Camera experiment (ultra-cheapskate style).

Discussion in 'Member's Gallery' started by S-H, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. S-H

    S-H Young Pine

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    Ever wondered if it was possible to get excellent quality high resolution and macro close-up pictures from an ordinary smartphone?

    Well, here's the answer! I just took one 4X power magnifying glass (used to inspect fabric), and placed it on the cellphone's camera. So now you guys judge for yourselves if it is worth getting a professional digital SLR camera, or can we get by doing about 90% of the same thing, ultra-cheapskate style... :smt044 :rofl:

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    Cellphone ( photo / image / picture from S-H's Garden )

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    Cellphone ( photo / image / picture from S-H's Garden )

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    Dragonfly close-up ( photo / image / picture from S-H's Garden )
     
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  3. Kiasmum

    Kiasmum In Flower

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    Neat! But with the tiny wee camera on my phone give me my dslr any day!
    :D
     
  4. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I don't own a smartphone but if I did I'd be trying your idea. Love the close-up you got of the dragonfly. You'd never guess it was taken with a cell 'phone.
     
  5. S-H

    S-H Young Pine

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    Actually, this can be applied to just about any camera, even a low quality webcam also - So you don't really require a smartphone, any phone with a camera (or even an old MP4 player/recorder) will also do the trick! :D

    My own phone camera was useless, totally unable to focus on anything closer than 18 inches. So couldn't exactly take pictures of insects and and flowers up close. Yet now I can easily do it! :p

    I wonder what else I'd be able to do if I put a jeweler's eyepiece on the smartphone camera (instead of an ordinary magnifying glass)... :?:
     



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  6. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    That worked great. How did you keep it on your phone?
    I can see how it would come in handy for close-ups for something that's not going to be moving alot. But how does it work for zooming in on far-away objects?
     
  7. S-H

    S-H Young Pine

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    I just held it in place with the other hand. And no, focusing on far away objects is pointless - As this works for extreme close-ups only. However you simple take the magnifying glass off, and the camera instantly reverts back to it's original state.
     
  8. Philip Nulty

    Philip Nulty Strong Ash

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    Great idea,..i find it handy to just have my smart phone with me when out for a walk,..less bulky than the camera,..but with no Macro it is at a disadvantage,..problem solved if i can find a magnifying glass,..great tip.
     
  9. S-H

    S-H Young Pine

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    Try a jeweler's eyepiece! They are small (yet give higher magnifigation) and thus very easy to carry in the pocket - In fact just the other day I saw one in a shop which was attached to a keychain! :D
     
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  10. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Way coooool, S-H. I find your ideas interesting and from your perspective of the world around you you show us some very unusual ideas and concepts.
     
  11. S-H

    S-H Young Pine

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    Well Carolyn, that is actually a 2 way street - As from all the people from different backgrounds here on the GardenStew - I too get to learn from a lot! I mean, this is what a healthy forum is all about, where we all get to both learn and teach together! :D
     
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  12. Kildale

    Kildale Nature's Window

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    I wouldn't change my cameras, but have used jeweler's eyepiece and a magnifying glass. I also tried binoculars before the long zooms came out. But my cameras have super macro and a 42 zoom.
     
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  13. Dinu

    Dinu Seedling

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    When a tiny camera came to me in 2006, I wanted to get close-ups which for the camera was impossible.. It was such a basic and crude camera. So to get the best out of it, I used my watch repairer's eyepiece, holding it in front of the lens... hence the vignette.

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    These are the lenses I used for 'extra power'! These are all my own at a time when mobile phones had not made their entry. I still don't have one, so far and I may be one of the few in this class!

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    Here is the watch-repairer's eyepiece I used. You can see a spectacle lens also - of my late father.

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    Those were for macro shots. I also wanted to get zoom from this tiny camera.... I was gifted a point and shoot Fuji FinePix A120. This was a little upscale of the 'toy camera' [Emprex]. I have a 7x power binoculars. So I devised something quite crude, but it gave me shots I loved at that time, 2007! I had borrowed my friend's tripod. I cut a piece of junk aluminum sheet - stiff - and fixed it to the tripod to hold my binoculars. I would keep the camera in the 'slot' I made in the sheet. That was my 'zoom lens'.

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    This shot I from my balcony, of a palace on top of the hill, 3-4 miles away, using this bino-zoom, Fuji A120.

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    I had done this zoom technique in the late 70s too in the film camera days. At that time, I had no binocular, but I had made my own telescope from junked and broken toy binoculars that were very crude and cheap. But I could focus and see tiny objects on the hill. Here is the shot taken with it.. I had to hold the camera very precisely, from pure judgment as I could have any guides. I was happy when I got the film developed. I indicated on the negative which part to enlarge and print. This time also the same palace on the hill was my subject. It came crudely, but it had thrilled me no end!

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  14. S-H

    S-H Young Pine

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    Very interesting Dinu! I too (many years ago) was tinkering with similar stuff. The first digital camera I bought was was actually not a camera at all, but an MP4 player which also had a small camera inside. It actually took pictures at 1024 x 768 size, but that was with some digital trickery - As the actual capability of the camera was just VGA, (640 x 480). Still, I bought it and used it very aggressively. I already knew that digital cameras were the future, but instead of buying something costly, I bought something disposable - As that way I wouldn't feel bad if it got destroyed in my experimentation.

    I actually did damage it too, which of course gave me more insight into repairing such devices, even burned the battery twice as well. And a few times I even throw it from high places while it was recording video, (just because I wanted to see what it would record). Actually I even made a few corrupt traffic policemen lose their jobs with it too! :smt044 So with that I got a kind of experience, which I wouldn't have gotten through any other way, (some of my early videos on my YouTube channel were also shot from this silly camera) - After which, when I became really good with digital photography and videos - I was ready to buy an actual digital camera. In fact I even tried underwater pictures and video recording with it this camera, (after I built a watertight enclosure for it of course)...

    Still, when I look back to it all now, I can't help but laugh - "To think that I did all that, and my I say (not in a shy way), I did it my way"... :rofl: Anyway, the contraptions I built for it are still with me (like the 5 volt USB charger from the car's 12 volt cigarette light plug, which didn't exist at the time) - And surprisingly, many can now be used with a new Android Smart Phone too! Take this wooden table top stand I had made to hold that MP4 player/camera. I had made this because I wanted to make videos of some of my cooking recipes. So it worked really great for it! However now I can use the smart phone in this contraption also! :smt005

    That old MP4 player/camera (which I used as well as aggressively abused) is still with me, and I'm sure that if I change the battery once again, then it will still work! But today I've got better things to do... Keep in mind that this was all before the arrival of smart phones - Heck even phones with a builtin camera were not very popular in those days...

    By the way, see this thread too:
    http://www.gardenstew.com/threads/algae-up-close.25939/

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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
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  15. Dinu

    Dinu Seedling

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    Very very interesting and quite creative. I think I must link you to my 'junk blog' wherein I've re-purposed many silly things. Methods are crude, but I love doing them. http://junkunjunk.blogspot.in/ I haven't added much in the last many months, but there are about 80 posts in the blog. Do see if you like.
    You have done more experiments than me! Very nice. Some have made a pinhole camera which can take photos. About 15-20 years ago, we did not get good things like now. Even then, how much we could do with limited things and tools available with us!
     

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