Take Amazing Macro Pics With Any Camera Phone Camera... Especially an IPhone




Ever wanted to get one of those amazing close up photos ... the one that says... WOW!?

... with a camera phone camera no less!?

Basically, this is an augmentation addon for any camera phone camera to magnify your existing camera lens to take awesome close up macro photography for less than ... well FREE.

For this Instructable you'll need:
1) Old DVD player (that you won't mind destroying)
2) a little cardboard (think cereal box top)
3) cellophane tape

Total cost of this Instructable is FREE (assuming you have an old DVD player)

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: This ISN'T the One You Need But ...

You will need to remove the lens from the "bowels" of the dvd play. The one that focuses the DVD's laser beam for reading the DVD.... be careful. There are actually two (2) lenses inside a DVD player...


Step 2: Assembled and Ready to Go

After locating and removing the actual lens. Sorry, no pics of the one you need, BUT... it looks just like the one pictured previously... only it's housed all by itself. You will know it when you see it.

In this image, I've folded over a box top from a Canon paper carton (so, by default this makes it a Canon lens!) and poked a hole in the end to hold the lens. I then taped the folded over ends to secure the lens inside.

Step 3: What Is It?

Once that is complete... just hold the lens over your camera lens... move the camera and lens together. steadying the lens as best as possible as you get it REALLY close (this takes a steady hand, but is worth the effort) and "CLICK"

This image taken with the lens about 1/16 inch from the subject ...

Step 4: Know Wht It Is Now?

And without the lens....

Hint: It is on every pen before you use it

Step 5: Almost the $$$ Shot

Before... taken with an iPhone 3G, at maximum close focus...

Step 6: $$$$$$

.... and with the handy FREE DVD (Canon :) ) Macro for camera phone lens

Digital Days Photo Contest

Participated in the
Digital Days Photo Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Instrument Contest

      Instrument Contest
    • Make it Glow Contest

      Make it Glow Contest
    • STEM Contest

      STEM Contest

    12 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    If you look around, you can find an ible' that covers cheap, affordable lightboxes. And it fouy have the Best of Instructables, its in there too!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is amazing! I just so happen to have an old DVD player that we don't use and I just couldn't bring myself to throw it out. Good thing! lol. Thanks for the 'ible!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks LD! Do you have any tips for a novice to take accurate pics to sell items on auction sites? Do you need those little tents with white fabric sides & special lights? I'm not in the iPhone crowd, but sent it to friends that have them.

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Hello mcshawnboy! I would suggest that you have a clean and bright background for any photos of items you are selling. You want to show off the item and not your cleaning/clutter issues. I work on eBay a lot and have found that I will buy from a person whose pictured item is in a clean, nondescript, uncluttered area over the same item (even cheaper priced) pictured in a very cluttered, disarrayed and dingy atmosphere. I purchased a photography lighting softbox photo tent kit on eBay. They aren't that expensive if you do a good bit of business where photos are important but I find I don't use it as much as my home made one. Good luck and I wish you well in your online business!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I actually use a 10x jeweler's loupe in front of my 'Droid's lens. Same idea, though--and mine wasn't free, but I didn't exactly buy it for macro shots, either ;)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I managed to take a nice closeup shot of a piece of jewelry using a small text magnifier held close to the iPhone lens. Extremely ad hoc, but surprisingly good results.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    :) it's nice to know that there are people who like this kind of photography.. Here is my try : www.makroshots.com :) I've made so many pics, that I decided to create a gallery. How do you like it? Feel free to comment of course.. ;) And how are your photos? Greetings


    10 years ago on Introduction

    All good points, flashman. Let me address them in order. I never had any intentions of making this an instructable, so I didn't exactly do the photos in order. If I had to do it all over again, it would be done much better. They were all take with my iPhone for the sole purpose of telling a friend online what I was doing... iPhone to iPhone tech text chatting. As far as which of the two DVD lenses... if you do this instructable, there will be no mistaking which of the two lenses to use. Since I had already removed and discarded the DVD player and associated parts before doing this instructable (my 1st) it was not possible to photograph the actual lens in the housing. To assist and attempt to be a little more detailed in the description, one lens is housed deep inside the read/write mechanism, the other is on top. The one on top is the one pictured and is typically smaller. This lens actually can be used for macro as well, but with an even steadier hand than is typical because that lens is convex on one side and flat on the other (think a drop of water on a table). If the camera phone were to be tripod mounted with THAT lens... on a Macro "rail" assembly, then it would be worthy of use. (there may be another instructable there) A jig may / could be of benefit... I'm sure someone will make a nice "slick" mechanism for this use (yet another instructable?) but as a photographer... my iPhone is almost never my camera of choice. Hand holding the little piece of cardboard is extremely easy to do effectively for me and my wife... who is not a photographer. The actual holding of the lens is by far second in priority when taking pictures with this handy lil gem. The most difficult part is holding the camera itself steady. Macro work can be difficult for those without the patience and a steady hand, but this onehanded iPhone macro lens dealy is easier than you think to make and to use. That said, a free macro lens that takes all of 15 minutes to do and provides such excellent results..... I'm happy with the instructable. Sometimes, doing instead of thinking about doing is more fruitful. In fact, in the time it took me to write this reply, I could have made another ... (I'm a slow typist) I encourage you to just dive in... it's easy, free and cool! :) Hope that helps ....


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    LOL your right, Captain Molo... as a pro photographer, I have done this many times with a reverse macro on my DSLR's... just never thought to try it on a camera phone. And where to find a small enough lens for a camera phone?... not from desk top microscopes... too big, not from any thing else actually, except the dvd laser lens... that I can think of. In reality, this is not too much unlike what photogs have been doing forever.... thank you for the kind words.