8th November
written by Todd Harrison

Here is a cheap way to take super close-up photos using nothing more than a 5mega pixel digital camera (set to close-up) with some cheap magnifying eye loupes.  The first photo below is a super close-up photo using two loupes. The next photo is the stacked loupes which gave me this very nice zoom feature. The loupes cost $1 dollar each at Harbor Fright. Continue reading to learn more and what sparked this simple yet successful idea.

Photo showing 2x stacked on a 3x loupe.  I don’t have a 10x but I bet that would have been even better and then you wouldn’t  have to fumble with 2 loupes.

To get these great close-ups you hold a loupe or two over the lens of a camera and let the auto focus do it’s magic. You can mix and match different strength loupes to get the magnification and focus you need.

I needed to take very detailed close-ups of some of the tiniest surface mount components on this motherboard so I could show where I found the damaged transistors and diodes that needed replacing. This noraml photo will not be useful at all for showing such tiny detail.

I used a penny to help with the visual scale. This normal photo is not using any loupes, just setting the camera on close-up and taking the best picture I could get in focus. Not bad, I could have lived with this but I really wanted to show all the detail including the printing on the components.

Here is a photo using two loupes. You can now read the printing on the “PU1” component and you can see where I removed two surface mounted transistors at “PQ43” and “PQ4”.

Another photo of the same area with two loupes but without the penny and my best effort to get as much in focus as possible.

Here is another repair area with no loupes. It was very hard to even get the silk screening in focus but you can just make out the “PD2” where I removed a diode.

Now with two loupes the magnification is so good you can clearly make out the “PD2” where I removed a diode. Notice you can even read the printing on the large IC to the upper right. That would not be possible without the loupes and to think I did this at the cost of $2.00 in equipment.

Here are the surface mount components I had to remove. Not much bigger than a large flake of pepper. This is the best close-up I can take without the loupes.

With just one loupe you can already see the components quite well.

With two loupes you would think I had $200 to $500 worth of camera zooming attachments. But no, just $2 dollars is all this took.

Not much interesting here. As I removed the transistors and tested them I sketched up the components on my workbench and thought a photo would be easier than rewriting this later. (no loupes)

Same workbench notes but this is for the diode. (no loupes)

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