewelry. Each ring or bracelet is hand-crafted and sold on his Etsy store.
“The process starts not at the work bench but at the pawn shops and antique dealerships where the search for the perfect lens begins,” Arnold wrote on Etsy. “Each band is meticulously disassembled from the lens and gently spliced and shaped to fit the contours of the human wrist.”
Then, the edges of the CameraBand are sanded down to a smooth finish to ensure that customers don’t end up with ugly rashes that occur with some metal bracelets. “All of our CameraBands are metal, as plastic has proven to be un-sturdy,” Arnold said.
There’s a five-step sanding process that “starts out with the grinder and file to shape the corners, and ends with a super-fine jeweler’s sand paper that smooths the metal into a perfectly smooth surface similar to the inside of a wedding ring,” Arnold said. After the sanding process, each edge is buffed with a jewelers compound to get the best finish.
Some of the CameraBands pieces will sport dings, holes, scratches or other signs of wear, as befits old equipment, but that’s just part of the signature look. The bracelets come in three sizes (small, medium, large) but can be adjusted larger or smaller by bending them gently.
While a full-fledged website for CameraBands is still in the works and scheduled for launch next year, you can check out what’s available and make purchases from Arnold’s Etsy Store via the usual payment methods.
Each item features a large image and full description as well price and shopping cart. All CameraBands are shipped in a small wooden box and come with a welcome card, instructions on wearing the CameraBand and how to properly adjust the size.
While transforming camera parts into jewelry is not exactly a unique idea — the first online reference I found is from SDPNT — that company works with considerably more expensive vintage parts. CameraBands, by contrast, has a larger selection with a lower price and can be made with your own components. Prices range from $30 to $100.