Macro Photography with a $20 3D Printed Microscope Lens – PetaPixel

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A photographer 3D printed a 4x telescopic macro adapter lens and despatched it to a photographer for a subject check who produced gorgeous outcomes with the custom-made glass.

Nicholas Sherlock, despatched his creation to YouTuber Michael Widell who took the 3D printed lens open air to trace down tiny bugs to observe the lens on.

The adapter, which Sherlock has put up on Thingiverse and was noticed by DIY Photography, is designed for the Sony E-mount and helps each APS-C and full-frame. He has additionally created variants for EF Mount, Nikon, and even Micro Four Thirds.

At the enterprise finish of the telescoping, conical adapter is a 4X achromatic microscope eyepiece, which he picked up for $20.

The slim conical design is supposed to permit the digital camera to get nearer to the topic with out the physique of the lens or the digital camera getting in the best way of any fauna round it or disturbing the tiny topic in macro.

The adapter was created utilizing 3D modeling software program, and configured to be used with Prusa Slicer, though nearly any 3D printer slicer software program will work.

Sherlock additionally made the design of the APS-C mannequin in order that the center portion of the adapter may very well be eliminated for focusing at a better distance. This is particularly helpful when the thing eyepiece has a big sufficient picture circle to accommodate the farther distance. Unfortunately, the full-frame design doesn’t have this characteristic.

Sherlock additionally recommends utilizing a extra strong printer filament like ABS or PETG. These filaments are designed to be extra rugged in use and are much less more likely to fail or warp in sizzling situations or with heavy masses. PLA may even work, however the filament is extra susceptible to wear down over time.

When assembled, the macro lens adapter has an especially shallow depth of subject of beneath 1mm. In order to get a correct picture that’s in focus, Widell needed to shoot a number of pictures, ever so barely shifting the digital camera lens to place one other portion of a tiny bug he was attempting to seize in focus.

This approach known as “focus stacking,” and for finest outcomes, the lens must relaxation on the thumb of the hand that’s holding the topic.

This offers an additional level of contact and makes shifting the lens a bit simpler with out shedding focus. But it additionally offers for what Widell calls “a fun challenge” to maintain the photograph stack aligned whereas shifting so exactly.

There are lots of of digital camera lens adapters on Thingiverse, and there are dozens of different portals for 3D fashions, like MyMiniFactory, Thangs, 3D Hubs, Cults, and CGTrader.

There are additionally hyperlink finder websites like Yeggi and STL Finder. Any of those websites will assist a photographer trying to create and print their very own photograph equipment find a mannequin to print and check out, earlier than investing in a “real” possibility.


Image credit: All images by Nicholas Sherlock.


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