Foldscope test drive in Arusha, Tanzania


Hi everybody!

I’m Ad, from Twende Innovation Centre in Arusha, Tanzania. We just got a few Foldscopes, and we’ve been trying them out. I’m posting our first pictures here, but as you can see, we haven’t gotten the hang of using a phone to take pictures. Anyone have tips on Foldscope photography? We tried sticking my phone in a vice, but I still feel like I need an extra hand to focus it…

Our first specimen: A dead butterfly found near the workshop!

From left to right: butterfly as found, end of its back leg, edge of its wing.

Pretty cool to see the claw on the end of the leg and the scales on the wing. I’ll have to do some research to figure out the purpose of the feathery formations on the wing’s edge.

I tried to catch some fleas from a street dog by my house, but they were too fast. So instead, here’s a scab with some hairs that fell of of her:

dogHair dogScab

That’s all for now, but we’ll hopefully have more soon. We’re psyched to become part of the Foldscope community.




One Comment Add yours

  1. mherring says:

    Hey Ad! Welcome to Microcosmos! Here are a few tips on Foldscope photography.
    1. The magnetic coupler needs to be very close to the camera and very centered. Usually I need a mixture of double sided tape, single sided tape, and several attempts 😛
    2. If your phone camera is raised, make sure that the magnetic coupler isn’t bending, forcing the Foldscope lens further from the camera.
    3. It is difficult to focus, balance the phone and take a picture all at once. One solution is to set the phone on a small box, then use sheets of cardboard or paper under the Foldscope, adjusting the height until you get it in focus. That leaves your hands free to adjust your phone, zoom in or out, and take photos. This is sometimes hard if your phone is small, so you could also use a rubber band to hold your phone to the box.
    Hope this helps! Please ask if you have any other questions 🙂

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