Cheap Interchangeable Lenses For The Raspberry Pi Camera Module

I discovered on eBay that you could buy lenses designed to be attached to a mobile phone. They cost £6.99 and included a wide angle, fish eye and macro lens so I decided to take a gamble and order a set.

The lenses themselves are magnetic and attach to mobile phones with a metal ring around the camera. Some sticky metal rings are supplied to allow you to add a ring to your phone which the lenses can attach to.

So I stuck an 8mm washer to the front of my Raspberry Pi point-and-shoot camera and found the lenses were easy to attach. You have to align the centre of the lens with the centre of the Pi camera lens but that isn’t too hard. Here is what my camera looks like with the lenses attached :

When not in use the lenses can be covered with a lens cap and they have little metal plates which stick the the lens magnet on the other end. No they are not the best optical devices you are ever going to own but for £7 I think these are well worth the money.

Here’s an example fish eye lens. I’ve got no way of previewing or aligning the shot so it was just a case of pointing the camera, pressing the button and hoping for the best!

Pi Camera Fish Eye Lens Example

They give you a quick and cheap way to experiment with on-the-go photography without messing around with hundreds of pounds worth of fancy camera gear.

For example photos taken with this setup please visit again soon as I will be adding a post containing lots more images.

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13 Responses to Cheap Interchangeable Lenses For The Raspberry Pi Camera Module

  1. Hiya Matt.
    Can you provide a link to the eBay lot?

    Mike

    • Matt says:

      Be aware that the review against this product on the DX website is wrong. The set looks the same as mine and there are 3 lenses. The wide angle lenses screws onto the macro lens. So you can attach a wide angle, macro or fish eye lens as required.

  2. Marci says:

    We use the same set on our wireless night vision PTZ wifi camera in the back garden for wildlife watching… They do a 4 lens kit which has a 2x zoom lens added to the mix as well.

  3. Walli Datoo says:

    Thanks for your interesting posts…I’ve actually been mirroring some of the ideas that you have come up with. Would be good to see if you’ve got any ideas around two issues I’m having (wondering if you’ve seen them):
    1. When using the fish eye lens my camera is completely out of focus. I’ve tried everything…but can’t seem to figure it out. The wide angle and macro seem to work properly though.
    2. running raspistill in -tl and -v mode, I’ll get to random figure of pictures and then the raspberry pi hangs. I’m mounting a SMB share to store the pictures. Unfortunately the only way to fix is to reboot and no logs exist.

    One of the other things I’m trying to do (when I have some time) is to rig four/six pi’s to snap a picture a la ‘matrix’. Will keep you posted.

    • Matt says:

      The focus issue may be due to the distance of the lens from the camera module lens. The positioning of mine was purely random but you may need to try adding some spacers (washers etc) to tweak the distance between the two lenses.

  4. heath says:

    I’d be neat to see someone put this on a microscope.

  5. Tom says:

    Hi Matt:

    We are looking for a lens for the Raspberry PI that will zoom in on a small area from 50 feet. Is this possible with our Raspberry PI?

    Thanks,

  6. jean says:

    hi,
    did you tried the zoom x2 with rasp camera ?
    I would like to know what is the minimum distance to get a focused image…
    thank you :-)

  7. Paul T says:

    Having a fussy eye, but a limited budget, I’m tempted with shelling out a couple more quid on a single lens like this:
    http://shop.pimoroni.com/products/rpi-camera-wide-angle-lens

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