3-in-1 Smartphone Photography Lenses

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Dudes. This is a little embarrassing. Literally less than 2 weeks ago Mark posted about these exact same lenses, for $3 with free shipping, only those ones were better because they have a clip-on attachment instead of having to glue little magnetic strips to the back of your smartphone. (You can of course get this exact product on aliexpress, magnets and all, for about $5.) And the boingboing store has the chutzpah to say they’re $69, with a special 56% discount to reduce them to only $30?


When I click on your link, it goes to store.boingboing.net where it shows a price after discount of $29.99. However, when I google StackSocial lens kit, the first result is a page on stacksocial.com where the price after discount is $24.99. I guess the $5 difference is a tax on stupid for those who just click and buy without doing a little comparison shopping first.


take pictures so good you’ll think they were from an actual camera.

What is this supposed to mean? Your phone is an actual camera, it has a cmos, lens, etc.

A Fujifilm disposable camera probably qualifies as an “actual camera” too, but paying more than a few bucks to replicate that experience seems excessive.


Could somebody please, pretty please, design a cellphone that’d take standard M12 lenses?
(edit: of course I mean M12x0.5)


It’s one of my metrics also, the capacity to use various lenses. I have often remarked to people about phones, GoPros, etc that they are sooo close - yet rendered inflexible consumer devices simply with the omission of a lens mounting thread.

With a go pro, wouldn’t durability be a major factor?

I haven’t used them, but I suspect that like any camera, it depends what one does with it. They and cameras alike seem to rely upon auto-focus, which is useless for many kinds of photography and videography. I am sure there are markets for cameras which are deliberately minimal, flat, and automatic. But I think manufacturers also deliberately under-represent more involved users for their own (the manufacturers) convenience.

The price bump from cameras without lens mounting to those with is huge, and mountings are only a threaded bit of chassis. The sensors and electronics in many of these are already adequate. If decent budget cameras were offered with lens mountings, I am sure that many people would buy them just for this feature.

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The question is, how difficult it is to make a third-party modkit? Because, screw the vendors, they won’t give us cheaply what we want, we have to take it by force.

…thought… a fine thread is impossible to 3d-print using currently available tech. What about using a mount-plate with the thread, and just print part of the chassis between the original chassis (or replacing its part) and the mount-plate?

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This seems to vary on a per-device basis. Of course, for open-source hardware, it would be much easier.

I wouldn’t bother using 3D printing for threads when regular thread taps cutters are so cheap and easy to use. I agree, just print the in-between chassis stuff.

The more difficult challenge with most of these devices is to patch them to switch off auto-focus. So I’d probably work on devices which already have alternate firmware.

We need more of it.
A good-enough compromise is sufficient amount of leaked documentation. Leaked firmware sources would be even better but these are bloody rare.

Sometimes they aren’t available. E.g. for the extra-large diameter thread for mounting of large camera lenses. (The M12x0.5 is tiny in comparison.)

Or fool them to think the autofocus works. The cameras will happily not-focus and make a photo, especially in poor light. More tests needed here…

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I’ve got a Samsung S4 Mini, and a cheap set of lenses that were a trade show tchotchke. They’re magnetic, and come with a ferrous metal ring and ring of double-sided tape in case your phone’s non-metallic. Unfortunately, though, the S4 Mini’s camera opening has a bumped-out section, so the ring can’t fit flat, and the tape isn’t sticky enough to stick to the slick surface, so the ring has long-since fallen off and never did fit straight anyway.

But the $3 clip-on version from Amazon the other day? I’ll have to try that.

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Sandpaper or dremel away the bump, epoxy in a washer?

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I will say, the Sony QX100 does a pretty good job converting a cell phone into a ‘real’ camera. I mean, it’s basically a camera itself, but the small size because it doesn’t need to have a body is a pretty massive difference. It’s the sweet spot for me between lugging around my dslr and having to live with the lower quality of my iPhone.


“Take a picture so well
Not, “so good”.
One is an adjective, the other an adverb. In spite of the excellent writing in long form articles, it seems that sponsored content doesn’t cover the cost of this in adverts.

Not sure if you’re joking, but “good” in that sentence is an adjective modifying the noun “picture” not the verb “take.”

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Drat, drat, and double drat! You foiled my swipe at the hyperbolic cough nature of the ad-ticle.
“So doubleplusgood one em-boughtinated the company”

So, at last count that is six people who know the difference between the two. Banana sticker due.


Sometimes correlation is causation. This is one of those times.

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It’s a choose-your-eigenstate adventure!


Some years back, I installed a Katzeye focusing screen into one of my DSLR’s. The first attempt failed to produce infocus images with my manual 50mm 1.4 lens. Then I noticed that a shim had fallen onto the floor. I reinstalled the focusing screen, this time with the shim, and all was well.

The shim was on the order of ten microns thick.

Are you sure that your proposed solution is precise enough?

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