Testing the Apexel 200X LED Lens: A Microscope for Your Telephone

I acquired a request from Apexel to overview a cellphone accent that connects to microscopes, telescopes, or binoculars. I replied to tell them that I had none of these items of apparatus however I is perhaps interested by reviewing a macro or microscope attachment to cellphones.

The corporate agreed and fairly rapidly shipped the microscope attachment — I’m ready for the macro attachment. The value tag on these equipment is lower than $40 every.

Full disclosure: A free overview unit of the lens was offered for the aim of this overview. Though I didn’t pay for the overview pattern, the hyperlinks you see on this article usually are not affiliate hyperlinks.

Apexel 200x LED Microscope Lens

I don’t depend on my cellphone’s digicam as my main and even secondary images software. Sure, I take some photos with it to document one thing or after I don’t have a digicam with me. The microscope adaptor intrigued me because it opened the opportunity of utilizing my cellphone digicam for one thing I can’t do with my Canon R7.

I used to be notified when the 200X LED Microscope Lens was shipped and I adopted its travels over 8,300 miles from China. It arrived in a plastic bag with product packaging inside. The product packaging was barely crushed however didn’t trigger any hurt to the microscope lens or its charging cable. Listed below are the bundle contents.

As you may see, the person guide could be very small and arduous to learn. I scanned its English pages and created a PDF file for simpler studying. After checking that every one the items have been intact, I dealt with the microscope to take an image of it in my hand to provide a way of measurement. Right here is that image together with one which exhibits the attachment by itself.

The urge to attempt it on the cellphone was robust, and I began pushing it in opposition to issues close by. Oh, my corduroy pants. How about my shirt? Oh, oh, my bushy fingers can be good …

Corduroy pants
Shirt texture
Finger hairs

I rapidly realized that this attachment can be a problem to make use of. It moved on the cellphone as I attempted to the touch it to a topic, I needed to zoom in not less than a bit of to cowl the total body, and it favored flat topics. My shaky arms have been part of the issue, however the setup was too unstable for me. I needed to regroup and method it in another way.

Charging the Microscope Lens Mild

The 200X LED Microscope Lens has a tiny built-in LED gentle to light up the topic beneath it. It has a built-in battery that fees with a USB wire. The USB-C finish goes into the lens and the USB-A finish into the pc USB port or a plug-in charger port. That you must push it in till it snaps and the facility button activates. The sunshine is crimson whereas it’s charging and turns inexperienced when the battery is absolutely charged.

Battery charging
Battery charged

Missing the Mannequin With CPL

After they supplied to ship a pattern for me to overview, I requested for the mannequin that had a round polarizer in-built. Sadly, they despatched a overview pattern with out that characteristic. I used to be interested by doing a little cross-polarized lighting experiments.

I dug up previous plastic sheets of polarizers and began on the lookout for cellophane. When positioned between two such filters, cellophane layers create random colours that I needed to {photograph}. We don’t use a lot cellophane lately and I needed to open a really previous bundle of cigarettes going again to 1990 after I stop smoking.

Subsequent, I needed to discover a gentle supply and I lucked out with a big LED lantern. I positioned a paper serviette on the entrance glass to diffuse and cut back the sunshine and started experimenting. The thickness of the polarizing plastic made specializing in the cellophane between two sheets virtually inconceivable. However, I’ve some frames to share, primarily summary creations relatively than microscopic ones. Click on on thumbnails to see massive pictures.

Discover Some Flat Topics

After these experiments, I wanted to search out some flat topics like wooden veneer, a leaf, or a compact flash card. If you happen to watch different evaluations and their movies, together with these beneficial by Apexel you will notice that holding the topic in a single hand and making use of the cellphone with the microscope attachment on it’s the popular manner of photographing. In case your arms usually are not as shaky as mine, that’s!

I discovered putting the topic on a flat floor and putting the cellphone on it. Even then, the motion of the cellphone and the microscope was unavoidable. The utmost angle of protection appears to be an space of a few quarter inch sq.. After zooming in, it will get smaller. In case you have a number of lenses for wide-angle or telephoto pictures, zooming in or out an excessive amount of might change the lens leaving the microscope adaptor out of the image, no pun meant.

Activate the Mild

Earlier than you interact the lens with the topic, press and maintain the change on the Apexel microscope attachment to activate its tiny ring gentle, then carry the face of the microscope and contact the topic. Whether it is fluffy, like corduroy pants or a fading rose petal, any half that protrudes into the lens cavity might be out of focus. There may be virtually no depth of discipline on this microscope attachment.

