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Mineral PhotographyiPhone microscope adapter

29th Mar 2019 20:55 GMTLou Rector

Hello Everyone,

This iPhone adapter seems to have some interesting possibilities for micro photography.

I am interested in any opinions the mindat community might have on it.



29th Mar 2019 21:18 GMTJoel Herr

Hello. I purchased a similar device from my "seed catalog" - listed as Active Eye Universal Mobile Phone Microscope (60X), distributed by HydroFarm out of Petaluma, CA, for $9.95 to experiment with taking pictures of my banded agates - example picture shown. The catalog was promoting the use in identifying insects, plant diseases, etc.. I saw other possibilities. Although the field of view appears to be much less robust then the one that you provided the link to, the price difference is significant. I have only begun to use it, but so far I like it.


30th Mar 2019 00:36 GMTDon Windeler


For reference, what is the diameter / field of view for the bit of agate shown? (Ideally starting where the edge blur stops.)



30th Mar 2019 01:59 GMTFrank K. Mazdab Manager

The iPhone adapter looks cool. But at $200-$300 and specifically-sized for different iPhone models, I wonder what happens when one upgrades to a new phone model? If one's expensive adapter then suddenly becomes obsolete, maybe it'd be better to shop around for something more versatile and less expensive, as what Joel found.

30th Mar 2019 02:16 GMTJoel Herr

Don, good question.

The bottom aperture diameter is right at 1cm (around 0.4 in). I don't know for certain which agate that picture is from (as I was just experimenting at the time) so I can't completely answer your question at this time... I'll see about getting a better measurement tomorrow or the next.


1st Apr 2019 01:14 BSTJoel Herr

I found a tepee agate with a couple good reference points for providing field of view measurements. The first picture is with an iphone camera, 1X magnification. The second picture is iphone camera 10X. The two larger 'eyes' at the top are approx. 0.25 inches apart from their centerlines (about 0.635 cm - sorry, my vernier is in inches so please excuse errors in precision upon converting). The third picture is using the Active Eye with no additional magnification from the iphone of the left 'eye', and the fourth picture (posted separately) is using the Active Eye with 2X iphone magnification of that same left 'eye'. Lighting is critical in getting a clear picture. I hope this provides some additional useful info. Let me know if I can provide anything more.




1st Apr 2019 01:16 BSTJoel Herr

Fourth picture referenced above.....

1st Apr 2019 19:37 BSTDennis McCoy




I have an inexpensive clip on macro lense that I’ve used with several iPhones and iPads.

Brand is Phonescope, purchased on EBay.

3rd Apr 2019 01:19 BSTLou Rector

Thank you everyone for your comments on this topic.

If one believes the information and testimonials on the ilabcam website, their adapter offers improved alignment of the iphone optics with the microscope optical path. But the clip on adapters look pretty handy.

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