Smartphone Macro Lens from broken DVD

Thursday 27 February 2014 at 6:54 pm

This is not my original idea, but one I stumbled upon on the internet.  Someone posted a hack (this one) so I thought I'd have a go myself.

I don't have any pictures of the DVD teardown, but it was a Dell laptop unit.  I just used a small screwdriver to remove all the screws.  When you get to the lens unit there were 2 lenses - the one you see with the drawer open, plus another buried amongst a series of prisms.  I'd imagine they're all broadly similar, but your results may vary.  Anyway it was the second hidden lens I used (although more on the other one later).

I found a plastic cup thingy (no idea what it was, you could try a strip of plastic or a screw cover), and drilled a hole to mount the lens.  It's not glued in, just an interference fit.  Might add a dot of superglue just to secure it.  Once I'd tested it by taping it in place, I needed a better solution for mounting to the phone.  Experiments with paperclips were fiddly and scratched the phone's case, so I went simple with elastic bands.  You can see the results in the pictures below.  The lens needs to be about 2-3mm from the object being photographed, and you'll need a steady hand to minutely adjust the height.

The other lens I taped to the front camera of my Surface, and initially thought it wasn't working, but the magnification is huge and the object needs to be really close.  Takes a steady hand and the focus is tricky to get right.  Possibly a bit fiddly for casual use!

lens mount lens in place on phone fifty pence 1 fifty pence 2 guitar nut hallmark knife blade pencil tip power connector ten pound note ship ten pound note velcro lens on Surface hair