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Photos with phones

How to take a good closeup image with your phone

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  1. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    (*steve*) submitted a new resource:

    Photos with phones - How to take a good closeup image with your phone

    Read more about this resource...
  2. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    Lots of newer phones have additional options in the camera to enable 'Macro' mode. This lets you get up nice and close... Just need to be careful then when you do so the taller components don't hide things... so you either need to aim your camera at a different part of the board, or back up a little. The example picture was taken with a Samsung Galaxy S3 indoors on my desk, with a window 2-3 feet to the right with the blinds 3/4 closed and no indoor lighting.
    It is less than ideal as the light is low... but as long as you can hold the camera nice and steady, low light can sometimes be compensated for. (Just makes blur happen a little easier)
    Might I also add that I have my 1yr old on my lap when I took this picture... and he wanted to see what I was doing while I was taking the picture and would not stay still.. The first picture was a little blurry...

    Users can look into 'Gimp' which is a free image editor that has all sorts of controls to take care of color, contrast, keystone... you name it. Very powerfull

    If I can make a pic on my desk with a cellphone in less than ideal light with a wiggly toddler on my lap, no one has any excuses to make a less than ideal picture ;)
    I had only used Gimp to scale the image... no cropping was done due to how close I was, and no filters were applied.

    Attached Files:

  3. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Do you mind if I add that image and an edited version of your comments to the resource?
  4. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    I don't mind at all.
    Re-word what you want and use the image. That was the intention of sharing it ;)
  5. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Thanks. I've edited it to include your photo.
  6. FuZZ1L0G1C


    Mar 25, 2014
    collimator.jpg Other magnification options, at varying depth-of-field capabilities and resolution include:
    Plano-convex collimator lens removed from a mag-lite torch (flashlight), high magnification with very shallow depth of field, extreme close-up for IC, solder-joints, SMD components, etc.
    Make-up cosmetic magnification mirror, results in wider area covered, better lighting options than collimator lens, although outer edges get distorted.
    Magnification depends on mirror curvature, while diameter affects field of view and to a lesser extent, overall brightness.
    I think the rule-of-thumb in optics/photography is more magnification/narrower FOV=shallower depth of field while less magnification/wider FOV=better depth.
    Obviously a better phone camera lens and higher resolution sensor (Mp) allows a graphics editor to zoom/crop/enlarge with more clarity.
    A webcam usually has a fairly low resolution, but has the advantage of being able to focus to macro distance, by screwing out the lens.
    With webcam lens almost falling out, I managed to get clear images down to 1cm or so.
    ---> Main image shows part of a neighbor's burnt out amp!!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  7. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    The inverse relationship between magnification and DOF is exactly correct. This cancels out the effects of the focal length, subject distance, and the size of the sensor.

    One other variable is the aperture, and this explains why DOF is likely to improve when the lighting's is better.

    Reducing the aperture reduces resolution because if diffraction, so this means of increasing resolution also reduces sharpness. However, most phones have relatively large apertures (more accurately, relatively large relative apertures, because it is the aperture relative to the focal length that matters) so this is generally less of a problem.

    The function of sensor size also means that the small sensors used in phones have an advantage when larger DOF is required (try macro photography on a 5x4 camera some day!).
  8. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

    Jun 21, 2012
    It's still hard to beat a DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) camera for checking composition and lighting. I used to use a 35mm film SLR with LOTS of lenses for documentation photography. Produced wonderfully clear and sharp pictures if I did my part, but the delay required for film processing was excruciating, even with One-Hour Photo services readily available.

    Then along comes the DSLR and my film SLR Canon Rebel became instantly obsolete. About the same time, Kodak also quit making Kodachrome film, so quality of color photos deteriorated too. My investment in lenses for the Canon Rebel will fit the camera body of the new Canon Rebel DSLR, but I haven't "upgraded" yet. Instead, a few years ago, I purchased two digital "pocket sized" cameras, one for me and one for my wife.

    The resolution of the inexpensive digital cameras is more than acceptable. Both cameras feature both optical zoom as well as digital zoom, but the latter should be avoided because it "zooms" the image larger by selecting a smaller number of pixels to display and store. The images are saved on removable memory cards in jpeg format, or they can be downloaded to a PC with a USB connection. One of the cameras uses disposable AA alkaline cells, which is very convenient because the shelf life of the cells is excellent. The other uses rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which usually need to be re-charged before using the camera.

    However, both digital cameras have now taken a back seat to the cameras built into our iPhone 6+ and iPhone 7+ cell phones. The nice thing about these cell phone cameras is their auto-magical storing of copies of photos on our in-house LAN storage device, a Western Digital My Cloud with an obscene number of terrabytes of storage capacity. A few minutes after taking a picture, I can access the image on any PC in the house via our Wi-Fi router. And shortly after that on Dropbox, from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.

    Still, I would like to eventually upgrade my Canon Rebel to a DSLR camera body. That would allow me to attach the camera to a Celestron refractor telescope that I inherited from my brother, as well as perform microscope photography "real soon now" after I find and purchase a decent Bausch and Lomb 3D stereo zoom microscope like the one shown below:


    You can purchase a CCD camera that will slide into one of the ocular barrels to capture digital images, and some models have a tri-ocular tube that allows the CCD camera to remain in place while viewing through the stereo eye pieces. Sometimes these are available used for significantly less cost than a new Bausch and Lomb, even a new copy of the original Bausch and Lomb like the one shown here, which sells for $795 with stand.

    The add-on macro-lenses (and contrast filters) that @(*steve*) uses with his cell-phone are an inexpensive and practical addition. IIRC, Steve just pops them into a filter holder that is glued to the back of his cell phone. Clever! The cell phone camera, like a DSLR camera, allows you to preview and compose the image before taking the picture, which IMHO is the main advantage of digital imaging. Well, that, plus LOTS of free images stored on SD cards... nice not having to purchase film anymore or pay for film processing, but high-quality hard-copies are best made by third-party vendors like Walgreens or Wal-Mart, instead of at home on your ink-jet printer. The cost of photo-paper and ink adds up really fast when you DIY at home, although the instant gratification does have some appeal. I made the photos for my and my wife's concealed carry weapon (CCW) permits at home, and will probably do the same for our upcoming passport photos, although I will check out the fees at a nearby Walgreens first.
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