Saturday, February 2, 2013

Just Call Me MacGyver: A DIY Macro Lens For Your Phone

This project is crazy cool, I love it, and I hope you do too.
Ever wanted to shoot those super close-up macro photos?
Well, it's so easy with your phone camera and a cheapo laser pointer (my laser pointer cost $1).  

*** Note:  This is not my original idea.  I found this tutorial on  View it here for full instructions ***

You're basically going to remove the lens from the laser pointer and place it over the lens of your camera.
It's very MacGyver-esque.  But the results are so cool!

My MacGyver-ed phone.  Yes, it's held together with a bobby pin and painter's tape.

And here are a few photos that I took with it (first photo without the macro lens and second photo with it attached)  I did absolutely zero editing on these :

And a couple of mystery photos for you:

Anyone have any guesses on what these 2 are?

A couple of notes about this project and using the lens:
1.  Taking the laser pointer apart is the hardest part of this project.  I used plyers, wire cutters, and a needle, and basically just demolished the entire thing.  I went through 2 laser pointers before I got the lens out without damaging it.  Luckily the pointers were only $1 a piece.
2.  When taking pics with the lens, good light helps
3.  You also have to hold the camera/phone pretty still to keep it from blurring.  It can be tricky, but it's not impossible.  Try to find a way to prop the camera/phone on something to reduce movement.  I used my leg for a few of these pics.
4.  Get really, and I do mean really, close to the item you're photographing.  Like, almost touching close.
5.  This lens will allow you to take really extreme close-ups but there's not a lot of control.  You can't zoom in or out like you can with a normal camera lens.  And there's no backing away to get a little less close-up - you'll lose focus.

Hope you have fun with this!


  1. One, this is fabulous. Thank you for posting it (or reposting it, as it were).
    Two, are those a laptop speaker and a pair of jeans?

  2. I wonder if this would work with my digital camera and a magnifying glass?

    1. I wondered that too. Let me know if you try it.