The case that comes with the GoPro camera is beautiful, sturdy, and water tight, but it weighs about 100g and the included mounts make the camera stick up over 1″ with the overall surface area growing by a good amount. As a result, many FPV and aerial videographer pilots mount their GoPro without the protective case to save weight and provide a smaller overall footprint. The most significant issue with this “naked” mounting method is that the camera’s lens is directly in harm’s way. Any crash has a high likelihood of damaging the camera’s lens. Once the original lens is damaged, the replacement of the lens is an expensive option costing close to $100 USD — 1/3 of the price of a new GoPro2 camera and almost half of a GoPro Hero HD.
For this reason, FPV Manuals has developed a the patent pending product we call LayerLens. LayerLens brings the most important part of the original GoPro case back: the protective lens; without adding much weight or size. LayerLens for the GoPro 3 weighs under 10g. LayerLens is a precision laser cut frame that holds a protective lens and is pushed onto the GoPro’s built in lens. It sits tightly in place and is further secured with a small velcro band. In case of a crash that scratches LayerLens’ glass lens, you can easily swap out the scratched protective lens and replace it.
LayerLens is available at the below retailers and is available for the GoPro 1 & 2 as well as the new GoPro 3.
|GetFPV. World-wide shipping for $2.99|
LayerLens for GP1, 2
LayerLens for GP3
The Team Black Sheep GoPro Mount for fpv wings like the Ritewing ZII with integrated LayerLens. Available at GetFPV (USA) and Team Black Sheep (Europe)
Build Manual & Inventory (for GP 1 & 2 version)
Make sure you have all the parts
- 4 small phillips screws
- 1 Velcro band — LayerLens now ships with a ‘two face’ velcro strap that does not require you to cut the velcro or use hot-glue. Simply thread the band into the lens holder and close the velcro. View the build instruction for LayerLens with the new velcro band below or with the original video showing how to assemble the original velcro band.
- 1 white ‘base’
- 1 black ‘lens holder’ (the front surface is matte)
- 1 black Delrin ‘lens ring’. The black Delrin is often scratched. There is nothing wrong with your product.
If your velcro band has loops on one side and hooks on the other, please view this build video instead.
- Remove all protective paper off the 3 parts
- LayerLens now ships with a ‘two face’ velcro strap that does not require you to cut the velcro or use hot-glue. Simply thread the band into the lens holder and close the velcro as shown in the video above. If your velcro is one continues velcro band that has loops on one side and hooks on the other, then cut the velcro into two equally long pieces as described in the original build video.
- Harvest a glass lens from your GoPro case or buy a GoPro Lens Replacement Kit
- To ensure the lens holder does not crack when you push the lens in, put your lens holder in a cup with boiling water for 5 minutes to soften the material
- Lay the black lens holder on a flat surface and push the lens into it. Make sure the rough surface of the lens holder points up
- Put the 4 screws into the thin delrin lens ring (looks like a watch ring)
- Screw the delrin ring onto the black lens holder so that the screws are just poking out on the other side
- Align the lens holder on top of the white base. Make sure that the white base is positioned so that there is less material to the left of the lens hole (see pictures)
- Screw the screws in about 80%. While you do that’ make sure that you press the black lens holder and the white base together very tightly
- Now, push the glass lens into the lens holder fully. You may hear the lens settling into place on top of the white base.
- Completely tighten the screws. The thing black delrin ring should be flush with the black lens holder surface.
- If you have one of the new velcro bands with two ‘hook’ ends, simply thread the ends into the lens holder and close the ends. If you have the original velcro band (with loops on one side and hooks on the other), thread the first velcro piece into the top of LayerLens, making sure that the rough/loop side of the velcro faces out. Thread it through so that about 3/4 of an inch comes through.
- Only applicable for the original velcro band: Apply a small drop of hot-glue on the fuzzy side of the short piece of the velcro you threaded through, gluing the soft/fuzzy side of the band, creating a look
- Do the same on the bottom side of the LayerLens
- Push the LayerLens onto your GoPro, making sure it is fully down, touching the surface front of the GoPro
- Now, attach LayerLens with the Velcro straps (see pics)
The pictures below show LayerLens mounted onto an original GoPro camera, but it fits on the new Hero2 as well. LayerLens currently does not come with a glass lens, so you have to take a lens out of your GoPro case or buy a GoPro Lens Replacement Kit separately.
Official FPVLab Thread to ask questions and provide comments.
The original velcro band that shipped with LayerLens required hot-glue as pictured below. The new velcro band no longer requires hot-glue.