Microscope lens for SMD inspection

IMG_0118_r2Every proud DSLR owner knows that no universal lens is good enough. While there are tons of lens reviews out there for larger cameras, smaller cameras are mostly left outside. Today I will be reviewing microscope lens. Will be using my own camera C1.


Lens is manufactured in China and sold various places. Also available on kurokesu e-shop. It is has generic name “180x, 0.7-4.5X C-mount microscope lens“. Lens consists of two main pieces: lens itself and camera adapter, which is also used as mounting bracket. Main lens assembly has optical magnification factor in a range of 0.7x-4.5x, while extension tube comes in various fixed ratios. I have 0.5x which gives about ~2cm diagonal viewing area at 0.7x from a distance of 10cm.

While in most shops lens comes as assembled from two pieces, it is possible to find variations from three pieces:

  • Lens assembly (adjustable magnification 0.7x – 4.5x)
  • Eyepiece extender tube (0.3X, 0.35x, 0.5x, 0.75X, 1x, 1.5X, 2.0X)
  • External (optional) lenses (x0.5, x2)

Key features

  • Focal distance ~10cm
  • Modular design
  • Fairly cheap
  • Decent chromatic aberrations
  • For optimal results requires additional illumination
  • Requires 5mm extension ring to be used with CS-mount cameras
  • Limited usability on magnifications more than 3x. Problem is – too shallow depth of field and increased optical distortions.

LED ring light

Due to construction features, it is possible to rise ring light to reduce interference with tools like soldering iron or hot air gun. I used light fixture from binocular microscope.


LED ring configurations



General view


Lens split into two parts. C1 camera and 5mm ring adapter.


C1 camera mounted on the lens


Front lens element

Sample images


x0.7 magnification


x4.5 magnification


SMD parts at x0.7 magnification


Zooming through PCB components. 0201 inductor


Zooming a coin from 0.7x to 4.5x

Comments ( 2 )

  1. mark
    how responsive is the video when you move the workpiece? does it seem instant or is there a slight delay?
    • saulius
      Hi Mark, latency is really low in a range of 0.1-0.2. I'd consider this instant.

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