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Otterbox iPhone lens case

We are always looking for accessories which will enable us to extend what we can do with the iPhone 4. Lens attachments for the phone’s 5-megapixel camera are such an accessory. Brando’s inexpensive macro lens converts the iPhone into a fairly capable microscope. The Pixeet fisheye lens enables anyone to take 180º images and make immersive panoramas. These two lenses are tiny enough to bring everywhere. However, as with any optical gear, we thought they deserved a proper case and not just tossed into a backpack or jacket pocket unprotected.

Whenever we think of protecting gear, Otterbox is the first name that pops to mind. They make cases that are tough, water-proof, and come in a wide variety of sizes and colors. The Otterbox 1000 is the smallest one in their collection and it is the perfect size for our project. We like the clear case because it makes it easy to see what is inside. Some Otterbox cases come with the protective foam, but this one does not. So it is a good thing that our interns, being the pack-rats that they are, had saved the excess pick-n-pluck foam from a previous project.

The first step is to lay things out to make sure they fit without touching each other. The next step is to draw an outline on the foam with a Sharpie and cut out the shape. The foam is easy to cut with either a razor blade or sharp pair of scissors. The last step to check is to make sure that the case will close without any problem. Everything went according to plan and in less than 10 minutes, we had ourselves a custom-fit case for our iPhone lenses.

While we can now bring these lenses with us without worring about them, switching between them is a little bit awkward because the lenses mount onto the phone in different ways. Our next improvement will be to modify one of the Otterbox or LifeProof cases to accept both lenses. It will be a little tricky but we’ll post the results if we can get a mod to work to our satisfaction.

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