DIY: How to make your own iPhone macro lens

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Learn how you can take amazing pictures with a homemade macro lens for your iPhone or other smartphones.

I read that it was possible to use the lens from a cd-rom or dvd-player as a macro lens for the iPhone, and wanted to test it. Here is the result so far (see the pictures I took with the macro lens towards the bottom, the first part contains a short how-to on how you can make your own smartphone macro lens).

Video

Closeup of dragonfly wing and fly

Can you see what this is?

How-to:

Gallery:

  1. Hi there, nice guide and nice pics too. Do you now leave the DIY macro lense on the iPhone? Do you have an example of what sort of photo it takes without deliberately taking a close up photo?

  2. It sure is. It seems that my shots are alot closer than yours, but I like yours better. It must be a difference of the lens or the phone perhaps, I’ve tested with the iphone and a nokia N95. Or perhaps it is because you have more space between the lens and the phone? What did you use to hold the lens, seems like some sort of pink rubber? I found out that you can make a fast and easy holder by using one of those hole cutters for paper, the lens fits perfectly in the hole.

  3. Well, this pink rubber on the first photo is actually a piece of wax ;) but as the title of the folder says- it was The Beginning. Now I'm using a piece of transparent plexiglass as a frame. It suits better, lays closer on the lens, so the vignetting is less visible and the sharpness of the image is much more satisfying… But I must admit that Yours photos, despite not being sharp- are really interesting! They are -I would say- more artistic then mine :).. I've tested this solution on Sony Ericsson K810i and C902… And you're right, the difference between photos comes from: different lenses, phone models, amount of light getting through and of course the immobility of a hand of the photographer :) Once again, I'm very glad that you like my photos on http://www.makroshots.com :) Feel free to comment those images who are worth it ;)

  4. I'm not sure why you didn't cut out a hole in the tape for the lens instead of shooting right through clear tape. Either way the pictures came out good but the tape makes it a little too abstract to recognize what you're actually shooting.

  5. Did it with tape just to get a quick test. I’ve later found out that one of those office hole cutters makes a PERFECT fitting hole. I made a new version with cardboard from a milk carton, and I didn’t even have to use glue, the lens stayed in place by itself.

  6. Nice tutorial thanks.
    Are DVD lenses bigger than those from CD ROM?. I used CDROM lenses and it did not work.

  7. Not bigger in diameter, but the focus range might be different. I have tried both dvd and cdrom, and both worked. But you have to put the lense really close to the object, almost touching it, and it takes lots of pratice to get things in focus. It might also be differences between phones, I’ve tested with iphone and nokia n95

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