Coupling hack for large phone cameras and iPhone focus shaking

I always had a few problems while taking photos of observations under my Foldscope. One was that the magnetic coupler hole is way too small to fix onto any phone camera without blocking some part of the camera. Another was the black circle around an observation, and the field of view would become considerably smaller.

To add to the trouble, iPhone cameras keep getting bigger and bigger! Till now, I used an old iPhone 5 (with a considerably smaller camera) to take photos, but it didn’t give as much clarity as the newer iPhones.

To get a bigger field of view, I held the phone directly up to the Foldscope, but it was near impossible to take videos and time-lapses, and there was the violent focus shaking many Foldscopers have described with later iPhone models.

Now take a look at the difference this simple hack makes.

iPhone with large camera – note clarity and better focus, no shaking

iPhone 5 (small camera) – note larger field of view, more zoomed-in (no digital/optical zoom)

All you need is a metal washer whose inner diameter is more (it can be way more also, just not less) than that of the phone camera. The thinner the washer, the better.

Tape the washer around the phone camera, then couple it to the Foldscope normally. The washer will get attracted by the Foldscope’s magnets.

Since the washer is thinner than the coupler, it brings the phone camera closer to the Foldscope lens, increasing the field of view. It also stops the shaking!

This washer hack is super cost-effective and doesn’t even require you to modify your Foldscope in any way!

PS: What happened to the scale bar option in the Foldscope app?


3 Comments Add yours

  1. paolamr says:

    Amazing hack! Thank you for sharing!

  2. paolamr says:

    Also, on behalf of the Foldscope team, thank you for letting us know about the scale bar. We are making some tweaks to the scale bar feature and will be launching a new update with it soon!

  3. Rahul Ramteke says:

    Thank you CookerBird….

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