Picture of Simple Macro Lens for iPad/iPhone/iPod

this is a really simple lens you can put together to get nice macro shots for any mobile or tablet camera. i have seen this a few times before but i have seen ways that could damage the device or just take to much time.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

the materials you will need are:

Laser pointer
clothes line peg (plastic)

lens cloth

engraver/drill with small drill bit (size of lens)
any circular cutting tool

For this I used an old engraver I had in my room

Step 2: Getting The Lens

all we need from the laser pointer is the lens. so pull it apart and carefully pry out the lens. It should only be something like 5-8 mm wide. Before we move onto the next step try putting the lens over the camera and holding something just above the lens until the picture is focused, this is hard because even the slightest movement can move it. I noticed as i held it above the lens it would move every 3 quarters of a second or so, I realized this was just my heart beat which slightly moved my fingers.

Something else I noticed was that because this lens was from a laser pointer the focus point was really small. This is because the lens was made to focus the red light into a tiny beam and not for photography.

MicroCenter as you line up to check out, under $3

Master9786510 months ago

I love this idea but if I were you I'd put some self adhesive foam around the lens on the clip where it comes in contact with the device, that way it won't scratch the device and it will hold in place better too.

sandman7711 months ago
does it work if I take lens from old CD/DVD player, cos those is easyer to find than laser pointers
flipbook sandman7711 months ago

Yes CD/DVD lenses work too. I did that for my iPhone a few years ago.

altomic11 months ago

nice instructable.

you can also use the viewing plastic from a disposable camera to make a basic fish eye.

Oh cool, that's good to know

slicearoller11 months ago

I thought you can find these lens relatively cheap online these days.

Exocetid11 months ago

I love clever and this is clever. I was a bit disappointed to discover the source of the lens. I want cheap and easy. Do Dollar Stores carry laser pointers yet?

Still a good Instructable, kudos!

sockit Exocetid11 months ago

I have been helping my wife make one of these (the one with the adjustable shelf), and we found laser pointers at a store called Dollar Tree, and yes it was a dollar. So I suspect other "Dollar Stores" would carry them as well.

Phixius Exocetid11 months ago

I've bought them online for a dollar before. Two or three in places like Walmart, Target, Shopko, etc.

baba87 Exocetid11 months ago

They might but you can find them cheap in any stores. Just look in the pet toy area because they usually jack the price up. Look in the check out aisle, you can find them there for a few bucks at most stores like walmart or target..

RingoWild11 months ago

Great one! Thanks!

njc12198311 months ago
I was curious, do you still have the engraver? I am in need of one. I can fix it up, but I just don't have the $$ to buy a new one. Email me at if we could work something out.

What @dulciquilt said. Got one a few weeks ago from Harbor Freight for $6. Otherwise, they're $12 on eBay.

if you have a Harbor Freight in your area, they have them for next to nothing.

rlmarket11 months ago

Nice method for being able to take lens on and off. An alternative source for a good lens about the right size is a door peephole, a basic one which sells at Home Depot for about $6. This Instructable How to take Macro Pictures with Blackberry Camera 9860 by fariedh shows how to get the lens out.

Yoshinok11 months ago

Nice work.

juan23211 months ago
Outstanding simple idea. I love it.
richardgreco11 months ago

What does this lense do? Is it for the iPads camera? I was hoping you could explain. Thanks!

JohnnyMorales11 months ago

Excellent idea. This is the sort of Stuff I used to come to this site for all the time in the past.

dunkintheshed11 months ago
Brilliantly simple
mcgary91111 months ago

Cool idea. I have a few cheapo laser pointers in the junk drawer with dead batteries. This looks like a good project for one of them.

If you don't have an engraver, you can use a dremel with a very small bit. For going through plastic a hot nail will even do the trick. It sounds like the trick is ensuring the lens is a snug fit. Using glue would be a minus because it would be very easy to get some on the lens, and then you're out of luck.

jbates197011 months ago

Awesome! Nice instructable...easy to do, handy little accessory and cool way to repurpose something without shelling out $$$$. It's 4 am and I can't sleep so this is what I am going to do right now. Good Job!

Mutazek11 months ago

Awesome!! I must try it!

hunter99911 months ago

Awesome project! Good job! :-)

samjohn11 months ago
Cool idea!