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A compact macro setup.

 
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Kieran Jones



Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Posts: 76
Location: Southeastern Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:24 pm    Post subject: A compact macro setup. Reply with quote

Here are some pictures of my macro setup.

The light tent frame is made from bent coat-hanger wires glued together.
The tent material is office copier paper fastened to the frame with mini binder clips.

The tent is held in place on the vertical lab jack with small magnets.

Flash diffusion is accomplished by flashing through a sheet of paper covering the top of the frame.

The LED flashlight on the mini-tripod is used to illuminate the subject during framing.

Specimens are mounted on a pin screwed into an angle bracket on top of a low cost
x-y translation stage with an integrated rotation platform.

The base is an aluminum breadboard from Thor Labs.

The optics consist of a Mitutoyo 10x / NA 0.28 objective mounted on a
Nikon 180mm f/2.8 lens attached to a Nikon D7100 APS-C DSLR. The camera
is mounted on a Stackshot rail.














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mawyatt



Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 1905
Location: Clearwater

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice setup. A couple questions, please describe your positioning fixture, how does the 180 f2.8 work with the Mit objective, and do you get good illumination uniformity from your clever light tent?

I used a 70-200 f2.8 with the Mit and then tried the reversed Raynox described by others (Rik) here. I found the Raynox tube slightly better than the 70-200 f2.8.

Thanks,

Mike
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Kieran Jones



Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Posts: 76
Location: Southeastern Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mike:

Thanks for your interest.

1) The positioning fixture was made as follows:

- a small, right-angle bracket sits on the rotary stage, held in place by a magnetic strip.

- an 8-32 machine screw passes horizontally through a hole in the vertical leg of the bracket
and is fixed in place by a nut.

- two 8-32 machine screw nuts spray-painted black are glued together to form a double-nut. A small hat pin with
a decorative plastic ball head is glued into one end of the double-nut. The ball fits about half way into the nut.

- the other end of the double-nut/pin assembly is screwed onto the end of the horizontal screw
in the right-angle bracket. It's not screwed all the way on in order to allow for some rotational
motion when positioning the specimen.

- the specimens are crazy-glued to the end of the hat pin. (I like glue a lot).

- rectangles of white card stock are placed on the vertical and horizontal legs of the
right-angle bracket to provide additional bounce-illumination of the specimen.

- this fixture sits on the rotary stage of the x-y translation stage on top of the vertical lab jack.
The stage is attached to the jack platform with small magnets. The jack is screwed into the base plate.
The stage and jack are inexpensive items purchased from lab supply companies.


2) I haven't experienced any problems using the Nikon 180mm prime lens as a tube lens with the 10x Mitutoyo objective.

The latter requires a 200mm tube lens, so the 180mm is a bit short, giving a 9x magnification at the sensor.
However, I haven't seen any vignetting, either with an APS-C or with a full-frame sensor. I don't know if using a
camera zoom or a prime as a tube lens makes any quality difference. Maybe not given the high quality of current zoom lenses.


3) The light tent seems to give good illumination uniformity when flashing through paper covering the top of the tent.
Here are some forum links to photos I've taken using the tent:

link 1
link 2
link 3
link 4
link 5

Thanks again for your interest.

Regards,

Kieran
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rjlittlefield
Site Admin


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

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the system description. I've added your setup to the long list HERE, in our FAQ about how to do such things.

--Rik
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Kieran Jones



Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Posts: 76
Location: Southeastern Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, thanks Rik.

Kieran
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mawyatt



Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 1905
Location: Clearwater

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice work. Thanks for the descriptions.

Mike
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jnowat



Joined: 27 Aug 2014
Posts: 41
Location: Eureka, CA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kieran, thank you so much for sharing on request- I must say that your pictures are extraordinary! I'm hoping to put something together that is similar to your light "tent". I have a rotary stage, however, which must be moved back, forth, and adjust around the axis, so I'm going to need some ingenuity and a little elbow grease, but your tent gives me a great thought to consider when going about it.
I seriously can't get over how wonderful your images are, though!
I'm very excited to be getting a 5x Mitutoyo, and this just whets my mind for a 10x down the road. Is the StackShot fairly stable on top of that post? I use a 14" to hold a focus block for my specimen stage, but it doesn't get much movement during stacks, only in between them.
_________________
Canon 6D
Thorlabs ITL200 tube
Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 2X & 5X
Stackshot 3X
One hell of a project
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Kieran Jones



Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Posts: 76
Location: Southeastern Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike: You're welcome and thanks.

jnowat: Thank you for your comments. I should mention that there are a lot of superior macro images
posted by other members in the Gallery forums which have set the bar to a very high level.
These make me realize that there is still much room for improvement in my own images.

A disadvantage with my light tent setup is that because it encloses the entire translation stage
I have to remove it to adjust the x-y position controls, then put it back to make the exposures.
Using magnets to keep it in place makes this a bit easier though.

I've found that some subjects are actually too large for a 10x objective in that I can't include
as much of them in the frame as I'd like to. In rather the converse of your situation, I've thought that
getting a 5x objective would be useful in these situations.

I might try using a 105mm prime lens I already have as a tube lens with the 10x objective to get
an effective 5x magnification. I suspect quality would be inferior to using an actual 5x objective though.

The Stackshot seems to be stable on top of the post. I'm using the post to get the camera/lens raised
up to match the height of the vertical jack.

In hindsight I should have done it the other way around - mounted the Stackshot directly to the
base plate instead, and then used a shorter vertical translation device to match it.


Regards,

Kieran
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ChrisR
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 8285
Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I might try using a 105mm prime lens I already have as a tube lens with the 10x objective to get
an effective 5x magnification. I suspect quality would be inferior to using an actual 5x objective though.

The 10x objective has a much higher NA, so the resolution should be better than using a 5x, as long as you get enough coverage. Do try it!
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Kieran Jones



Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Posts: 76
Location: Southeastern Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Chris:

Thanks for the feedback about the 5x. I'll check into doing this - I think I need to get another adapter ring first.

Regards,

Kieran
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Chris S.
Site Admin


Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 3202
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChrisR wrote:
Quote:
I might try using a 105mm prime lens I already have as a tube lens with the 10x objective to get
an effective 5x magnification. I suspect quality would be inferior to using an actual 5x objective though.

The 10x objective has a much higher NA, so the resolution should be better than using a 5x, as long as you get enough coverage. Do try it!

I once did a quick test with my Mitutoyo 10x/0.28 on my micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 AF-D lens, with a Nikon D7100 APS-C body--coincidentally close to what Kieran is contemplating. It produced an image that was softer at the edges than I care for, though for some centered subjects, it would probably do OK. You can judge the results by downloading a full resolution jpeg (5mb) of the image stack. Not prettily done--just a quickly-arranged stack using a random butterfly wing as a target.

--Chris
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Kieran Jones



Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Posts: 76
Location: Southeastern Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having been encouraged by the posts from ChrisR and Chris S above, I've reshot the same subject mosquito
using a 105mm lens instead of the 180mm as the tube lens for the 10x Mitutoyo objective.

The 180mm tube lens gives 9x magnification, the 105mm gives 5.25x.

Images taken with each tube lens are shown below. Aside from this difference, the setup is identical for both images.
Note that the mosquito got rotated slightly between taking the two images.

The 180mm image is slightly cropped, the 105mm is uncropped. An APS-C format camera was used.
Corner vignetting is present in the 105mm image.

Coincidentally, the optical setup I used is almost identical to the one reported by Chris S above in his test.
The only difference is I'm using the later "G" version of the Micro-Nikkor 105mm lens.

180mm Tube lens


105mm Tube lens
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