Home-made microscope

I made a microscope from a cheap Canon kit lens (used backwards) and a disembodied webcam.

stacked images, focus bracketing.




as you can see, I got dust on the sensor. I hope to build a better setup with better optics and no dust. Funding is the biggest problem.

Anyway, I think it’s interesting and coo

sandpaper at different magnifications


Those triangles are really something – perfect equilateral!

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be cool to see your full build!
were you following a particular tutorial online?
I´ve not tried this, curious to attempt


I figured it out from various information I found on a similar concept.

if I can get better glass I will rebuild it. I will try to get pictures.

this is a stamen from a blue flax flower. The seed came from a health food store, so I don’t what kind.

here’s the device.

I am in the process of figuring out some kind of focus bracketing mechanism. In the flax picture you can see the results of my attempt at hand focus bracketing. It was pretty difficult because the lens is cheap and the distance between is thinner than paper.

I’m not sure what the triangles are. They are probably some kind of oxide grit.


Sorry about the blurry images.

Nice, I like the blu-tac! :smile:

I found this video just for inverting lens on camera to create microscope
but couldn´t see one for attaching to a webcam …was it just trial and error to get the distance right?

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The distance depends on the lens.
The way I did it is not super accurate and may be contributing to the halos around the bright spots.
I got a single point light and shined it through (from the end where the manufacturer intended the camera to be.) and mesured to where it was smallest. It is different at the various settings, so I took the average of the extremes. Someone who doesn’t have discalcula could find the specs on the lens and figure out the ideal distance or better yet, the ideal range.

The silicone holding the two 3d printed parts together is more resistant to shock than other things (glue etc) and reduces the risk of breaking it. I plan on redesigning it to be one piece, with a way to open things up to clean or fix it.


I tried the reversing the lens on my Nikon D3100.
It was extremely difficult to get enough light. Maybe a different camera would work better. This one struggles anyway.

another important factor:
The size of the sensor makes a big difference in the magnification.
Smaller is better, except then you’ll need more light, except the tiny sensor in the webcam picks up the light just fine while the much bigger sensor in my nearly petrified D3100 is almost blind… go figure.

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