When Galileo first posited that objects don’t, in fact, fall at a speed proportional to their mass and that – with a complete absence of air resistance – two balls of different size and weight would fall to the Earth at identical speeds, everyone thought that that cunt was cooked as. That’s how visionaries always appear to others: as completely cooked cunts.

When product designer Bastiaan Ekeler set out to mount a hefty (and quite expensive) Canon telephoto lens on the most esoteric camera body in the world, the Nintendo Game Boy Camera, people probably told him that he was crazy – cooked, if you will. But, as they often are, this strange man was vindicated by history when he made it work.

Ekeler managed this particular bit of technological sorcery by using a 3D printer to craft a cone that screwed into the back half of the Game Boy Camera and featured a regular Canon EF mount at the front.

Thanks to the combination of the incredibly tiny sensor size and the fact that the lens is also on a 1.4 extender, he’s working with an insanely long zoom. The smaller the size of the sensor, the smaller the part of an image is captured – a camera sensor is usually around the size of a postage stamp, the one on the GBC is way, way smaller.

By his maths, the 3.6mm² sensor has a crop factor of just over 10 (any Canon camera you are likely to buy will probably have a crop factor of only 1 or 1.6, by comparison). Attaching a 70-200mm lens, you are looking at a maximum focal length of just over 3000mm, which is categorically insane.

The images, as you might remember, are a stunningly detailed 128 x 112 pixels, rendered in beautiful grayscale, and it appears you definitely can’t polish a turd – although you can zoom in very, very close on that turd.

Ekeler, who I’m now convinced is an actual genius, got the photos he took off the camera by doing some nonsense with microcontrollers, a Game Boy Printer emulator, and some JavaScript, turning his photographic endeavours into gorgeous PNGs.

As he points out himself, that photo of the seagull has some “surprisingly creamy bokeh” for an extremely low-resolution child’s toy from 20 years ago.

You can read Ekeler’s full dive into how he did it in the write-up posted on his website right here. What a legend.

Image: Bastiaan Ekeler