Laser aiming and focus in photomacrography

A forum to ask questions, post setups, and generally discuss anything having to do with photomacrography and photomicroscopy.

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paganel
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:26 pm
Location: Ukraine, Kiev

Re: Laser aiming and focus in photomacrography

Post by paganel »

Very useful idea and device. Some days ago I broke my eyes with MP-E 65 5x magnification an outdoor photo session. Very difficult to point objects when the live-view screen is blurry. I developed several versions of 3D printed laser pointers for my Canon and Nikon cameras. I used 5mw D=6mm laser module without voltage stabilization + small switch and 2032 battery with case.
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The next version will be with voltage stabilized laser and with mount for eyepiece cap.
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iconoclastica
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:34 pm
Location: Wageningen, Gelderland

Re: Laser aiming and focus in photomacrography

Post by iconoclastica »

The battery is still operational, after forgetting to switch the pointer off and leaving it on for 24hrs twice. Yet I feel I could do with a good idea for a timer based auto off-switch.
--- felix filicis ---

paganel
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:26 pm
Location: Ukraine, Kiev

Re: Laser aiming and focus in photomacrography

Post by paganel »

Final version with voltage stabilized laser with good glass lenses and eyepiece cap holder for preventing lost

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Bugeyes
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:26 pm
Location: Huntingdon, TN

Re: Laser aiming and focus in photomacrography

Post by Bugeyes »

I built one of these using "redneck engineering." The source is a cheap ($25) green laser for BB-guns, air-guns, etc. The rest is pure redneck engineering. It is held in place via the hot shoe on the camera. The laser sight has an on/off button on its top. Took about 30 minutes to build and properly fit, after I received the laser sight. I'm proud of my work and its tradition. :D
Proudly built in the Southern USA.
Proudly built in the Southern USA.

Chris S.
Site Admin
Posts: 3618
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: Laser aiming and focus in photomacrography

Post by Chris S. »

Bugeyes, well done! :D

Any chance you could share a picture of your laser when mounted on camera?

And maybe share a parts list? (This may seem like a strange request--you likely see your "redneck engineering" as obvious. But where some of us recognize a 1/4"-20 machine screw, others will wonder, "What do I ask for at the store?")

What are you using to clasp your laser--is it a conduit clamp?

I've, like you, been playing with a hot-shoe mounted laser for other home-brewers, but your version seems more approachable than what I've come up with so far. I particularly like your use of a threaded screw for laser height adjustment: elegantly simple, but likely efficient and effective.

Cheers,

--Chris S.

rjlittlefield
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Re: Laser aiming and focus in photomacrography

Post by rjlittlefield »

In this same vein, I'll offer that substituting a small LED flashlight in place of a laser can be an attractive alternative in some situations.

The reason is that the LED flashlight puts out a lot more light than the laser does. I've found that when working with black beetles, the cross made by my red laser can by very hard to see, where the bright rectangle made by the LED flashlight is easily visible, even in full room light.
IMAG5531_Philolithus_densicollis.jpg
In horizontal setup, that substitution is challenging to do with an eyepiece mount, but with the light suspended from a bracket in the hot-shoe it seems straightforward.

Speaking of the hot-shoe, what exactly is that black square-headed bolt that fits neatly into it?

--Rik

Bugeyes
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:26 pm
Location: Huntingdon, TN

Re: Laser aiming and focus in photomacrography

Post by Bugeyes »

Reply for Chris S., et. al.
Thanks for the reply. The laser is a "Pinty Hunting Rifle Green Laser Sight Dot Scope Adjustable with Mounts" in "Sports & Outdoors › Sports & Fitness › Airsoft & Paintball › Airsoft › Sights & Optics › Gun Scopes" on Amazon. (It even has a remote switch to turn if on/off, but I didn't use that, as the on/off switch is within easy reach in my setup.) The plate is a 10.5cm x 2.5cm (4"x1") metal plate I had lying around. (This one was steel but aluminum will work, too.) I had drilled the holes in it long ago as part of some long forgotten "project" related to this hobby, and they were separated by an amount that was close to what I needed. The bolt is a plain hex-head 2" bolt, 1/4"x20. The nuts are, of course, standard 7/16" 1/4x20. You will need 4 of these and 4 lock washers. (One of the nuts happens to be brass in my build, but this is irrelevant.) The clamp is a 3/4" conduit clamp that came with it's own clamping screw (which is also 1/4"x20.) Moving this up and down on the scope is how you adjust for the end of the scope being against the viewfinder, then tighten when right. The hot-shoe adapter thingy is a combo 1/4x20 and 3/8x16 that came with some long forgotten mini-ballhead (I think) but any type that you can put a 1/4x20 nut and some kind of spacer on will work. On mine, the fit in the hot shoe was a little loose so I put a small amount of epoxy (JB-weld) on the edges to make it more snug. That's about it. Below are some more photos which might help someone building something similar. Thanks to all for letting me contribute.
Attachments
Laser sight
Laser sight
Hot-shoe adapter
Hot-shoe adapter
Mounted
Mounted
Mounted
Mounted

physicsmajor
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 12:56 pm

Re: Laser aiming and focus in photomacrography

Post by physicsmajor »

I modeled a 3d printable two-part adapter to take the commonly available laser modules and heatsinks found cheaply on Ebay like the original and early posts in this thread, and hold the module precisely in place at the camera eyepiece. I only shoot Nikon so it's a Nikon adapter. Other manufacturers would need to model a replacement for part 0. Here's the link for photos and info including STL files:

https://www.youmagine.com/designs/nikon ... -focussing

The reason it's two pieces is to make it easy to adjust and adaptable. This model allows alignment of the laser and eyepiece in 3 axes. Part 0 mounts to the camera and has two slots which part 1 connects to via 3 mm screws to control height; part 1 then has four aligned slots to mount the laser heatsink which allow a few mm of horizontal translation of the laser module. The heatsink itself has set screws which allow forward/back translation. If anyone wants to model a variant of part0 for Canon or any other DSLR system I'd be happy to share the FreeCAD parametric model to make your life easier.

I'll refer the reader to the above link for action and part shots. Hopefully someone finds this useful!

Chris S.
Site Admin
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Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: Laser aiming and focus in photomacrography

Post by Chris S. »

Physicsmajor, excellent addition! :D Thanks for documenting/sharing this.

--Chris S.

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