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