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.
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.