Macro Photos Shot Using a Smartphone and a Laser Pointer Lens

Last month we wrote about how the small focusing lens inside a laser pointer can be repurposed as a cheap macro lens for your smartphone. After seeing this project online, photo enthusiast John Coleman decided to give it a shot. To keep the lens secure against your phone, you’ll need something to hold it (e.g. a hair pin) and some tape to attach the holder to the phone. The photo above shows the super simple attachment Coleman created.

Here are some of the sample shots he tells us he “took on a whim”. The simple lens provided some incredible magnification power:

The tip of a house key

Some salt and pepper

A blob of toothpaste

A dollar bill

A quarter

A tiny pile of salt

Some coffee grounds

The tip of a mechanical pencil

Not bad, considering they were taken with an ordinary phone and a $1 lens, eh?

You can find some more of these photos (and their higher-res versions) here. There’s also a picture-based step-by-step tutorial on how to do this project yourself, just in case you’d like to know how to properly deconstruct a laser pointer.

Image credits: Photographs by John Coleman and used with permission

  • Mateus Dal Bianco

    Also works with DVD burner lens.

  • alex

    and if you want to use a point & shoot instead of a phone (for better quality) you can do it with a front lens from a pair of binoculars (i had an old pair laying around). to double the magnification you can use both lenses on top of each other. here are some results:

  • leonard wilkins

    just as Tiffany implied I’m stunned that some one able to get paid $5098 in one month on the computer. have you seen this web link N u T t y R i C h d o t c o m

  • Daan Schoenmaker

    Tried it myself and it works like a charm. I only have a exposure problem. Because my phone blocks the light while it has to be so close to the objective.