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March 5, 2014

How to make Lumia macro magic with a telescope lens

From old DVD lenses to cheap reading glasses, water drops and door viewers, us mobile photography enthusiasts try pretty much anything to capture that perfect macro shot.

Something we at Nokia Conversations hadn’t come across before, however, was this fantastic tip from Gergő Harcz, whose pictures we’ve previously featured in 15 brilliant black and white photos taken on Nokia smartphones and The stories behind 6 amazing Lumia cityscape photos. A mobile photographer and a confessed Lumia lover from Hungary, he recently sent us some more great pics. Once we’d taken a look at those, we decided to get in touch and ask him a couple of questions.

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So, you’ve hacked your Nokia smartphone for some macro magnificence! Could you tell us how you achieved these shots?

I’d been looking for a lens with which I can be closer to the subject in the photo for some time… I tried a magnifying glass, flashlight’s glass, a DVD reader’s lens. None of these did what I wanted from them. Then I found my brother’s old telescope. These photos have been taken with two of his telescope’s viewfinder lenses, which are high quality glass lenses. Unfortunately, since then I have already broken them both, because they fell to the ground in action…

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Why were you prepared to go to such lengths to take macro shots?

Well, I live in Hungary in a small town on the outskirts of the country. There’s no beach, no mountains, no lakes… just woods and fields, and a lot of houses. To find something uniquely interesting, I started to listen to how insects and bugs live in the area. I watched their behavior, their movements, and how they are afraid of the proximity of the phone.

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How close up did you take these shots in the end?

With these lenses the near point was at about two centimetres, so the distance between the camera and the subjects (the bugs or insects) was 1-3 cm. You can imagine it was very difficult to approach them… a lot of patience was needed, but I think it was worth it when you look at the pictures.

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We must say we agree with Gergő, the pics are an excellent payoff for his time and effort. In his email to us, Gergő encouraged all Nokia Conversations readers to “look around your home if you can find an object that can use for your own macro photos.” We hope you take that as a challenge! If you do find something, please tell us all about it, and share the results, too. Perhaps we can do an entire post on “macro-hacking” your Nokia smartphone’s camera. I personally can’t wait for your feedback… in the meantime, enjoy your lens hunt!


Photos taken with Nokia 808 PureView, Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 925.