Turn a video camera into a lensless miscroscope and record what you see! Fun and easy project. Original project by Tom ZimmermanTo download Lensless Microscope MP4 click here or subscribe in iTunes.

Check out the Lensless Microscope article MAKE 14 “Lensless Microscope” & You can see that in our digital edition.

16 thoughts on “Weekend Project: Lensless Microscope

  1. So if I understand this correctly, the LED shines from the top and whatever is on the glass of the imager gets shown; so in the case of the hair, it was lit from above and so it was just a shadow. The salt was translucent, so it wasn’t just a shadow.

    But the 20 dollar bill would just be opaque, right? So you couldn’t look at the microprinting at all? (And could we PLEASE not say that anti-conterfitting measures are “Security” measures? That term is so misused these days…)

    Other than that, pretty cool!

  2. That is correct. I tried a portion of the bill but it was just a big black square. I also did some tooth ‘plaque’ but that showed up as a bunch of black squares as well. Live plankton was used in the article but I could not find any. Sorry about the misused ‘security’ term. Counterfeiting is more accurate. Thanks

  3. If I recall, opaque projectors (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opaque_projector) basically shine a light onto an object, and project the reflected light. What if the LED shone on the item, at an angle as not to get in the way of the CCD? Shouldn’t it work? Perhaps you’d have to diffuse it (the LED) some way, but at least you could see things like dollar bills…

  4. Have you inserted a glass piece above the imager.. if not doesnt the imager get dirty when you are viewing stuff on it??

  5. @pravin – Yes the glass does get dirty and I did have to swab it a number of times to keep the image clean. If you used glass above it you would have to clean that but the process might be easier oif it was removable. It would have to be a teenie, tiny piece of glass. Thanks.

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