A leaf, exhibits darkish edges as a result of not zoomed in
Shamrock leaf
Dried rose bud
Drying leaf
Drying leaf
Wooden veneer
Inkjet print
Small brush
Compact flash card
1 / 4

Solutions for Enchancment

A couple of adjustments might make this attachment simpler to make use of:

  • I’m not certain if that is attainable, but when the attachment have been a bit of thinner it could not want to the touch the topic
  • A skinny sheet of rubber on the flat aspect that touches the lenses on the cellphone will make it steadier on the cellphone
  • Ditto for a extra rubbery clip that rests on the cellphone floor and a bit of bigger floor of the clip touching the cellphone glass
  • A locking mechanism as soon as the right place is obtained on the cellphone. I attempted a rubber band however that didn’t work
  • A built-in polarizer on all fashions


  • Apexel 200X LED Microscope Lens is an fascinating accent if you wish to see issues up shut, very shut
  • Upon receiving your lens, plug it in to cost the battery to have its tiny ring gentle prepared
  • Place the microscope lens in entrance of your cellphone’s customary digicam lens and middle it though I attempted it with the telephoto lens and it really works to yield totally different sorts of pictures
  • If you happen to see darkish corners, it’s essential to zoom in on the cellphone display which can enhance the magnification
  • If you happen to zoom in or out an excessive amount of, your cellphone might shift to a different lens and you’ll lose the picture by way of the 200X microscope lens
  • Attempt to use flat or close-to-flat topics if you’d like sharp images
  • Contact the Apexel lens to the topic to focus
  • Mud off the topic, each piece of mud might look gigantic
  • Attempt the attachment with and with out the cellphone case to see which one offers you higher focusing
  • Steadier arms than mine will cut back a number of the issues I skilled

A Second Pair of Eyes and Fingers

After I completed working with the microscope attachment, I requested my good friend Dennis to provide it a attempt. He’s a extremely completed photographer and an excellent downside solver typically. His engineering background and extremely expert arms earned him the nickname, MacGyver!

What follows are his observations — in his personal phrases — and images he offered. And you’ll see his work on his Web page. I’ll put a hyperlink to one in all my favorite photos of Dennis, you may transfer round from there.

Preliminary Observations With Flat Topics

Having had the good thing about Cemal’s expertise with the microscope attachment, I knew to have care when utilizing the gadget on my cellphone because the lens is susceptible to misalignment. My first captures utilizing the Apexel 200x Smartphone Microscope have been flat topics at hand, fabric, pores and skin, and impossibly small print, and grew to incorporate element from cash and stamps and different objects in my workshop similar to sandpaper and carbide noticed tip. I additionally discovered that the cellphone grip I take advantage of gives an incredible benefit in holding the cellphone regular and in addition as a stand for photographing skinny topics on a flat floor.

Carbide noticed tip
Coarse sand paper
Coin element 1
Coin element 2
Curtain material with extra backlight
Stamp element 1
Stamp element 2

Three-Dimensional Topics

Three-dimensional topics pose challenges as a result of very shallow depth of discipline, making it tough to seize part of the topic that has an curiosity. Nevertheless, the out-of-focus components of the picture have a clean mushy look. Whereas close by parts are mushy, sufficient of the character of the topic is displayed. Had these assessments occurred at one other time of 12 months, there can be many pure topics to attempt with the microscope adapter.

Christmas cactus 1
Christmas cactus 2
Christmas cactus 3
Dried vegetation
Primrose petals
Primrose stamen 1
Primrose stamen 2
Primrose stamen 3
Rasp enamel 1
Rasp enamel 2

Magnification Exams

One element was readily obvious; the magnified picture was not near 200X magnification. For a greater appreciation of the achievable magnification, I captured pictures of a machinist’s scale and located the magnification is managed by the zoom setting of the smartphone digicam. I set the digicam at a digicam zoom setting of 1.0X there’s some nook vignetting of the picture on the display. Adjusting the magnification to 1.2X eliminates the vignette. The picture of the millimeter scale that was photographed was displayed on the display and the size was positioned on prime of it to point out a magnification of roughly 10X. No measurement of the next captures at 2.0x, 2.9X 5.1X, and 9.5X digicam zoom settings. The pictures right here present a visible comparability of the magnification.

Attachment with digicam grip
Scale 1x
Scale 1-3x
Scale 2x
Scale 2-9x
Scale 5-1x
Scale 9-5x


The Apexel 200x Smartphone Microscope is in no way a scientific instrument, nor would you count on it to be on the low marketed value. It’s a novelty lens, and if in case you have topics which can be flat this is usually a enjoyable attachment to make use of.

Nevertheless, if in case you have persistence and need a problem, this will also be a enjoyable attachment to make use of in capturing three-dimensional topics, maintaining in thoughts that for this quantity of magnification, the pictures exhibit a razor-thin depth of discipline, and at larger magnifications, positioning the topic correctly will take loads of persistence and apply.

Cemal’s suggestion of a skinny rubber backing on the lens part and a bigger, extra tactile foot on the clip part can be desired enhancements.

Concerning the writer: A. Cemal Ekin is a photographer primarily based in Warwick, Rhode Island who has been taking pictures for roughly 60 years. The opinions expressed on this article are solely these of the writer. Ekin retired as a professor of promoting emeritus from Windfall School in 2012 after 36 years of service there. Go to his web site here. This text was additionally revealed here.