Shaving Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye Lens Hood

This modification is for people who are doing Spherical Panoramas or 360° Virtual Tours, specially those who upgraded from a cropped-sensor DSLR camera to a full-frame sensor DSLR camera and owns a Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye Lens. I’ve seen a lot of articles and videos doing this mod and this is my version and how I did it. But first off, most of you might be asking WHY would you shave the  lens hood on this expensive Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye Lens? Why not just buy a circular fisheye lens?

The Nikkor 10.5mm FIsheye lens is a frame-filling lens built for a DX cropped camera. It has a 180° field of view “diagonally” only. It’s frame-filling because Nikon made the lens’ crop-circle bigger. See diagram below:

frame-filling fisheye lens diagram

Now if you use this lens on a full-frame sensor DSLR camera which has 1.0 crop factor, you get a Circular Fisheye Lens that has a 180° field of view on all sides. But the built-in lens hood is now obstructing wasted areas. See diagram below:

circular fisheye lens diagram

After shaving the lens hood, here is the second shot with a wider 180° field of view on all sides!

circular fisheye lens after shaving

Now what benefits can you get from this? Before, I need to take 8 shots in order to stitch a spherical panorama ( 6 shots horizontally + 1 shot for sky/zenith + 1 shot for ground/nadir) now I only need 4 shots, you can even just shoot 3 shots to complete a sphere but 4 is better. The above photos are shot in landscape for reference only, but in actual shooting of a spherical panorama, you shoot in portrait not landscape. In portrait shot you can capture the sky and ground in 1 shot.




Here are my instructions on how I shaved the lens hood on my Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye Lens.

Disclaimer: Do this at your own risk. If your lens is still on warranty period, doing this will void the warranty. 360 Virtual Tourist or the author will not be held responsible or liable on any property damage or injury this article can cause you or others, directly or indirectly.

If you are going to do this, please note that you must know what you are doing. If you are hesitating and not sure what to do, then don’t do it as it can harm you or others.

Tools needed:

1) Hack Saw (with the thinnest blade you can get) I used a medium-sized thickness and it’s hard to cut thru the lens hood.
2) X-Acto Knife or Cutter
3) Masking Tape
4) Marker Pen
5) Mini tripod or anything that can hold a pen.
6) Sheet of paper
7) Vacuum
8) Brush
9) Caliper or ruler
10) Guts and confidence 🙂

Step 1:

Measure approx. 6mm from top of the gold ring then using a mini-tripod with a holder draw a line with a pen marker. This line will be your guide when sawing.nikkor 10.5mm measuringnikkor 10.5mm marking

Set the focus ring to the maximum 0.14m so that the lens element is protruding out exposing the metal part. This will help protect the lens while sawing.

nikkor 10.5mm marked

Step 2:

Completely seal the lens with masking tape. This will lock the focus ring and protect the lens from saw dust. I recommend using a masking tape  because it doesn’t leave any adhesive when peeled off after.

nikkor 10.5mm sealed_1
nikkor 10.5mm sealed_2Step 3:

Tape a rolled paper inside the lens hood. This will protect the lens from saw dust.

nikkor 10.5mm paper sealed_1Tape from the outside as well. Leaving the marked line exposed.

nikkor 10.5mm paper sealed_2
nikkor 10.5mm paper sealed_3

Step 4:

Start sawing very slowly along the marked line. Just try first to make a complete loop and make a trail for your saw blade. Don’t cut right in too deep on one part. It should be sawed equally in one loop.

If you have a vacuum, always use it after every loop to prevent the saw dust from accumulating. My handheld vacuum really helped a lot.

During the marking of the guide line, my pen misaligned by 2 mm. So in these photos I am cutting approx. 2mm from my guide line 🙂 it really affected the accuracy. Too lazy to draw the correct 6mm line again.

nikkor 10.5mm first saw
Step 5:

If you already have a trail for your saw blade, continue sawing until you feel the metal part of the lens. Depending on how deep you placed the paper inside, you may see it slightly appearing, this will let you know when to stop sawing on that part. It’s also good to write where you started the first sawing, so you will know the end of the loop. Also mark the areas where you’ve already reached the metal part.

nikkor 10.5mm sawingFor your reference the thickness of the lens hood part you are cutting is 1.8mm

nikkor 10.5mm sawed-off lens hood thickness




Finished product photos:

nikkor 10.5mm sawed-off lens hood nikkor 10.5mm sawed-off lens hood_2 nikkor 10.5mm sawed-off lens hood_3 nikkor 10.5mm sawed-off lens hood_4 nikkor 10.5mm sawed-off lens hood_5You should really be patient and feel if you’ve reached the metal part. I became a bit impatient at one point where I saw really hard and fast which scratched the metal part. Although it’s only the black coating that was scratched off (See next photo below).

Sawing time was approximately 1.5 hours plus preparation time and cleaning, all in all a total of 3 hours. It took me extra time because I’m documenting every step I’m doing for this article.

nikkor 10.5mm sawed-off lens hood_scratchedYou can glue the shaved hood back into the lens cap to prevent the lens element from hitting the lens cap when you cover it.

nikkor 10.5mm sawed-off lens hood cap

That’s it!

Disclaimer: Do this at your own risk. If your lens is still on warranty period, doing this will void the warranty. 360 Virtual Tourist or the author will not be held responsible or liable on any property damage or injury this article can cause you or others, directly or indirectly.