Hacking a 35mm SLR Lens to Turbocharge Your Webcam

Craft & Design Photography & Video
Hacking a 35mm SLR Lens to Turbocharge Your Webcam

SpyCam Good side Mod (Large)

Rupert Hirst decided that he needed a nice web cam microscope for working on some tiny SMD soldering. Of course, buying a microscope is both expensive and frankly not much fun. Rupert decided he was going to modify a 35mm SLR lens to mount his webcam to. What you see above is the concept. The webcam would be mounted at the rear, perfectly matched to focus through the lens. Theoretically, this should be pretty cheap and work pretty well.

P1070881 (Large)

Initially he intended to make a custom mount for it. However, when it arrived it wasn’t the Canon he was expecting, but rather a fuji. Instead of re-engineering another mount, he removed the actual mount and simply bolted directly into the lens.

Mounting wasn’t quite as simple as it looks. He had to cut custom spacers to maintain all the perfect spacing necessary. Then, he wanted a screw-on mount for the webcam itself. He found the perfect materials in the lids to plastic bottles. Check out his blog for more details on how it all went together.

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One great tip he shares is that most webcams have an adjustable focus. If you need to adjust it, simply crack your webcam open and twist the lens.

While he designed this for working on SMD components, he did share an absolutely gorgeous shot of the moon he captured through the assembly.



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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. email me at caleb (at) make.co or You can find me on tiktok, talking about my animals at TikTok

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