Wide-Angle Lens Adapter

Wide-Angle Lens Adapter


U.S. Pat. 7,460,777


      This lens adapter was invented by Steve Hines for covert photography through a small opening.  The device can be improvised using a plastic tube, then discarded drawing little attention if found.  The tube can be used with any camera.  


      The wide-angle adapter can be any cylindrical tube with a reflective inner surface.  A cast acrylic (Plexiglas) tube is a simple choice.  The camera photographs the view directly through the hole, and the multiple reflections of the interior of the tube.  Alternate circular images, starting with the open-hole, are erect and right reading.  Alternate odd-numbered reflections (first, third, fifth, etc.) appear rotated 180°.


      Uncorrected video segment shot through tube showing a car passing from right to left across the camera’s field of view.
      A wide-angle lens really benefits from the optical properties of the tube.. A clear Plexiglas tube, painted black outside or wrapped with black tape, is almost completely reflective inside.. Image quality greatly depends on the internal surface quality, and centering of the tube.


      If a scene is viewed through a hole in a wall, the field of view is restricted to the hole size.  When the scene is photographed through a polished tube, wider parts of the scene are seen in the reflections.  Alternate bands of reflections are upside down, and reversed left to right.  These reflected rings are rotated 180° using Photoshop, or similar image-editing software.

      The tube may appears to be transparent in the 3rd band, however it is simply an upside reflection of an upside reflection in the 2nd band.



Coverage using the Hines’ Wide-Angle Adapter


image Order image-Diameter increase (Field of View) image Area increrase = (image dia.)²
“0”, zero order (open hole) 1X (reference) 1X (reference)
1st reflection* (must be rotated) 3X 9X
2nd reflection 5X 25X
3rd reflection* (must be rotated) 7X 49X
4th reflection 9X 81X
Nth reflection (image quality falls off with each reflection) – – – – – –

*Note, all odd-numbered reflections must be rotated.  Even numbered reflections do not require rotation.


This adapter is intended for legal surveillance work and intelligence gathering only.



Hines’ original lab notebook entries for this invention:  

Wide-Angle-Adapter-Notebook-p132-100p Wide-Angle-Adapter-notebook-p133-100p
    p. 132     p. 133


      HinesLab is actively seeking licensees to commercialize this technology.  This is not a product being offered for sale to end users.  Please contact Steve Hines at:





email: Steve@HinesLab.com


ph. 818-507-5812