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April 21, 2012

DIY: iPhone Macro

I was playing with a big toy magnifying glass with my daughters one day, and thought, "hmm, I wonder if I can use this with a camera". Sure enough, it worked, but the big plastic lens in the toy had quality issues. With a better lens, this could be a really interesting thing!

So I did a bit of googling and found the site <a href="http://www.opticsplanet.net/">Optics Planet</a>. They have many different magnifiers, from <a href="http://www.opticsplanet.net/konus-4x-quicklens-magnifiers-3239.html">very cheap models</a> to <a href="http://www.opticsplanet.net/zeiss-optics-3x-6x-aplanatic-achromatic-pocket-magnifier-d36.html">"Whoa! That's pricey!" items from Carl Zeiss</a>.

I settled on the next tier down from Zeiss, which is a range from Bausch and Lomb called <a href="http://images1.opticsplanet.com/365-240-ffffff/opplanet-bausch-lomb-triplet-magnifiers-3-1.jpg">Hastings Triplet Loupes</a>. They are a three element design, and had good quality reviews. I also liked how it had a metal body with a loop for a lanyard or other tether. I chose the 10x model, and placed my order.

It showed up this past Friday and exceeded my expectations for quality. I took this photo of a dime to check it out...

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenobot/7099004255/" title="IMG_5300 by thenobot, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5344/7099004255_222c635c5a_z.jpg" width="640" height="478" alt="IMG_5300"></a>


Here's how it looks to use it with the phone...

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenobot/7099008713/" title="IMG_1113 by thenobot, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5155/7099008713_fdc82a58bd_z.jpg" width="640" height="478" alt="IMG_1113"></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenobot/6952938216/" title="IMG_1112 by thenobot, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7072/6952938216_422e6999d6_z.jpg" width="640" height="619" alt="IMG_1112"></a>

So I went for a hike that evening and brought the magnifier with me. Got some neat pictures of plants and animals...

<div align="center"> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenobot/6952934524/" title="Thistle by thenobot, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5315/6952934524_2a18fba964_z.jpg" width="640" height="478" alt="Thistle"></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenobot/6952935388/" title="Lichen by thenobot, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5324/6952935388_9e3e948f91_z.jpg" width="478" height="640" alt="Lichen"></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenobot/6952935774/" title="Ladybug by thenobot, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7117/6952935774_bf077bd104_z.jpg" width="640" height="478" alt="Ladybug"></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenobot/7099006203/" title="Baby Grasshopper by thenobot, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7180/7099006203_5622acf646_z.jpg" width="640" height="478" alt="Baby Grasshopper"></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenobot/7099006503/" title="Finger by thenobot, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5238/7099006503_5d1d892820_z.jpg" width="640" height="478" alt="Finger"></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenobot/6952936838/" title="Clover Bud by thenobot, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5463/6952936838_2b463ec3d1_z.jpg" width="640" height="478" alt="Clover Bud"></a>


Go forth and capture the tiny world around us. It's easy!