Old DSLR Lens Becomes Useful Soldering Magnifier

Soldering tiny stuff is hard, if not impossible, without some optical assistance. [Ad_w00000] was having just this problem, so built himself a soldering magnifier to help.

The magnifier uses a variety of components [Ad_w00000] had lying around. For the optical side of things, an old Canon DSLR zoom lens was pressed into service as the main magnifying element. The lens was then fitted with an old laptop webcam, which was glued into an old lens extender to avoid modifying the main lens itself. The webcam is hooked up to an Asus Tinkerboard fitted with a touchscreen display to show the images. The whole lens assembly is then fitted onto an old TV stand to enable it to sit far enough above the work surface to focus properly.

The build is a great example of building something useful out of whatever you have on hand. Sometimes, that’s cheaper and quicker than spending money and waiting for something to ship. It also has the bonus that you’ll learn useful skills along the way.

We’ve seen other great soldering hacks recently, too, like this gimbal to help steady hand tremors. If you’ve got your own coming together, be sure to let us know!

10 thoughts on “Old DSLR Lens Becomes Useful Soldering Magnifier

      1. Our local Vinnes (equivalet in Australia) has had a perfectly standard nothing exciting but OK lens in their window for 10 years, because the price is ridiculous. I guess the people that run it and do the pricing probably value it as it was “in their day”, not what it’s worth now

      1. Exactly why I bought a K3 last year. Not a cheap camera, even as dated as it is, but having a pile of “dime a dozen” lenses that just work is pretty sweet.

        Now If I can ever get around to re-engineering a K1000 body. . .

  1. I hope that image shown is not representative of the usual image quality — that’s awful. Since (it looks like) the webcam used has its own lens, the results likely will be better with that SLR lens reversed, so close focus happens on the side of the lens it’s designed for.

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