Picture of iPhone Macro Lens
I've always loved close-up photography starting with a book I remember from first grade on spiders. I actually couldn't get past the first few pages of the book without freaking out and slamming the book shut, but I always came back for more.

About a year ago I made a clip-on lens for my iPhone and everyone is always asking me where I got it. It's very easy to make with just a few tools and materials. I'm not the first person to make one of these, but this is my take on it.
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Step 1: Gather the Materials and Tools

Picture of Gather the Materials and Tools
The first thing you need to do is gather the materials and tools for assembling the lens.

Tools: pliers, small drill bits, X-Acto knife and/or saw, fine metal file and/or sandpaper, hair dryer or heat gun, tweezers, wire cutters

Materials: 4" of .04" music wire, disposable camera, 1/16" heat shrink tubing (4"+, 1 or more colors), super glue or RTV, O-ring assortment

The camera can be one that you have and have used up and removed the film, or you can ask for a used one from a one hour photo lab.

Step 2: Cover and Bend the Wire

Picture of Cover and Bend the Wire
Take a length of the music wire and slide a 4" length of the heat shrink tubing over it and heat it up. The tubing will shrink and hold on to the wire.

Snip the wire to length (4"), if you haven't already before covering the wire with the heat shrink.

Using the pliers, shape the wire as shown in the photo. Each of the sides should be about 1/2". You will make a total of six 90 degree bends. Be careful about squeezing the wire too much with the pliers; they will damage the heat shrink around the tubing. Put a couple of layers of tape around the jaws of the pliers, if that helps.

I tried to make comparison with Nikon 60mm Even though it is not as good as a professional macro lens but still great for general purpose and off-course great idea too.

satiutni2 years ago
Hi this looks great!
What focal distance does it achieve - I'm looking for something that would scan micro QR codes at very short distances on things like brochures.
appsman3 years ago
I played around with paper clips and similar hacks. This one is pretty cute, but if you want something a bit more robust and cleaner looking, take a look at this 3D printable iPhone 4 macro lens holder you can get from Shapeways:
iectyx3c4 years ago
There are so many good things about this i'ble. Well-written, clear, good photos, and many tips about building which any hobbyist can use. Thanks for all the work you did in creating this and posting it.
TabbyDeAnne3 years ago
FANTASTIC!! I am getting to this one right now! Very well done! I have several different lens ideas to try today. I will post my finished project! Thanks!
respected sir hw can u take a photo with out any rills otherwise ur invention is very gud
No one knows what you mean by "rill". What is a rill? I think you're using the wrong word. Speak English, not text-speak. If you can't, then get an adult to spell it properly for you.
joey, please, for everyones reading pleasure, try to use spellcheck and grammar. It's sad to see people comment in "text speak"
mr rvogel i did not understand that in your experiment(invention) how cum u can take a photo with out any rill
bit of advice, use the proper spelling of come, the other one could get you in trouble sometimes.
what is a rill?
Wikipedia told me that "In fluvial geomorphology, a rill is a narrow and shallow incision into soil resulting from erosion by overland flow or surface runoff that has been focused into a 'thin thread' by the soil surface texture of roughness." Not that that helps very much. :P
DirtMcGurt4 years ago
This is an awesome idea and I will def try it, but it would probably be a good idea to add a warning about opening up disposable cameras. The capacitors used for the flash are pretty dangerous.
Well, idk man, I took one apart right after I used the flash and I had white dots in my eyes, biggest shock of my life haha
Dangerous? Not really. Hurt like heck? Yeah. I mean sure, it would be dangerous for children and maybe people with pacemakers, but the volts and amps are much lower than a taser or stun gun last time I checked.
yeah i gave my self a lil owwie when i disassembled one for an atomic joy buzzer hahaha
This is amazing, I am VERY impressed!
Pictures i took:
prodo1234 years ago
Looks like you can do this with a heat shrink-covered paper clip. Freakin awesome.
RVogel (author)  prodo1234 years ago
That could work. Music wire is a bit more resilient in the long run and getting bumped around in your pocket. A paperclip is an excellent option, especially when salvaged from the junk drawer. Thanks!
I would use a recycled bicycle spoke, since I have some. Nice and stiff, and recycled!
Coliopteran4 years ago
Great idea! I'm going to try this!
Very good instructable! this would be great for creating insctructables too. i've seen way too many insctructables with bad close-up shots resulting from a lack of proper camera. this is a great little mod. I must ask, did you use this lense to take pictures for this instructable?
spiderham4 years ago
Great ible, this is one I'll be trying out soon! Could you please post a pic of the lens placement on the phone?
castothomas4 years ago
coolness, what type of camera did you get the parts from?
RVogel (author)  castothomas4 years ago
It's just a disposable Fuji camera.
Looks like a generic disposable camera. I've done similar things with ducttape and lenses from those, this one is much cooler though.
nickodemus4 years ago
Such a great idea, and simply executed, nice work.
GianniMora4 years ago
really rad concept! -M
GianniMora4 years ago
ironic, u use a camera to take a picture of a camera... -M
Kiteman4 years ago
This is cool (even though I don't have an iPhone).

The project itself is well-executed and illustrated. Well done, that ibler!
RVogel (author)  Kiteman4 years ago
Thanks! This can be made to work on any cell phone. If the lens is too far from the edge to use a clip, then you can just use removable double-stick tape. I use it a lot when i can't find the clip-on lens.