How I made a cellphone pinhole macro lens while sitting in a McDonald's enjoying my McCafe Mocha.
I wanted to take extreme closeups with my VGA resolution old-school Motorola V551.
Yeah, sure I could use a magnifying lens scavenged from a disposable camera.
But the game here was to be like MacGyver, and only use what was available to me sitting in the booth.
The black cup lid with the pre-punched pinhole gave me an idea.
And the cool Happy Meal dino didn't need any modding.
Step 1: Go Army! (Swiss Army)
Can't imagine life without Swiss Army knives.
My mainstay is the tiny 58 mm Rambler knife because it has a combo Phillips screwdriver bottle opener wire-stripper blade.
Here it is cutting the pinhole out of my McCafe coffee lid.
The pinhole is used to vent the lid so it can be lifted off the dispensing stack.
But a pinhole is a pinhole, and I decided to see if it could let me take extreme closeup photos.
Step 2: Modding the Pinhole
Using my thumbnail, I modified the pinhole by making it smaller.
The raised edges from where it was pierced can be pushed towards the center of the hole.
Just check that it is fairly round by holding it up to the light.
A smaller hole means a sharper image.
Step 3: Mount the Macro Lens
To mount the pinhole lens, I just tucked the plastic lid piece into my folder cellphone hinge.
Careful, don't damage the ribbon cable in the hinge.
I bent over a small edge of the flat plastic so it would sit in the hinge and brace against the antenna.
Step 4: Bring Me the Head of Ronald McDonald
I decide to take a picture of the tiny Ronald McDonald only a few millimeters high printed on my Happy Meal bag.
The first image shows a photo without the pinhole macro lens.
The second shows a closeup of his head with the pinhole.
Next I snapped my receipt without the pinhole, and then with the pinhole.
Remember you'll need a lot of light and a rock-solid table top for the camera.
Experiment and let me know if you have any improvements.