Instructables

How to make a very effective and cheap micro/macro lens for an iPhone or any smartphone!

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In this instructable, I will explain how I've created macro lenses for my iPhone 4 by salvaging parts from old digital cameras. Why buy expensive lens attachments when they are already lying around your house? Disclaimer: I am in no way responsible for any damage you may do to your device or yourself. Follow with caution.
 
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Step 1: Materials List

-Smart Phone
-Old Cheap Digital Camera (you can find one at a thrift store for less than $10)
-Small Precision Screwdriver
-Flathead Screwdriver 
-Wire Cutter
-Loctite Fun-Tak (REMOVABLE)
-File (optional)
-Ingenuity and any other materials that result from the former.

Keep in mind that the digital camera that you get may or may not work with this instructable. Be prepared to lose a few bucks if the camera you purchase doesn't give great results.

Step 2: Disassemble the camera

After you have found the digital camera that you don't mind sacrificing, remove the battery from the camera. Then unscrew any screw that keeps you from opening the camera body. Every digital camera is different, so I cannot tell you exactly how to disassemble your camera. Just be safe and gentle as to not damage the lens. Also, don't shock yourself with any charge that may still be built up for the flash.

Step 3: Disassemble the lens assembly

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We want the lenses that are in front of the optical sensor. Again, be careful and unscrew the lens assembly from the camera. For this particular camera, I found it easiest to pry it out with a flathead screwdriver. I only did this when I knew for sure I wouldn't risk damaging the lens or myself. Once it is out, discard the rest of the camera, or save it for parts for another project. Begin testing the lens with your phone. If you are not achieving a macro photo, the assembly may need to be taken apart even further. For instance, this assembly had a plastic lens and a cover/mechanism that controlled the shutter that I needed to discard. 

i,ve been do this. but i make from telescope lens. it,s more focus use it. here i pined the picture that i,ve bee shoot with some editing with After Focus aplication

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kmarquez54 months ago
awesome work dude. i think it will look more awesome if you attach it to a phone cover. so you can attach or detach whenever you use it. :)
nblue21 year ago
AWESOME!!!!!!
amiller761 year ago
Super awesome! Can't wait to try it. Thanks for the instructable
ahussey11 year ago
Totally trying this tommorow!! :)
sturcotte11 year ago
I think the Macro is the one to the right?
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sturcotte11 year ago
This is amazing. Im working on it now, but have 3 separate lenses due to the cameras' zoom.
Emmely1 year ago
Beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing. Too bad I don't have an old/cheap camera I can use....
bravo
CatalinRO2 years ago
Is there a must to be a digital camera or can be as well an old film camera? I'm looking to have something similar on my Android phone and I have doubts if worth to dismantle an old film camera. Nice image the one with the eye :) Thanks!
DemetriS (author)  CatalinRO2 years ago
If it's an older cheap film camera from the 80's, most of the parts will be made of plastic which will produce photos that lack clarity. If it's an older slr, you won't find many useful parts in the camera body. However, I have taken apart some older broken slr telephoto lenses that gave me some cool telephoto and wide angle effects. The reason I suggest cheap digital cameras is because the lenses were made to focus on a small optical sensor, as opposed to a 35mm frame. Plus, I have an affinity for old film cameras and wouldn't break one if I didn't have to. Hope this helps. If anyone else has any suggestions or corrections to anything I've said, please feel free.
Thanks! That convinced me to use the same lens you choose.
Ausm DemetriS2 years ago
Thanks for the insight
Origurumi2 years ago
This is an incredible Instructable, I finished it in one day! I'm already taking pictures of coins, fabrics, body parts and whatever else I can find, haha! Thanks for making this! I'll figure out how to make a holder attachment for it later... Any suggestions on what to keep it in to keep the lense safe till then? Thanks!
DemetriS (author)  Origurumi2 years ago
Thank you, that's awesome! I had used one of those small cloth pouches that came with my earbuds and that seemed to work well. Maybe you could wrap a microfiber sheet around it (the kind you get with glasses) and secure it with a rubber band.
mivalenz2 years ago
wow!!!!
Messy Desk2 years ago
Thank you for the info, the pictures look great!
appsman2 years ago
If you don't already have a camera to salvage, you can buy the lens for $4 from www.surplusshed.com. The part I used to do the same thing is L4471. To get to L4471, use the "Lens Finder". Type:
Lens Type: PCX, Plano Convex
Diameter: 12mm to 12mm
Focal length: 51mm to 51mm
It will get you to L4471. I used that lens to make this iPhone macro, but it's not quite as cheap: http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-an-iPhone-4-or-4S-slide-on-macro-lens/
DemetriS (author) 2 years ago
I'm glad that this has been helpful. I just posted a new camera-phone technique instructable. You guys might like it. Have fun everyone!
lekazo2 years ago
Awesome Instructable. Already finished my own macro lens. Thanks.
agis682 years ago
I use it this and the lens is from a broken olympus film camera. Works fine. Also i add a tiny braket to the lens body to handle it better. The macro was added to an olympus 10mmp camera and is attached like yours.

suayres2 years ago
Wow! That's really impressive! I'm going to run this one in front of my kludge-crazy husband (he's actually quite good at kludge-skills). THANK you!
diegofenner2 years ago
Very interesting. I'll try that on vacation. I already have an old unworking camera, just need free time to do that :)
Messy Desk2 years ago
This is great, thank you for sharing! Just an idea for affixing the lens, how about getting a cheap phone case and glueing the lens to that? I'm going to give this a go when I can find my old digi camera.

On a side note, you seem to know a bit about photography, I don't suppose you have any ideas how to achieve Christmas light bokeh pictures with a smartphone?
DemetriS (author)  Messy Desk2 years ago
That's a great idea! I actually used to do something similar before I went case-less. I had an Otterbox and I would slip the lens under the rubber exterior but over the plastic shell. I think that your idea would work perfectly, especially with a dedicated back shell.

As far as Christmas light bokeh, I hadn't ever thought of doing that technique, so I decided to try and figure out a way to do it without any photo-editing applications. The reason why we can't achieve that technique with the stock camera is because the phone is set to have a large depth-of-field. It's focusing in on the entire scene, which is also why it has a hard time focusing in on subjects that are close to the lens. Since we can't control the size of the aperture (we would need a larger aperture - small f-stop to narrow the depth-of-field), I had to manage a way to change the focus to the foreground. In order to do this I used a less powerful macro lens I had salvaged from a telephoto lens. Hope you like the pictures, and thanks for the challenge!
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ceanes2 years ago
Impressive, that picture from the eyes is awesome, well done