Upcycling gave me an iPhone case I absolutely love

I've been using Moment's lens system since the company was a scrappy Kickstarter startup. For a fella keen on traveling with nothing more than the pack on his back, they were a great way to get shots out of my smartphone's camera (I first used them with an iPhone 5S) that sucked significantly less. I'm still using them, albeit under different circumstances.

Most of the time I now roll with a Sony RX100 III. It's a great little point-and-shoot that's scored me some amazing photos. As such, I don't rely on my iPhone as my primary travel camera, any longer. I use it to store images from my Sony and, in some cases, edit and upload them for publication. On a very rare occasion (I took the photos for this post with the phone. Honestly, they're kind of shitty,) my smartphone gets used as a backup to the RX100. That's when the lenses come out.

One day, I may buy a new smartphone that can replace my camera. Right now, I use an iPhone XR as my daily driver. It's good enough. It's also getting old, for a smartphone. I bought a case for it, with a Moment lens mount baked into it, several years ago. This month, after much abuse, the case finally became too beat up to trust my handset to it. I considered buying a new case that's compatible with my lenses. But spending a good chunk of cash on one, for an aging phone, didn't feel right. So, instead, I did what any aging fellow with a Dremel would do: I cannibalized my broke-ass case for parts and slapped said parts into a new, inexpensive replacement.

The new case in question is an Otterbox Commuter. I found it locally for half of its online asking price. That it was green, is a win. My wife owns an iPhone XR as well and keep is in a black case. No one deserves to deal with that sort of confusing bullshit.

After cutting the Moment lens mount out of the old case, I sanded down its rough edges. Good enough. Next, I turned my attention to the Otterbox. Its camera orifice was just a little too small to accommodate the lens mount. Again with the Dremel: I carefully removed a few millimeters of plastic from around the orifice—just enough to let me wedge the lens mount into it. Happily, I've been sober for close to two years. So, when the mount was set into place, it was perfectly aligned with where the iPhone's lens is. Never drink and Dremel.

The whole process took me less than an hour and twenty bucks. It might not be pretty, but it works great.