Introduction: Macro Lens From Old Phone (with Hot Glue Casing)

Hey all! In this Instructable, I will be extracting the lens from an old cell phone to use as a macro lens with a newer smartphone. I will also make a casing for it with hot glue. This project yields very decent results and can be used as an alternative to the macro lenses sold for smart phone. If you have an old phone whose camera you don't have a use for, be sure to give this project a try! (If you like this project, be sure to vote for it and leave a comment. Thanks :))

Step 1: Preparing the Tools and Material

The list of tools and material needed for this Instructable is pretty small.

  • Phone with a camera
  • Appropriate screwdriver
  • Hot Glue gun or a bobby pin

That's about all you will need for this project, lets get started!

Step 2: Disassembling: Removing Back Part

The first part of this project is to disassemble the phone so that we can get to the lens assembly. The disassembly can vary from phone to phone, I just posted the instructions for my phone. A good idea would be to take pictures of your progress as it can be used in the reassembly of the phone. To remove the back part on the phone I was using, firstly you have to remove the back cover which can be done by sliding it off. Then, you have to follow the strategy of see a screw, remove a screw. In total there were 10 screws, after removing which, the back part of the phone can be taken off.

Step 3: Disassembly: Removing Outer Circuit Board

For this step, I removed all the screws I could see. I put them separately from the previous screws so that I could differentiate between them while reassembling (which never happened :D). There will also be some buttons such as the camera button which you can remove and put aside. After you have removed the screws, you will see some orange colored, wide cables attached to it. To remove these, just gently push upward from the bottom with a screwdriver or something and they should pop off. After that, flip the board over and you will see another cable connecting it to the main circuit board. To remove this, just gently apply pressure from the bottom and it should come off. The board is now free, place it aside for later. The cable was going through the buttons assembly so I pulled it through the hole and that board was free too.

Step 4: Disassembly: Removing the Lens

We are almost done with the disassembly. The cover for the main circuit board, lens etc. had a cable going through it which was attached to the main circuit board. This time, the cable is different from the ones we were dealing with before. This one has a black lever holding on the circuit board. To remove this cable, just turn that lever upwards using your nails or a screwdriver. Then pull the cable out. This should free the cover. You should see the lens assembly over the camera which should be at the top of your phone. To remove the lens, simply hold the top with your nails and spin it counter-clockwise, this should screw it out. Now that we are done with the phone, it can be reassembled with the photos that you had taken earlier.

Step 5: Attaching to Phone (Method 1)

The first way to attach the lens to a phone is by using a bobby pin. This can be done quickly and easily but doesn't look as good. It gets the job though. For this method, you will only require some transparent tape and a bobby pin. Insert the lens into one of the grooves of the bobby pin and attach it to the phone with some tape. That's it, you are done and can start using the lens straight away.

Step 6: Attaching to Phone (Method 2)


For this method, you will only require a hot glue gun but you will end up with a finished product. Place the lens on your phone and make a hot glue surface around it and also make a lip with which you will hold it on to the phone. That's it!! You are done with the project.

Step 7: Conclusion

Now that we are done with the project, you can start using your macro lens. It can be used to see fingerprints, plants, paper, wood and many more things up close. I have attached two videos, one in which I attached the lens narrow side down and one in which I had the narrow side up. As you can see, narrow side down is the way to go as that gives us a less shallow depth of field and lets in more light. I hope you liked this project, if you did please vote for it in the contests. Thanks for reading this Instructable!

Before and After Contest 2017

Participated in the
Before and After Contest 2017

Invention Challenge 2017

Participated in the
Invention Challenge 2017