Recently we added a little gadget that turns an iPhone into a 60x Digital Microscope.
Well, we wanted to make certain this item actually worked, so we got a friend with an iPhone 4 (this will not work with the newer, larger iPhone 5) and gave it a trial run.
First up, the microscope consists of 2 parts – the actual microscope and the frame that attached to your iPhone.
Now here is the interesting thing: The microscope part will actually work on its own. You do not need to attach it to the iPhone if you just want to take a quick glance at something. It works just fine on its own as a handheld microscope – a bit tricky to focus but its still works just fine.
The frame must go over the iPhone, which means that you will need to remove any other cases or very thick stickers/attachments from your iPhone. If you’ve made your phone look like it was attacked by a BeDazzler you might have issue with the frame.
Before attaching the frame, however, it is probably best to attach the microscope to the frame first. We tried it the other way ’round and it was a little awkward. In any case the microscope threads into the frame like so.
There is one issue with threading the microscope into the body: The natural tendency is to grab the outside frame that attaches the light to the microscope and turn the microscope that way. Unfortunately, the attachment is free floating so that you can adjust the position of the light. This means you will be spinning the light, but not threading the microscope into the frame. It is best to pull the light out so that some of the shaft of the microscope is exposed and thread the microscope in using that instead.
Once you attach your microscope & frame to the iPhone it should resemble the top image above. you are now ready to shoot. Click on your camera app and get started.
First thing you mat notice is that without any zooming you will see a lot of the microscope’s mechanism in the frame. This can be solved with a simple bit of zooming using your fingers until you have a better close-up. The camera in the iPhone is plenty powerful enough to handle this.
Now you need to focus – your iPhone camera will do a lot for this but you do have to make a few adjustments mechanically by sliding the light hold out. All this really does physically is move the target subject away from the microscope’s lens.
The microscope has two ways to light the subject, since the iPhone’s flash will be covered by the microscope frame. First is a pair of very bright white LEDs.
These are very bright, perhaps a bit too bright as we will soon see. In addition there is also a UV light on the microscope:
This is advertised as a counterfeit fighting measure, but may also be useful for geological, chemical, and biological purposes.
Once everything was ready we just needed something to focus on and take a picture. We elected to use our finger:
That is a human finger tip, magnified 60x.
Focus was a little tricky and we depended on the iPhone to do most of it. Some adjustment for positioning was needed however. The light was also very powerful and tended to wash out one side of the image. We did not try it without the flashlight so we are not certain how the iPhone’s camera would work adjusting for a low-light situation.
At present, we only carry the model that fits the iPhone 4 and most other older models of iPhone. If we have success with this model we may add other microscopes to the line to cover the iPhone 5. Android models may also be added but their rapid changes in both body size and camera position may limit the models covered.
Want to buy the iPhone 60x Microscope attachment?
Want to buy Digital Microscopes?