18 May, 2011

A simple way to take macro pictures

One feature I miss on the iPhone 4 and my SLR is taking macro pictures. To me, macro pictures are more useful than huge amounts of zoom. I found an easy way to take macro pictures.

A long time ago, I bought the "Credit Card Companion" from Tool Logic. It's a multifunction tool, in the shape of a credit card (although much thicker). They still sell the same model today, which shows something about the design. Victorinox, the swiss army knife company, has released their own version called the Swisscard. Among its functions, the CCC has an 8x magnifying lens. This is quite high magnification, but the lens is much smaller than other magnifying glasses. To use it, you're supposed to hold it close to your eye and move the object to focus.

Due to the similar sizes of this lens and the iPhone 4's, I tried holding the CCC in front of the iPhone 4's camera and taking pictures. I found this worked even with the CCC pressed right against the iPhone 4, making it very easy to use, since you don't have to adjust the distance between the 2. The results are very good:

To compare the effect of the lens, I tried taking a picture with and without it, without moving the iPhone:
It only appears to affect focusing, not magnifying the image.

Things I'm wondering:
  • will this work with other lenses as well?
  • and other cameras?
  • how does the magnification of the lens affect things?

I tried it with a 3x magnifying lens, and the camera couldn't focus as close as with the 8x lens. Maybe a higher magnification allows closer focusing, without changing the actual magnification?

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