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How to Make a Microscope Camera Adapter

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 1/31/2011

Want to how to make a microscope camera adapter? Well, it's not actually as hard as it appears. You do, however, need the right equipment. Learn more in this article.

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    Why Use a Microscope Camera Lens Adapter?

    Microscope digital camera adapters allow you to take pictures of extremely small objects, including tissue samples or just that annoying fruit fly. These adapters attach to the front of your camera and help you zoom in really close to objects without having to worry about blurry images. While you can purchase these adapters online, they can cost over $100. You can learn how to make a microscope camera adapter, which will cost you about $40 to make.

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    Materials and Cost

    Supplies

    PVC Pipe

    Glue (preferably cyanoacrylate based)

    Saw

    Power Drill with Round Saw attachment

    Hot Wire

    Ruler

    Sandpaper

    Ethylene vinyl acetate foam (1/10 inches thick)

    Old Lens Cap (If you own any type of lens, you should have plenty of these.)

    The most expensive part of this project may be the power drill. If you don’t already have one, you can purchase a cheap one for about $25. You can also rent one for a few dollars a day from your local home improvement store if you really have not use for one. The PVC pipe usually cost about $5 since you really don’t need that much of it. Just measure the size of your camera’s opening, and then purchase that size pipe. If you have to, bring your camera with you and try out a few pipes until you find one matches the opening.

    The saw that you use depends on what you have handy. A circular saw works very well for cutting through thick material. But, if you only have access to a handsaw, use it; just be prepared for some muscle aches. You can purchase a handsaw for about $10. The ruler, glue and hot wire will cost you less than $10.

    So, if you already have all the tools, you’re looking at a $15 project. If not, you’re looking at between $40 and $50, which is still cheaper than most microscope adapters.

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    How To Make the Adapter

    Now, it’s time to move onto the project. Figure out how much magnification that you want, and cut your pipe to length. For standard Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/atoxinsocks/5047247159/sizes/m/in/photostream/ exposure, cut you pipe less than 10 centimeters long. Next, sand down the edges until they are smooth. Optional step: Paint the pipe black to match your camera.

    Cut your foam using the hot wire so that it’s the same size as the pipe, and roll the foam into the inside of the pipe. Basically, this creates a smaller opening, providing the magnification. The resulting hole should be about 1/5 inches in diameter. Apply the glue to the PVC pipe and hold the foam in place until it sticks. Then, let it dry.

    Next, use the drill and attachment to cut out the inner circle of the cap, but don’t damage the inside tabs. Finally, glue the cap with the tabs pointing outwards onto the back of the pipe. Let dry overnight.

    You now have a fully functional microscope camera lens adapter.