Many years ago, I jury-rigged a removable magnifier onto my iPhone 3’s camera so that I could use it as a digital loupe at the DC Pen Show that year. I thought it would be useful so that I could not only look at pens close-up, but I could also share what I was seeing with others at the same time, and I could capture those images, too.
The late Maryann Zucker, pen dealer and appreciator, saw my setup and urged me to develop it further and to offer it to other collectors. I took her advice, and the result was the iCroScope. My original prototype used a suction cup, but the version I’m offering now uses a magnet, and it works with most current mobile phones.
There are now many add-ons available for using cell phone cameras as mini-microscopes, but I have tried lots of them and in my opinion, the lens set I sell has the finest optics of any such kit I’ve examined. The lenses are all glass, not plastic, and the images on the screen, and in the captured photos, look terrific.
Here’s the system in use with an iPhone 6 Plus, along with a sample crop from an image. The picture is completely unretouched except for the cropping; click on it to see the full-resolution version.
Here are a few more samples. These were taken a few years ago with the relatively modest camera on the iPhone 4, so they will not have the quality or magnification possible with more modern devices, but they give an idea of what’s possible. Click on the images to view larger versions.
The iCroScope is $25. First Class shipping is $3 to US destinations, and $15 internationally. Please allow up to six weeks for delivery, as stock levels vary considerably.
Use the form below if you’d like to send me a question about this item.