Smart Microscope

Most of the popular digital and DSLR cameras are perfectly equipped for macro photos. Taking a great photo by zooming to the scene not farther than 20-30 centimeters is a little effort and requires only clicking the shutter button and leaving all the technicalities to the camera's automated software. Even the cheap lenses can do that without a problem. While ago I collected some of those photos and wrote a little about macro photography and how to record all the close objects not very distant from our nose.

But, can we do closer than that? Can we take a photo of an object like top of the pencil, as close as couple of millimeters away from the lens, for example, like the one in this photo:

Unknown dot-sized insect invading our balcony flowerpot

Well, not with a consumer camera, not without specialized optics. However, "augmenting" our smartphones to do the magic is just a little effort. And yes, I took above photo with only my smartphone, additional plastic lens I taped on it's camera and... lots of patience.

To be completely honest, taking a photo of an insect, small in size, like hair louse that is erratically running and jumping in your small zooming window is not little effort per se, but it can make your day and everything else is just a piece of cake. All you have to do is to strip one of those laser pointers and rip out its lens. Perhaps the better results you can get with laser point equipped with the lens made with greater optical quality, but for starters, anyone can do. So, like in left image, or if you click on bottom reference link, when you take out the lens, all you have to do is to tape it to your camera lens on the back of your smartphone and the rest is your imagination. If you follow the image story, the goal can be even bigger - the end result can be one of those microscopes you can find in toy stores and with quality lens, capable to take a photo or even a video clip of a micro world with up to the cellular level. Complete instruction of building such device you can find within the Turn Your Smartphone Into a Digital Microscope! YouTube page.


Of course, taking micro photos means you have to get close to the scene and your smartphone will block most of the useful light so you have to think like ordinary microscope. You bring the light with you and position it just below or next to the "set". I recommend one of those LED flashlights that are very small in size that allows you to carry them along with your phone. I used one of those book reader LED lights with flexible handle with just one LED source on the top. That way you can fit both in your hand - the light and the phone. The other hand will be responsible just for zooming and the button. Picture is worth a thousand words so here is how it looks in action.

I didn't play too much time with this, but I am sure following summer will bring lots of more micro photos when all of those microbiological life emerge out but it is amazing what exactly you can stumble to your front-yard or balcony in just a couple of hours. The image bellow to the right, when I pointed the lens toward the rose's stem I thought I will get only some sort of reddish plant spores but instead my memory card was filled with tiny and not to adorable rose lice. In other words, if you make this, prepare to be surprised what exactly you might find in there.


Therefore, I advice practicing first with non-live objects in your own household, like in above example of pencil tops, and believe me, exercising is what you really need to do, simply because zooming out of focus is just one tiny move of you finger or even a significant breath or hesitation. Anyway, I will be adding more images into this gallery in the future and besides embedded images to this post, there are more at web gallery.

Smart Microscope:
http://www.milanzivic.com/2013/11/photo-album.html?mpja=Microscope


© Milan's Public Journal - Copyright disclaimer, donation fund and Google AdSense
Milan's Public Journal is a free source of information within all the themes and threads it covers. I am encouraging you to use all the posts and stories you like or find useful free of charge and however and wherever you like, either within personal or commercial use. If you want to support the blog, please click on some of those Google ads throughout the content, if they suit your surfing habits of course. If you like to make a donation instead, PayPal page below is the right place to do. If you do so, please do not hesitate to send me a short email, as I would love to stay in touch with you and send you small thankyou note within MPJ's donation page.

© Milan's Public Journal - Social Connections