From the DIY drawer: 30mm macro lens test photos

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It took a while to get some actual accessories for my Galaxy S II DIY 30mm camera accessory adapter case, but at last the macro lens arrived. I’m still missing the lens caps and circular polarizing lens, but at least it’s something. Since the original post I’ve redone the case to center the adapter ring on the camera lens (rather than the lens/LED piece) so everything was ready for some test shots when the lens arrived.

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All the 30mm lenses I found come as a two-piece set, where the macro lens can act as a macro lens on its own or as a wide angle lens when used with another larger piece. This is the same system that the lenses made for smartphones use, just much bigger. I guess there’s some sort of property of macro lenses that makes them perfect for working as part of a wide angle adapter. Anyway, I was only after the macro lens, and the wide angle lens is only useful for giggles, as it makes my phone look … peculiar. For the record, the second image above is the one that shows only the macro lens on, and the third has the wide angle lens.

I went for a quick walk to test out the macro lens, and got some decent shots despite it being a windy day, which makes it hard to focus on tiny swaying things. The comparison shots paint a decent picture of the difference between using the lens and not, and it basically comes down to being able to take full frame photos of small objects. Backing away to let the camera focus just isn’t the same, as you quickly lose pixels, and macro photography is all about detail.

Comparison pics

These are photos that I took both with and without the lens, to show the difference. First photo in each pair is without the lens, second is with.

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Other photos

Here are more photos taken with the lens. The images link to the full size version, but be sure to even right click > “save as,” or open in new tab,” as these are 8MP unedited images.

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Conclusion

I have a DSLR, so using my phone for things like this is basically just for fun. The case I made is unique as far as I know, as I haven’t seen anyone else match 30mm lenses/accessories with smartphones before. The blurriness in some of these images comes from the objects swaying in the wind, and I think that the insect photo and the final flower photo do the system the most justice. I’m happy with how those turned out, and in general I think the 30mm system has more going for it than those made-for-smartphone lenses.

I still have the circular polarizing lens to receive and test, which is something that doesn’t even exist in a smaller format, so I’m looking forward to testing it out. The total cost of making a 30mm adapter case is about $5 depending on the device, and you can add a CPL, lens cap, and macro lens to that and still end up under $35. Not too shabby, in my opinion.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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