Step 4: Testing the lens

Hold your lense over the iPhone's camera. Notice that when you switch to your camera app, objects closer to the lens are much clearer. Using the snappr.net app, you can actually scan barcodes effectively!

In the first set of pictures, without the lens, the barcode is blurry and will not work with snappr.net app. In the second set, with the lens applied, the barcode scans fine.

Note that even with the macro lens it takes some finagling to get the barcode to be recognized by the app. It's not perfect, but is really promising. Also, some books have huge barcodes and don't work so well with this lens.
hello, I just learned something about <a href="http://www.keepautomation.com/products/iphone_barcode/" rel="nofollow">iphone barcode.</a> . so, share with you.
For the iPhone 4 or 4S, 3D print a cute macro lens. Shown here:<br>http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-an-iPhone-4-or-4S-slide-on-macro-lens/
This is a great thing you made. Are you still testing out barcode apps with it? <br>
Thanks Gerald! I haven't had use of it since the newer iPhones have better cameras that can handle barcodes up close. Now such things are built right into the Google app! Thanks for the comment.
Check out www.easy-macro.com No assembly required! :)
Wow awesome project!!!<br>TheDoc67<br><br>www.freshtaste.co
Very neat .... =D<br/>
This is cool. I removed the same lens to use on a mac book pro to get it to work with <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.beepmystuff.com/">Beep My Stuff</a>. I blogged it <a rel="nofollow" href="http://blog.beepmystuff.com/2009/08/built-in-web-cameras-hack-for-beeping.html">here</a> but it's basically the same as what you've done. Thanks for posting this.<br/>
Nice! Glad it helped. And thanks for the heads-up on your site as well. I use DL sporadically but I like the online aspect of BeepMyStuff. BTW other folks who wander here, I got a 3G S and the more advanced camera eliminates the need for this hack, at least for barcode application. I haven't built this into a 3G case, but I assume it's still good for experimental photography and extreme closeups.
This is cool, but next time, why not just use a non-flash-disposable-camera instead? Probably safer, I've seen what happens when you play around with these. (The pliers used to discharge the capacitor is no longer alive, poor Bob, may he rest in piece(s))
You're right. But it's pretty hard too really hurt yourself with one of those. Sure it might give you a little scare, but fatality i think not.
Yeah, fatality's out, but it does hurt. :S It'd probably just be easier to use non-flash though, so if you've got an option... well, you get the point.
I just got out of my coma. :) You're right, a non-flash model would be safer. They're pretty rare, though. All of the models I acquired had a flash. <br/><br/>There <em>are</em> instructions out there for making taser/stunguns out of these cameras, so yeah, be careful.<br/>
I hate the idea of tasers, and to an extent stunguns, I've seen one in use and it looks like those medieval tortcher chambers. Painful. Sometimes it can rip the muscle off the bone if they wind the voltage up enough. Most of the ones I acquired were none flash, oh well I guess it depends on your camera store. i busted a perfectly nice set of pliers ($2) when short circuitting one of these. Sad face.
Plus cheaper
How's it cheaper?
Wouldn't non-flash be cheaper?
You don't buy it, if you plan to get a disposable camera and not use the film, just go to a camera store and ask for a used disposable camera. Just say that it's for a project and they'll happily give you as many as you want. They recycle them any way.
But your be getting the used camera for free see?
I might as well just get a much better Nokia or any other camera phone with proper focussing...
If you are going to buy a cell phone based on its camera, buy a camera...
And if I don't want the additional baggage? Get a better all-in-one device...
To me that seems like throwing the baby out with the bath water. Certainly not as fun as DIY, at any rate. I just wanted to note that it's not really additional baggage. I've been carrying the iPhone with the case for several months and it's not noticeable at all, beyond the baggage that comes with any protective casing.
That, and I cannot share it over Bluetooth...
or you could buy the case from <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/cellphone/b456/">http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/cellphone/b456/</a><br/>
...unless you have a first-generation iPhone, which <strong>will not work</strong> with the iClarifi. <br/><br/>Maybe I should have clarified that by 2G I meant &quot;first-generation&quot; iPhone. I'm still puzzling why we refer to is as 2G rather than 1G, but I digress. ;)<br/>
Yes you could, but then you have a case which isn't necessarily a good case. All so you can focus up close, it still doesn't make the iPhone camera a truly good camera. Also seeing as this is a site for DIY, showing what alternatives you could buy isn't really very helpful.
Looks nice, similar to mine: <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/iPhone_Macro_Lens/">http://www.instructables.com/id/iPhone_Macro_Lens/</a><br/>
Your solution inspired me to look at disposable cameras in the first place. Thanks!
Literally too many moving parts. Why is this always so complicated. (rant over). I wish someone would invest in making the technology so you can read the UPC, EAN and other codes that are already on products, inventory and documents, and have the program decode the characters and send them to the application you want - like your contact manager or notes application. Then, we wouldn't be captive to a particular code, company or equipment mix, and could even print our own barcodes, like using a <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.carolinabarcode.com/barcode-font-code-39-extended-mac-demo-a-77.html">code 39 font</a> and scanning them into the application of our choice.<br/>
I hear ya. Maybe with these upcoming whiz-bang iPhone 3.0 peripherals they'll make a proper iPhone <a rel="nofollow" href="http://cuecat.com/">CueCat</a>! ;)<br/>
works with the 3G? I don't have an iphone, but im just wondering...
This is an awesome idea. I searched and searched for one of these cases that would fit my iphone. I don't have the 3G. This is incredibly useful for ANY closeup. Kudos. Perhaps just a cheap plastic magnifier might work as well, we're just talking lenses here.
AHAHA yeah dude stop making me get an iphone!!!
Cool! now i need to get myself an iPhone..
This is really cool! a great, cheap soloution to an awfull design flaw !

About This Instructable


78 favorites


More by ch0rtle: Cheap iphone macro lens for barcode scanning
Add instructable to: