Add lenses to your GoPro with this mod

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Lexy spent her formative years taking a lot of photos and dreaming in technicolour. Nothing much has changed now she's covering all things photography related for CNET.

Turn your GoPro into a Frankenstein's monster decked out with any number of lenses from your existing collection.

Yes, that's a Nikon 28mm lens on the front of a GoPro, why do you ask?
(Credit: Back-Bone)

Why add an expensive lens to the front of a relatively cheap, tiny action camera? Though the GoPro is normally associated with action adventurers looking to document their thrill seeking activities, plenty of production companies have bought up GoPros in bulk for use on film sets. The GoPro also has a mode called Protune that gives a higher-quality output, like a RAW output mode, that helps studios grade video seamlessly with footage from other cameras.

The Back-Bone Ribcage is a special kit for the GoPro that lets users mount a different lens to the front of the camera, replacing the wide 170-degree field of view with something less dramatic.

The Ribcage is compatible with M12, CS or C-mount lenses but can also work with most other manual lenses with an adapter ring. Apart from removing the obvious fish-eye distortion delivered by the stock lens, the Ribcage lets film-makers control focus and achieve some shallow depth-of-field effects — even though the GoPro sensor is small.

This mod is currently available for the Hero3 and Hero3+ cameras and is due to ship in 2014. A fully modified Hero3+ can be ordered from the Back-Bone website for US$799.99, but if you are a little more brave and prepared to hack at your existing camera, the mod kit alone is available for US$199.99.

To see some of the test footage from a modified GoPro, check out the video below:

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