PROFI Smart SuperZoom

Introduction to the topic

Thank you for choosing the "PROFI Smart SuperZoom" construction kit from fischertechnik. 

With the Smart SuperZoom, kids can discover small things in a big way. Whether in nature, in the playroom or in everyday life: As a scientist of tomorrow, you can enlarge objects with the Smartphone magnifying glass, analyze them on the Smartphone screen and then take a photo or video to share the great shots. This can produce great images of insects or objects. Thanks to the high-quality lens, you can capture things at up to 26x magnification by enhancing the zoom function on your smartphone.

The lens included in this kit is an optical component. The term optics and the function of the lens is shown and explained to you in the didactic information with the help of experiments.

We hope you have lots of fun and success while experimenting with the "PROFI Smart SuperZoom".

Basics of optics

You’ve probably heard the word optics before. The optician in the retail world is the one who sells the glasses. And these glasses are also a part of the optics. The word originally comes from the ancient Greeks and means "the science of seeing". That's what makes optics so interesting. You can see it everywhere around you. And being able to see is something we owe to the world of optics. Without the lenses in your eyes, you would just be able to tell whether something was light or dark. But you wouldn't be able to tell what it is or even see sharply.

People have been thinking about seeing for quite a long time--especially anyone with bad, or blurred vision that has been bothering them. And so about 700 years ago someone first invented glasses and magnifying glasses, which could correct optical defects of the human eye with the help of glass lenses. And that is exactly what we do. We don’t have to invent the magnifying glass, it already exists. But we can rebuild it.

Hundreds of years ago, people already wondered how they could see the world differently through a drop of water or a glass of water. Have you ever noticed that a spoon in a glass of water looks as if it was broken just below the surface of the water? This is due to the refraction of light. The light is slightly deflected (refracted) at the surface of the water. This always happens with light when it hits a transparent material that has a different density. The same thing occurs when light moves from air to water; or in the case of a lens, from air to glass and back to air.


Learning Experiments

The following experiments will help you understand how the Smart SuperZoom works, and the fundamentals of optics.
Use the lens holder with the mounted lens from your Smart SuperZoom for the following experiments. If necessary, remove the lens holder from your model.
With an attentive eye, you will have lots of fun while experimenting!

Try 1: Everything is upside down?!

Do not hold the magnifying glass near an object. Instead, but look at your room through the glass. Slowly move the magnifying glass away from your eye until you can see a sharp picture. This happens when your arm is slightly bent. What do you see - or rather, how do you see it?

Is everything upside down with you? Then there's nothing wrong with the lens in your magnifying glass. The light rays are deflected by the lens. They change sides, so to speak, from top to bottom and from left to right (the graphic helps you to understand).

Try 2: The focal length - what is that actually?

Place the lens flat on the printed booklet or on the instructions of the Smart SuperZoom. Slowly remove the magnifying glass while looking at the letters through the lens. What do you notice?

The letters get bigger and bigger and remain in focus at first. Up to a certain distance, then they become blurred. This happens with every converging lens. This distance corresponds approximately to the focal length (f). This is the distance from the lens to the point where the light rays meet in one point. Thick lenses have a shorter focal length than thin lenses because they "refract" the light more strongly. When the sun shines, you can even measure the focal length of your lens. Hold the magnifying glass over a stone so that the point of light on it is as small as possible. The distance in centimeters between the stone and the lens is your focal length.But be careful: The rays of the sun magnified in this way can become very hot.

Experiment 3: Calculating the magnification with the Smart SuperZoom

Use a checkered paper and mark a distance of 5 mm with a pen. Place your Smart SuperZoom on the checkered paper over the marked distance. Now measure the length of the marked distance on the display of your Smartphone without and with the digital zoom. With the results you can now calculate the respective magnification.

The length of the distance on the display divided by the length of the distance as shown on the paper gives the magnification factor. 

Try 4: Smart SuperZoom - How it works

Set your Smart SuperZoom to the text shown in the Smart SuperZoom building instructions. Select the camera app on your Smartphone. Once the picture is in focus, you can already see the text enlarged on the screen. Now you can use the digital zoom on your Smartphone to further enlarge the text. Why can your Smartphone display the text much larger with the lens of your Smart SuperZoom?

The lens in your Smart SuperZoom reduces the focal length of your phone's camera. This means that the camera can be moved closer to the subject while keeping the image on the phone screen sharp. Using the digital zoom of your smartphone, you can also zoom in on the subject. The magnification depends on the camera and the display size of your smartphone. Depending on the model, up to 26x magnification is possible. To get a sharp image on your Smartphone display, it is important to keep a working distance of 25 mm between the Smart SuperZoom lens and the object to be viewed. On the Smart SuperZoom, this is ensured by the three legs.

Optimal complement

The accessory PLUS LED Set, part #533877 (sold separately) is the perfect addition to your Smart SuperZoom. With it you can illuminate the observed objects and depending on the object, very interesting images are created, e.g. of slightly uneven objects such as fabric, stones, wood, coins, etc.