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Picture of How To Make A Webcam Usable for Close-ups.
photo-27.07.13 19:31.jpg
I want to be able to monitor my CNC mill with a cheap USB HD camera mounted on the spindle. I chose the Creative Live! Cam Chat HD (VF0700) - 1280x720p as it is very affordable and does not require drivers on any OS.
For this I could use a USB microscope, but the price is higher and they are usually too big.  A normal camera can not focus closer than about 10 cm.
So I need a lense of some sort, preferably a cheap one. The cheapest one I found in my house was a loupe I use to look at SMD soldering. It is made to examine stamps, jewelry and other small things and costs just 20kr (ca. $2). Just mount it in front of the camera and suddenly the focus is down to 3-5 cm.  Instant macro! :)

Step 1: Buy A Cheap Microscope or Loupe

Picture of Buy A Cheap Microscope or Loupe
It is just a plastic stand-alone case and a glass lens, and can be bought here:
http://biltema.no/no/Kontor---Teknikk/Kontorutstyr/Maskiner/Lupe-21600/