I wanted to contribute video in Make: Projects, but it turned out that none of the cameras I had in the house were of sufficient quality to do the job.

The camera I had hoped to use was a Kodak Zx1, which I picked up for $45. It shoots 720p HD, which is perfect for web demo videos.

The problem was that the minimum focal range of the camera was 100cm — a full meter! Certainly not close enough to show the simple circuits I was trying to display.

So – I was shopping for a better camera when my wife said “Why don’t you do this?” And here are the results.

Project Steps

Go to the dollar store and buy some reading glasses. I tried diopters of 1.25, 1.5, 1.75, and 2.0. The 2.0 worked best for my camera.

Pop a lens out of the glasses.

Tape it to the camera.

Enjoy making close-up video!

Not really a step, but this is the video quality before modification (camera is 18 inches from subject).

Here’s the video quality after modification.