Monocle fixes webcam farsightedness

[Vik Oliver] came up with a webcam focus fix that is so quick and simple we never would have thought of it. He received the webcam as a gift and mounted on an articulated lamp so that it could easily be positioned around his projects. The problem is the camera lacks a focus adjustment so the close-up shots were blurry.

In what we consider a eureka moment, he sourced a pair of dollar store reading glasses to fix the optics. The glasses came with their own mounting bracket. He clipped them in half and wrapped the wire ear support around the camera body. Great hacks don’t have to be complicated, and we need to do a better job of looking at the dollar store for project parts!


  1. NatureTM says:

    A brass framed monocle????

    Does that make the webcam steampunk???
    You should really fix the article so it says it’s steampunk.


  2. Duck says:

    That’s a sweet looking webcam.
    I sat there for a full 2 minutes going “Where’s the webcam, I want to see it”
    Then realised that that’s not a diving mask, that’s the webcam >.>

  3. Philip says:

    Duck, I thought exactly the same, just didnt want to admit it ;)

  4. Manfre says:

    Glad I wasn’t the only one who thought the picture was of a diving mask.

  5. Whatnot says:

    Eureka moment is good, in that this is almost as old as the formula for buoyancy, I’ve seen the reading glasses trick many times before now, although it is possible he thought of it independently of course, I think we all had things we cleverly figured out only to find we weren’t the first.
    But I’m sure for instance has tons of examples of the same idea.

  6. hawkeye18 says:

    This is f***ing brilliant. This is what Hackaday was meant to be. I mean this is just… this is McGyver stuff here. Absolutely brilliant!

  7. osgeld says:

    dollar stores are 100% without a doubt the bomb

  8. TFk says:

    That /isn’t/ a diving mask? Damn, maybe I need to buy some glasses too.

  9. mess_maker says:

    @Duck, I thought the same thing :)

  10. derp says:

    haha wicked. how blazingly simple

  11. HIrudinea says:

    Thats briliant, now the webcam can look as geeky as the user!

  12. Simbo says:

    @Duck, I’m another one! god damn diving mask!
    lol so glad I’m not alone on this! :)

  13. Robert says:

    Well, it worked for Hubble……

  14. Mark says:

    Add me to the list of diving mask fools. That has to say something about us at a Freudian level. ;)

  15. Greg says:

    Yep, I thought he got some sort of old school diving mask/helmet and mounted the camera inside. I couldn’t figure out how that would fix the focus. *face palm*

  16. Paul says:

    where is the stereoscopic webcam setup that uses a pair?


  17. gen says:

    I used a small crappy magnifier in conjunction with a camera to take very close macro pictures (in addition to macro mode). I just held the magnifier against the camera.
    Works well !

  18. dyrim says:

    sweet idea!

  19. Teebo says:

    The lens is from the 70s..the 1970s..

  20. Kyle says:

    Now _that_ is a hack! Nice!

  21. Joegeek says:

    I’ve been using my old broken Polaroid sunglasses (Non-Glass) for my webcam filters – helps remove the glare from those dorm windows – now if I can only find a filter to cut though the steam.

    – Porky

  22. Alex says:

    Did you really link to the wikipedia page for eureka?

    Anyway cool hack. agree good hacks don’t have to be complicated.

  23. loans says:

    This is -exactly- the same concept as the cell phone macro hack. You can buy screw-on magnifying filters for SLR lenses to shorten your close-focus distance.

  24. Futureboy says:

    Use a lens to focus light? The guy’s a genius!

  25. TRB says:

    >.< Also thought diving mask. Weirdness

  26. blue carbuncle says:

    Add me to the ‘diving mask’ list. Great hack! This is what had is about :)

  27. These are the kind of hacks we can all appreciate. Simple, to the point and made from dollar store parts.

  28. therian says:

    he just get lucky that focus point of lenses fit with this distance

  29. cpmike says:

    i could have sworn i was looking at a diving mask on display in a store. weiiird how so many other people thought the same…

  30. anonymous says:

    Why is there a diving mask on the… oh… :)

  31. anonymous says:

    I think we officially need a new tag “notadivingmask”

  32. cdh says:

    Next up: A webcam modded for underwater use featuring a diving mask… you will swear it looks just like a webcam wearing a bifurcated pair of cheap reading glasses!

  33. Stu says:

    I’ll take pictures and post this somewhere sometime, but I did something similar. I had an old gooseneck lamp, a cheap webcam and a LED-based “tap light”. I wanted a way to mount a webcam so I could point it at anything I wanted without having to hold it in place and, preferably, toss a little light on the situation. I removed the “lamp guts”, disassembled the webcam and the tap light, strung the USB cable through the neck of the lamp* and mounted the tap light and webcam where the lamp’s reflector used to be.

    The exposed lens assembly allows me to adjust focus easily, and the light keeps the scenes from the relatively poor-quality camera brightly lit.

    * this is trickier than you might think. The cable was just barely small enough to fit in the center of the gooseneck, and the plug at the end was no help… Think this step through carefully.

  34. chibiace says:

    i personally removed the lens that came with my webcam so i could put it onto my telescope.

  35. Mike D. says:

    MK 21 Dive Helmet….

  36. dougefresh says:

    Diving mask again.Doh!

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