Would it be viable to use my camera as a low power microscope?

by Ryan   Last Updated October 18, 2019 23:18 PM - source

I sometimes do pcb soldering and it is useful to have a microscope on hand with zoom of anywhere between 7x-12x to view the tiny components. I don't really want to spend several hundred dollars on a dedicated microscope though.

Would it be viable if I bought a set of cheap macro filters for my Canon t5i so I can set it up as a "microscope"? I think 5x zoom would be enough for me, and I can find a way to vertically mount my camera body. I have checked and my camera model can indeed stream video to an external computer monitor. My concern is the usable working distance and DOF.

I have no idea how my lens's focus range will change and how the DOF will change. If I need to get three inches away from my subject for a good image, it would be useless to me. I need at least 6-8 inches of clearance between my lens and subject. Is there some way I can calculate how my focus will change? Would I still be able to focus out to infinity (or "far away") if I wanted to raise my camera up an additional 12+ inches? How can I calculate that as well?

Camera body - Canon t5i

Available lenses:

  • 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 kit lens
  • 50mm f/1.8 STM


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