After becoming enamored with the pair of cheap phone lens attachments I bought, I decided to try out the common “60x” microscope. Although it doesn’t use the same magnetic ring attachments and is supposed to go with iPhones (it uses a form-fitting case to attach), I saw a review where someone mentioned gluing the ring magnet from another lens onto it to make it work with other phones. So I ordered one to give that a try.
A bit of superglue and a spare ring magnet makes it quite usable on my HTC One XL. Here are the same pixels from my television, shot with the microscope and with the macro lens. The fine structure of individual pixels resolves a little better with the microscope.
Here is an ink and paper drawing (a closeup of this) illuminated with the LEDs that come with it.
The main downside with this lens is that the visible area makes up only a small portion of the sensor. The shots above are “zoomed”; the visible area is actually about 1/3 the width of an uncropped image. Still, the design of the barrel along with the built-in lights makes it easier to get a good, well-lit image than it is with the macro (which creates disruptive shadows over the subject in most lighting). So, $5.23 well-spent.