So, I’ve had these nice, but inexpensive lenses for mounting onto my smartphones for quite a while. I used them back on my Nexus One. Since then they’ve expanded what they offer, and you can spend up to $99 for a huge set. They came with this little package of peal and stick metal rings, that you put around the camera lens on the back of your phone. I’d carry the lenses in my front pocket, they came with a plastic cap for the lens, and a little metal plate to snap onto the back. The lens has a magnet build into the back of the lens. They are great! Each phone I upgraded to worked just fine. I’d grab a new metal ring from the large package they came with, and add a new one to my new phone. This continued through several Androids, until we switched to our first iPhones when T-Moble added them. We got iPhone 5s, and they worked great, because the design was flat to the edge. I could hide the metal ring inside the Magpul case I used, and it was great.
Fast forward to my very nice iPhone 6+. It’s a beautifully designed phone, with gorgeous curved edges. I love it. But the moment I went to stick a new ring onto the camera I realized I’d have a problem. I’d be able to get it on there, but it would protrude off the edge. If I bent it down, it wouldn’t seal well with the little lens. So I set the idea aside, to wait for a new idea.
Now to a small problem a friend introduced on my new Fujifilm X-T1 and the solution presented itself. You see, on my new camera the “D-pad” or the 4-way toggle buttons on the back the buttons are quite small. I have large hands and fingers. A problem for me indeed. Noel Kleinman made the suggestion to get this sweet little product called Sugru. It comes in all sorts of colors. Since I wanted it for my black camera, I got a package of black. Basically, it’s putty and soft. You form it onto whatever you want to reinforce, and let it harden over night. It’s like impenetrable rubber in the morning. I just used some to repair my son’s iPhone charging cable. It’s ghetto, but repaired.
Let’s get on with it! Below I’ll highlight what each numbered photo is showing you. Hopefully my geeky DIY will teach you something, and or you may find your own uses for some of that Sugru!
#1 These are the lenses. I actually had the smaller set, of just the Fish Eye for a few years. It did the job. Then I picked up a 10x zoom, and that was awesome. But I lost both of those. And these came up on Groupon for a super cheap price last year, and I picked them up. These are a Fisheye, Wide Angle, and a Macro. The wide angle screws off it’s front lens and the macro is what remains. And you can see the small package of metal rings for future iPhones.
#2 This shows easily how the sticky metal ring protrudes beyond the camera lens, over the curved edge. That is the biggest issue I had to overcome. That’s where the Sugru came in. I used a toothpick and my fingers to wedge just enough Sugru into that void, so that when it hardens it will provide the sturdiness that the metal ring will need. By tomorrow morning, it’ll be rigid and perfect.
#3 A better look at the necessary area I needed to reinforce.
#4 Now this is a whole separate issue that I had to address. I use a Dodger Blue Magpul case for my iPhone6+. It’s great! Just the right grip. The perfect color. However, that newly installed metal ring and this case will not get along. That’s clear just from looking at it. So, I used a tool I’ve used for customizing handguns, to make them more grippy, called a stippler. Basically on polymer framed handguns you heat up this special pointy iron and use it to poke dimples into the side of your handgun, giving you increased rough grip. The first place many people do this is right where their trigger finger rests, when it’s off trigger. Having a nice rough spot grabs your finger, helping you keep your finger off the trigger until the time is right. Many others stipple other parts of their grips, making the whole thing more grabby.
Anyway, continuing on with #4. I needed to burrow inside the case, making room for the larger metal ring and the part that now protrudes above the phone. The beauty is that I have plenty of polymer to work with, and if I go overboard with the case, I’ll get another one and try again. Lessons learned.