Instructables

In this instructable I will show you how I installed a wide-angle lens onto my webcam.

Now I can use Skype without having to sit perfectly still in an attempt to keep my face in the middle of the screen. I can move around a bit to stretch and prevent neck and back pain. People I talk to also get to see more of the background. I don't mind that, my room is always tidy :)

I used a $12 webcam and $6 wide-angle lens from DX.

If you use a different webcam and/or a different wide-angle lens you might get lucky and they will fit together perfectly. In my case there were two problems:
     1) I could not get the lens to focus - it was too close to the sensor,
     2) the wide angle lens had no IR filter installed, so daylight images looked funny.

My solution was to lift the lens socket about 1mm away from the sensor and to attach the IR filter I harvested from the lens the webcam came with.

 
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Step 1: What you need


Other than the webcam and the lens mentioned in the previous step, you will need very few materials and tools.

I used sugru to both lift the socket and attach the filter. One 5g pack is more than enough for this, so make sure you have a few other projects ready as it has to be used within 30 minutes of opening the package.

The only tool I needed was a small screwdriver to take apart the camera.

A slightly damp microfiber cloth might also be handy to wipe any fingerprints from the filter and the lens. Try not to get anything on the exposed sensor.

Some superglue will also come in handy.
jumpfroggy4 years ago
Any pics from the webcam, before and after? Or even just after? I have another DX webcam (the mini-camera looking one) as my front-door peephole webcam. I'd love to put a wide angle lens on it, and I'm curious what kind of view you get. Thanks!
tintinnuntius (author)  jumpfroggy4 years ago
I've also bought sku.14991 from DX. I've installed the same wide-angle lens and set it up as an office security camera (using Skype like someone here suggested). It required the same modifications as this one, only I did it the hard way because I didn't have sugru back then (I lifted the socket up by two small balls of putty, placed a cardboard ring around to block out the light and applied some transparent varnish). Anyway, the wide-angle effect is not as pronounced as with normal peepholes (it's not a fisheye lens) but it's better than a normal webcam. It's already dark outside, but I'll try to get you some shots tomorrow. I can no longer use the normal lens on the modified cam (no focus), but I'll snap one with the netbook's built-in cam so you can compare.
so which is best for the wide angle web cam? 14991,14953, or 15238 which is what is used inthe wideangle instructable? tks
That's the one! Thanks, I'd love to see yours. Just the wide-angle is fine, I have my own with the stock lens to compare with.
tintinnuntius (author)  jumpfroggy4 years ago
Here it is. I actually get a better image (more dynamic range and less noise) if I attach sku.14953 to my netbook webcam. It has a wider angle as well. It might be a better option if you pair it with a more expensive (read: better quality) webcam. The build quality of 14953 is slightly iffy though.
widelens.png
rgerber12 years ago
I use a hot glue gun with the good adhesive, I like this idea for a duct camera, I wonder if I would need the filter to shove it into an AC duct to look at workmanship or inspect a house's heating and cooling.
mrsayao3 years ago
Any idea where I can buy a new socket? I'm modifying a PTZ camera to incorporate the wide angle lens I also bought, but the lens is screwed to the socket and is glued on! I can find wide angle lenses on DX but I can't find that socket!!
jbishara4 years ago
I like you web cam modifications -- but what really would be useful to me is a web cam Otoscope -- so I can see into my own ear for any wax buildup, rather than having a nurse or doctor do it. Problem is getting the light source in and the image out to the webcam. Has anyone done this? Jim
tintinnuntius (author)  jbishara4 years ago
For the light source you could use fibre optic cable. I have no idea how to add the camera. Take a look at this: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.17588 You might be better off to just let the doctor take care of it, though :)
I think your right. The link showed what I could use, but the cost isn't worth it. Thanks for the feedback.
wow, this is fantastic, I love how many hacks you did with one 5g sachet :)
tintinnuntius (author)  projectsugru4 years ago
Fortunately, I've made a list of ideas beforehand and had everything ready :)
scoochmaroo4 years ago
A lot of great tips in here! 5 stars
tintinnuntius (author)  scoochmaroo4 years ago
Thanks! This is my first instructable, so it's nice to see someone likes it :)