I was struggling a little with the inspection of the smallest parts when servicing my watches. Obviously, I did not have the correct material but I was not (yet) ready to invest in a microscope like the ones from Amscope for example. So I decided to combine my 3 hobbies : DIY, photography and horology. I have made an inspection fixture using my DSLR camera equipped with extension tubes and a reverserly-mounted lens. Then I added a DIY light ring and put everything on my tripod.
here is the result :
The light ring was made following the instruction from there I drew in 3D the coupling part between the lens and the light ring and a friend 3D-printed it for me. So totally it costed me 11€ for 2 pairs of LED rings (only used 1 pair), a stick of hot melt glue and a few hours.
Regarding the magnification I get, from my testing, the ratio is 1.85:1, i.e. the image size on the sensor is 1.85 time the object size. But since the sensor is 18Mpx, the image size onto my computer display @1920x1080 can be up to 100x with a little blur or up to 30x or even 50x with a very comfortable viewing.
conclusion/findings : - the light is still not enough powerfull and I need an additionnal spot light but at least I don't get annoying shadows - the focus distance is not much but still better than cheap x30 or x60 loupes, with less distorsion so it can allow viewing under weird angles. - bonus : I can connect my camera to my laptop by USB and get a live view but without moving the part too much because the depth of field is very little and the focusing is a little painfull.
if you are interested and want to know more, do not hesitate to ask
Take your time, hurry up The choice is yours, don't be late (Kurt Cobain)