How To Capture Your Own Fundus Photo

Hello everybody! For my first post on, I will demonstrate the procedure to examine the retina with a smartphone, or basically capture a nice retina selfie!

Materials required:


  • 20D lens, typically used when we do Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscopy (BIO)
  • Tropicamide since it is necessary to be dilated. You can also use Phenylephrine if you want to get a larger dilation. A little piece of advice: do not forget your sunglasses that day!
  • Smartphone (I used an iPhone 4) with a camera and LED light system.
  • Mirror (or ask for help from a fellow student). I chose the latter.
  • This also requires patience and a steady hand! It is not easy at the beginning. See the end result to the right.

The procedure, in detail: I recorded a video using my cell phone with the LED light engaged. Then I extracted the best photograph from this video. You can use a video editing software (I used Sony Vegas Pro) to choose focused photographs without glare, aberrations, black spots, etc. You will probably need to repeat this process a few times. Here is a video I took of the procedure. Note: The image will always be completely inverted and laterally reversed. Remember that we are working with plus lenses!

OS tip: For a quick and easy retina selfie, or if you don’t have video editing software, you can take a screenshot on your phone!

Finally, I would like to share a retinograph of my left eye, which was taken with a non-mydriatic retinal camera (TRC-NW8F – Topcon) at my optometry school (Complutense University of Madrid – Spain). Try to compare both images and find the similarities! Do you want to take your own retina selfie? Try it and share your photo with us! 

This information is also available in Spanish, by yours truly. Acknowledgements: Kassandra Martin (Optometry student at Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University), Arianna Antuñez (Optometry student at University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry), *Original idea inspired by Enrique Palacios (Southern College of Optometry).

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