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My Macro Rig

 
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januszj



Joined: 08 Nov 2010
Posts: 28
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:54 am    Post subject: My Macro Rig Reply with quote



I have put together a simple macro rig to see if I could get along with the higher magnifications and it seems to work OK. My 50mm El-Nikkor allows about 4x magnification at full extension, so a subject about 4mm x 3mm fills the frame. The fine adjustment on the microscope focus block only has 2.5mm travel but I have a dial gauge I can use to measure the actual travel if I need more. While viewing the subject in live view, tapping various parts of the rig results in little vibration but tapping the bench does! The base is made from laminated PVC.

So far I have photographed man made objects but would like to start on very small plants and insects. Problem is I have no idea how to handle and mount an insect specimen. Smile
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elf



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 1369

PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like a good beginning. Where do you find PVC sheets? I've only seen it in pipe form. Is the PVC rigid enough to allow using this setup vertically?

Adding a set of extension tubes will get you more magnification inexpensively.

I think you just stick a pin in the bug and call it 'mounting' Smile

A Nässjö/Wiffle stage will help with positioning the subject.
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januszj



Joined: 08 Nov 2010
Posts: 28
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your comments elf. The PVC comes from work, some handy offcuts from a job I had just machined. PVC is quite rigid and strong but is fairly brittle. It is easy to work using woodwork tools. The sheet I used was 20mm and 12mm thick, laminated. If you make up a "T" section it will be strong enough for a vertical rig. Best place to get some material would be offcuts from your local Plastic Fabricators. The material usually comes in 2440mm x 1220mm sheets and is not cheap!

I have some extension tubes in the post so will give that a go. The microscope stage has about 10mm of movement but an X-Y stage would be nice. Now all I need to do is catch a bug Smile
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Posts: 5787
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:06 am    Post subject: Re: My Macro Rig Reply with quote

januszj wrote:

So far I have photographed man made objects but would like to start on very small plants and insects. Problem is I have no idea how to handle and mount an insect specimen. Smile


A (stainless steel or black-painted) pin (medium to small ones handled with tweezers) is traditional for medium to large insects. For tiny insects you either need tiny, specialist pins from an entomological supplier or you need to use glue. The favoured material is gum tragacanth, obtainable e.g. from suppliers of cake decoration materials. You dissolve it in water (strictly, this is mucilage tragacanth). Applied by a very fine brush, it is suitable for temporary or permanent mounting on e.g. white card. It sets quite quickly and readily dissolves off in water.

Harold
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januszj



Joined: 08 Nov 2010
Posts: 28
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My tendancy is to make things more complicated than they need to be so I am pleased to hear that mounting is a simple affair. I will probably start with flies and silverfish as we have an abundance around the house.
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AndrewC



Joined: 14 Feb 2008
Posts: 1436
Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:29 am    Post subject: Re: My Macro Rig Reply with quote

januszj wrote:
.. While viewing the subject in live view, tapping various parts of the rig results in little vibration but tapping the bench does! ..


Park it on some sorbothane hemispheres. The vibration becomes more of an issue with subjects like insects with "wobbly bits" !

Andrew
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19712
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

januszj, welcome aboard. Your rig looks excellent!

Regarding vibration, I notice a device sitting in your camera's hotshoe that I think means you plan to use flash illumination. With flash there is much less need to be concerned with vibration. I have recently been shooting with a ridiculously unstable setup involving camera on tripod, with the subject separated from the camera by roughly three feet of not very rigid supports. But I am also using a high power flash at close distance, where it gets to operate at levels that are typically 1/32 - 1/128. The resulting flashes are so short that even at 10X on sensor there is no visible blurring, despite the fact that in LiveView the image is bouncing around like crazy.

Of course this works best with rigid subjects. As Andrew points out, subjects with "wobbly bits" do not stack well if there is any vibration that makes parts move relative to each other.

--Rik
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elf



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 1369

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

januszj wrote:
Thanks for your comments elf. The PVC comes from work, some handy offcuts from a job I had just machined. PVC is quite rigid and strong but is fairly brittle. It is easy to work using woodwork tools. The sheet I used was 20mm and 12mm thick, laminated. If you make up a "T" section it will be strong enough for a vertical rig. Best place to get some material would be offcuts from your local Plastic Fabricators. The material usually comes in 2440mm x 1220mm sheets and is not cheap!

I have some extension tubes in the post so will give that a go. The microscope stage has about 10mm of movement but an X-Y stage would be nice. Now all I need to do is catch a bug Smile


I was thinking that your setup could be made into a convertible horizontal or vertical setup which would make holding some subjects a little easier. I wasn't sure if the PVC material could handle that.
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elf



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 1369

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjlittlefield wrote:

with the subject separated from the camera by roughly three feet of not very rigid supports.


OK, Spill the beans, what kind of lens do you have with 3 feet of working distance at 10X Think
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19712
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

elf wrote:
rjlittlefield wrote:
with the subject separated from the camera by roughly three feet of not very rigid supports.
OK, Spill the beans, what kind of lens do you have with 3 feet of working distance at 10X Think

Don't I wish! Especially at NA 0.25 -- talk about a chunk of glass! Shocked

Alas, the working distance is only the usual 10 mm.

Three feet is what you'd get with a tape measure if you started at the lens, went up to the camera, through the focusing rail to the tripod, down the legs, and back up through the stand and stage that the subject is sitting on. It's a pretty good measure of the effective lever arm over which vibrations get to work their nasty magic. The corresponding measure in most setups is maybe half that (still quite a bit!), but the support members are more rigid.

--Rik
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januszj



Joined: 08 Nov 2010
Posts: 28
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to use flash for a lot of my photography so that I can control or supress the ambient light and fill with the flash. On the bench I use two flashes, one each side, firing through a paper cone mounted on the lens for diffusion.

Since I put the rig together all the local flies and silver fish have gone into hiding. Laughing
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