Macro photography with an iPhone

The camera lens on the iPhone is much like any other cameraphone lens in the fact that the lens has a fixed minimum and maximum focus length. If you want to get a little closer to your subject, you just might want to give [eastrain's] macro camera mod a try.

According to [eastrain] both first and second generation iPhone cameras have a screw type focus ring that has been glued to infinity from the factory. This was probably set so that 99% of your photos were roughly in focus.

Gaining access to the camera lens requires the disassembly of your phone and will undoubtedly void any type of warranty you may have had. Once the lens is in view you will need to break the 2 glue points that hold the lens at its current position.

Using needle nose pliers you can then rotate the lens counter clockwise to increase the zoom or clockwise to decrease it. Enabling the built in camera app allows you to see in real time your changes. When you’re satisfied, just put everything back together. Of course the next step should be an externally mounted ring to allow manual zooming on the fly.

Laser insect photography rig

[Marc] sent in this awesome insect photography rig. The camera is manually pre-focused and set for a 30 second exposure at ISO100. The aluminum cylinder in front of the lens is an external shutter mounted with a custom turned lens adapter. It’s used because the built in shutter is too slow for insect capture. The camera/shutter is triggered by a pair of lasers with photo detectors. When both beams are broken, the insect should be in front of the lens. A Garmin GPS provides position information that’s tagged on the image by the Nikon D200. A large photo of the rig is here, while a more detailed writeup on building it is here.

Update: It looks like we covered a previous version of this rig, but the old links are down and we didn’t have a shot of the setup. Oh, and I forgot to mention [Marc] new control box for running this rig.