IMG_0087How do you capture the image of the eye on slit lamp exam either for the patient or your ophthalmology consult? It’s often easier to show someone a photo rather than trying to describe that atypical dendritic lesion, degree of corneal edema, or pattern of corneal abrasion.

You, however, don’t have the expensive camera attachment (nor a SLR camera for that matter).

Trick of the Trade

Take a photo with your mobile phone camera
  • Position the patient comfortably at the slit lamp.
  • Using the viewfinder lens, focus the image of the patient’s eye.
  • Step away from the slit lamp without moving the slit lamp or the patient.
  • Place the camera lens from your iPhone (or other mobile phone camera) up against the viewfinder where your eye was.
  • Take the photo.

There are several commercial iPhone adapters which help stabilize the iPhone (see second photo above), but I get reasonable high-quality images without them.

Thanks to Dr. Matt Silver (Kaiser San Diego) for the tip and Dr. David Duong for being the eye model.


Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Founder and CEO
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD


Professor of Emerg Med at UCSF-Zuckerberg SF General. ALiEM Founder @aliemteam #PostitPearls at Bio:
Michelle Lin, MD