DIY Super Macro Camera for FREE




Make your camera phone into a super macro camera for a cost next to nothing! Super easy to make with basic tools and stuff around the house.

The phone used is Samsung Galaxy S2

Things you will need:

A good magnifying lens,

2 screws and one spring

and if you want, a back cover (used or new)

Tools needed:


Wire cutters

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Harvesting a Lens for the Camera.

This is the key "ingredient" to the project. The lens can be found basically anywhere where a lens is used. From magnifying glass to a old video camera.

When you find a good lens, make sure that it will serve the purpose of your needs. Different lenses have a different magnifying qualities. Keep this in mind when harvesting lenses.

I found the perfect lens for my needs from an old and broken video glasses. The lens is really big witch means it gathers light very easily so it will work even in a darker lightning and since the lens is made for looking a very small LCD screen the magnifying is also really good.

Step 2: Removing the Lens and Installing It to the Phone.

In some cases removing the lens can be a difficult process since the lens is meant to stay in one place.

carefully remove the lens. Do not use sharp tools so you won't scratch the lens.

After removing the lens try it on your camera. Be sure to test the lens before installing. Do this by just holding the lens over the camera and put the camera on.

For this lens to stay in one place, i used it's own brace since it is made for it.

Step 3: Removable or Not?

I used my old phones back plate for this. Keep this in mind when doing this project--> do you want to use the camera without macro? I do. That is why i made the lens easily removable.

After deciding let's start building the mount for the lens.

Step 4: Mounting the Lens.

Find all the parts that you need for the build. I made the lens adjustable. This sounds very difficult but its not. The screws i used were from some old laptop and the spring was from a ballpoint pen.

Use your screwdriver (or something you have) to puncture two small holes to the back plate. Make sure the holes are big enough for the screws. To make it adjustable the screws must be enabled to move freely in the holes.

Do not make bigger holes for the lens mount. Like in my case, your mount will be made from plastic. Just screw the screws in the plastic to make threads to the plastic.

Finally a spring is needed for the adjustable lens. Cut the spring at the right length so it will be just a tad longer than the screw. This will make sure the lens mount stays in place and that it will be adjustable when tightening the screws.

Step 5: Testing the Super Macro

The first picture is taken without the lens and the other pictures are taken with the lens. The difference is huge. The camera won't even focus in the macro settings this close without the lens. After the lens the picture is clear and it will focus at almost 1-3 mm distance from the target! The pictures are not edited in any way. Just took these pictures with the macro lens in different lightning.

The build is easy to make and also a very cheap to do. I didn't use any money for this.

Epilog Challenge VI

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge VI

1 Person Made This Project!


  • Made with Math Contest

    Made with Math Contest
  • Multi-Discipline Contest

    Multi-Discipline Contest
  • Robotics Contest

    Robotics Contest

24 Discussions


4 years ago

I wonder how would this turn out with a 50 megapixel dessert already bulging from a non-removable cover... Ima do this, NO MATTER WHAT


5 years ago on Introduction

Great idea!
But... I know that mousepad!

You're the creator of the Echelon computer mod, which also won Ocaholic Enermax contest! Congrats on the victory, amazing job!

2 replies

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

i'm very sorry to say this but....i got this mouse pad as a giveaway when i purchased my graphics card...and i have not done any echelon computer mods whatsoever but thanks for the comment! :D


Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Ah I see, it would have been weird to see the computer creator on here, by pure chance eheh!
Anyway, nice I'bles you got.


5 years ago on Introduction

I have see a commercial version that had interchangeable lenses that were held in place by a magnetic ring. That should not be too difficult to copy, attach a large steel washer around the phone lens and for the macro lens make a mount that has a ring of rubber magnet material to hold it on the washer.

1 reply

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

i was thinking about the magnet attachment at first. The only problem was that had only too powerful magnets at my disposal so i was not too keen to use them near my phone :D Good idea though!!

actually i didn't pay a dime for it...And where exactly you saw in the parts list the phone? The ible is universal and for inspiration to all phone models. I just sated that the phone used is....plaaplaaplaa.


5 years ago on Step 4

yikes I love this but only have an ipod, no cell phone ... also not that ambitious, you did a great job, thanx


5 years ago on Introduction

here are a good couple of examples to work off of..


Reply 5 years ago

That is just because the original lense wont focus on a target that close.


5 years ago on Introduction

I've made this before using the objective lens from an old discartable 35mm camera that happened to be the exact diameter of my phone camera window, so I can place it between the phone and one of its plastic cases, staying firmly and allowing me to take very fine macrophotos.


5 years ago on Introduction

It probably would not be that difficult to laser cut, 3D print, or manually cut out a clip that attaches via the sides of the phone so you could slip it on/off when needed. Good idea... I'll have to see what lenses I have laying around.

It might be possible to make a clip that fits the phone and slides up/down... then have more than one lens so you can pick the magnification you want. Lots of possibilities to modify this.

2 replies

Reply 5 years ago

Thanks for comment! That is a good idea! Should work great with newer phones. Where the camera lens is in the same level with the back plate. This phone has the lens about 2 mm thik metal plate over the back plate. Also the flash is in this metal plate so it would make a lot of work for a simple thing To do.


Reply 5 years ago

I had not considered the flash... I have an older HTC which has the flash to the side of the lens meaning I would only need to have a slot wide enough.

When I upgrade my phone it gives me a good opportunity to build on your instructable... which of course I'll link back to.


Joe Citizen

5 years ago on Introduction

Is it necessary to remove the phone back which holds

the lense each time you want to make a focus adjustment?

If so could the screws be replaced with small threaded

bolts, their hads glued to the backing plate and some

form of nut used to allow finger tightening to focus?

1 reply
mkarvonenJoe Citizen

Reply 5 years ago

Hi. Thanks for asking! The lens does not have to be adjusted every time. The phone camera auto focuses the picture every time. The screw adjustment is just for getting the lens am close To the camera lens as possible.