Use Your Phone as a Portable Microscope
I’ve been working on using my phone as a sort of microscope to take close-up pictures. If you search the internet using “cell phone microscopes” you get all kinds of different ways to do that.
So far I have tried 2 different ways.
The first one was with my hand lens which has an internal light that I can turn on.
I just hold it over the camera lens on my phone and get as steady as I can. You have to hold the phone really steady because the greater the magnification, the more shaky things are for the camera!
Here’s the hand lens I used.
And here’s a few pictures I took with it.
So that was my first attempt and while not too bad, I think I may get one of these hand lenses* that actually attaches to the phone to help with the shakiness. And it’s a bit stronger.
Next I tried this method but with a slight modification. I used some old flexible sticky gum eraser and put the lens in that and stuck it on my phone lens. Here’s the laser pointer and the lens from it in the sticky stuff.
The nice part about this is the lens comes on and off quickly and easily so it’s very convenient.
Here’s some of the results with that set up. I wanted to show the unmagnified vs the magnified to give you an idea of just how much fun this can be.
A bit of backyard moss.
Next is an orb weaver spider on my back deck. Pesky creatures! They’re everywhere around the house this time of year!
A small ground cover plant.
A small fungal colony on a log in the wood pile.
And last but not least, a bit of Maidenhair Fern.
If you look closely at the unmagnified fern, you can see folded over brown sections on the edge of the leaves. This is where the spores are being made and will be released. Not quite in focus on the right but there’s obviously more than meets the eye!
Hope you enjoyed this quick foray into mobile phone microscopy. We’ve literally just scratched the surface here and I hope to have more posts with fun microscopic creatures you can see with your phone and some simple magnification.
Until next time,
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