The low-quality lenses and loose tolerances of vintage consumer cameras often gave photos a slightly distorted and dream-like quality. Capture that vintage-feel with little more than a dab of Vaseline.
Early inexpensive consumer-grade cameras were manufactured with cheap materials and very loose tolerances which led to distortion on the edges of the photo and other effects. Photojojo, a DIY photography blog, shares a simple hack to help you easily recreate the effect:
With a cell phone camera (or one you're not worried about damaging) you can try putting Vaseline directly on the edges of your lens to give your photos an out of focus vignette just like old film cameras.
If you've got nice equipment, you should probably put your grease of choice on a clear lens filter that you aren't worried about damaging.
We wanted to test the hack but we weren't too excited about the idea of greasing up and then washing off one of our photo filters if the hack turned out so-so results. For our test photo below we used the clear case the filter came in, just slightly larger than the surface of the lens, and greased that up with Vaseline instead. If were going to use the technique for an extended period of time however, we'd definitely just apply the Vaseline to a $US10 UV filter threaded for our particular lens.
Check out the article at the link below for more tips on creating vintage-style photos and samples of Vaseline filters in action. Have a photography hack to share? Let's hear about it in the comments.