Introduction: Cellphone Macro Photography Rig

Ever find yourself in a position where you need to read some microscopic print, examine a strip of undeveloped film for clues, or get a real close look at a fingerprint ? Boy, I sure do !

Sadly, since I lack a nice DSLR with a macro lens, I have had to find other ways to make extreme closeups a reality using just a few basic products, a cellphone with a camera, and an ordinary lens from a busted camera of any sort.

Behold ! The MacGyver Macro-Rig !

Step 1: What You'll Need, More or Less.

To build the rig as I have, you'll need a few basic things.

A cellphone capable of taking pictures.
A lens from a broken or otherwise useless camera
Duct tape
Four rulers, or something similar
Eight large binder clips
A few sticks of gum - preferably Doublemint.
Four large paperclips
Four smaller binder clips
Cardboard
White paper
A moveable lightsource

No tools required.


Step 2: Attach Camera Lens to Phone

First thing you'll want to do is make sure your lenses are fairly clean, then flip the phone such that its internal lens is facing up, then center and attach the camera lens to it with duct tape. Make sure its on there securely, and that no light can peek between it and the phone. 

Step 3: Add Rail Guides.

Fashion rail guides from the large paperclips as shown above, then duct tape them to the bottom of the phone.

Step 4: Assemble Rails

Assemble your rails by attaching a large binder clip to the bottom of each of the four rulers, slide the phone down them so that they will be aligned properly. Extend the arms of the binder clips down so that the ones on the outside serve as support. duct tape the ones beneath the phone together, then duct tape those to whatever table you are working on.  

Step 5: Assemble Rail Tops

Slide your phone about halfway up the rails, and use the smaller binder clips to secure it in place by clipping the rulers just below the rail guides. Attach four large clips to the tops of the rails. Position the left side rails so they are straight, then clip a piece of Doublemint gum between them to hold it in place. Do the same to the rails on the right side of the phone. Raise the center clip handles on the top, and once those are straight, wrap them in duct tape. Do the same for the bottom rails, forming a square around the top for stability.

Step 6: Create Rig Bottom

Tear a piece of cardboard so that it fits nicely in pace at the bottom of your rig as a floor. Once you are happy with it, wrap the cardboard in a sheet of white paper, duct tape it at the bottom, and fit it into place.  

Step 7: Using Your Rig !

Slide the camera way down, so that it is nearly on the floor. Start your camera app, and use your light source to illuminate the subject. once you are happy with your composition, snap away, solve the mystery, and save the world !

Once you are done - enjoy the gum, while striking a victory pose !


Above are actual photos taken with the Macro-rig. Enjoy !



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Bio: I'm just your friendly, neighborhood mailman. - Most of my zany ideas come to me as I'm driving around the back roads of a ... More »
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