Category Archives: Camera

DIY Smartphone Macro Lens from a DVD Drive

Based loosely on Easy Macro’s Kickstarter concept, I turned my old iPhone into a low-power microscope. I was taking apart an old DVD burner yesterday for a computer-related project when I was rudely interrupted by the urge to try something I had read about before: making a macro lens attachment out of the objective lens from a DVD drive’s optical pickup assembly. If that last sentence made no sense, read on. If it did make sense… read on as well.

My First “Personal” 3D Printing Project: Replacement Camera Part

Although the title of this post is a bit disingenuous (I’ve encountered 3D printing at TCNJ and Navair before), I finally got the chance to participate in the personal 3D Printing “Revolution” for myself this past month. I have a friend who recently had the misfortune of losing the ‘mode’ dial on his camera, a somewhat important control to have if you take photography remotely seriously. With bleak options for repair/replacement (a costly insurance/shipping ordeal to Olympus for servicing) he … Continue reading

Motion Control Contraption Test #1

After a ton of procrastination this weekend, I finally got around to setting up stage 1 of my motion control contraption. Using a simple Arduino program to step forward and backwards in a loop, I got a few test shots with my Nikon bolted to the rig. The shutter was triggered via the Arduino to prevent the camera from taking a picture while the rig was in motion. The resulting stitched video is by no stretch of the imagination smooth, … Continue reading

Photographing Star Trails – How to shoot and stitch stars.

Two things to throw out there first: 1) I am an average amateur photographer at best (so don’t trust me… even though I’m an engineer). 2) It’s been far too long since my last post (due in no small part to school work). Here’s what I’ve been working on. For the months now (ever since the Perseids fiasco), I’ve been meaning to catch a proper meteor shower. The last time I tried, I was facing the wrong not-entirely-optimal direction and … Continue reading

Train Photography: “Excuse me, passing through.”

Device Model/Make: Nikon D5100 Focal Length: 18mm F number: 8 Shutter: Bulb (varies from 5s to 20s) ISO: 100 Lightpainting is a fun fusion of photography and painting, where a camera’s shutter is locked open and portions of the image are selectively exposed. It’s a neat art to be sure, but it’s a little more scientific when the object doing the painting is a couple hundred tons in weight. This past Independence Day I was coming home from Hoboken via … Continue reading

MoCo Rig Update – 6/27

Quick blurb about where I currently stand on my MoCo project. I’m about 75% done with the preliminary model. I just need to finalize stepper motor positions, gear shaft positions/clearances, and double check manufacturability. After that, I can start printing out templates and get to work on building the darned thing, starting with the innermost gimbal. I don’t have an estimated time-to-completion, but I may be bringing the parts and tools to my aunt’s house so I can work on … Continue reading