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new setup advice for micro photography.
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pentelaravi



Joined: 12 Apr 2017
Posts: 7
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:10 pm    Post subject: new setup advice for micro photography. Reply with quote

Hi,

I am new to this micro photography need some advice on new setup. i am impressed with Levon Biss work on Insects photography (http://microsculpture.net/) and would like to try.
I have gone through many of the FAQ threads and have few some questions.

1) The equipment discussed in the below threads are still latest or any new improvements to these?

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=23064&highlight=rynox+250
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12147
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9243
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=32340
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10821
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=55311#55311

2) If you have to start from scratch, what will be your preference?

3) Any preferences on software for focus stacking and stitching?

4) Any computer work station build preferences like CPU, RAM and graphics card?

Thanks for the help.

Thanks,
Ravi.
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
Posts: 1455
Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum, Ravi.

Insect photography is generally considered as macro in this forum.

1) cameras get better quickly by year, but basic rig configurations don't change much.

2) I prefer vertical rig to save space, but that is only my preference. You may have to figure out your own preference.

3) for me, Zerene stacker for stacking and Microsoft ICE for stitching.

4) faster and more powerful is always better (if you have huge high resolution photos), but even my lowly Windows 8 i3 works without problem for hobbyist work.
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Selling my inverted phase contrast 20x objective for petri dish peeking
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ChrisR
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Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 7189
Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HI Ravi, welcome to the forum.
It all depends, largely on timeless parameters - space, and budget are primary, and I'd add "where you live". Next to a rail track, vs deep in a mountain, would have a large influence on potential vibration.
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pentelaravi



Joined: 12 Apr 2017
Posts: 7
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zzffnn and Chris thanks for your reply.

Right now i am starting with already owned Canon 70D and canon 70-200mm f2.8.

My Nikon CFI 10x objective on the way and planning to use my DIY camera slider for focus stacking which is capable of moving 10 microns per step. IF that movement is large, will try to replace stepper motor with .9 degree and use micro stepping.

For lighting, i will start with IKEA led lights with some diffusing, if not worked will think some flash lights which works on AC power.


i am not near to any rail tracks, hoping every thing works well.

If vibration is problem, what will be the solution? adding weights to the setup?

Thanks,
Ravindra.
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
Posts: 1455
Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Ravi. Solid and tight connections, mass loading table/rail (with dumbbells, lead blocks, marble slaps) and flash will help reduce vibration.

It looks like you are on the right track already.
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mawyatt



Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 938

PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pentelaravi wrote:
zzffnn and Chris thanks for your reply.

Right now i am starting with already owned Canon 70D and canon 70-200mm f2.8.

My Nikon CFI 10x objective on the way and planning to use my DIY camera slider for focus stacking which is capable of moving 10 microns per step. IF that movement is large, will try to replace stepper motor with .9 degree and use micro stepping.

For lighting, i will start with IKEA led lights with some diffusing, if not worked will think some flash lights which works on AC power.


i am not near to any rail tracks, hoping every thing works well.

If vibration is problem, what will be the solution? adding weights to the setup?

Thanks,
Ravindra.


Hi Ravinda,

I am not sure 10 micron per step will be fine enough for the Nikon 10X. The DoF for the 10X 0.28NA Mitutoyo I use is 7 microns, so I usually step at 5 microns.

Going to a 400 step/rotation motor is a good idea and should get you to 5 microns/step if you are doing 10 microns with a a 200 step motor.

Looks like you out to a good start.

Best,

Mike
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nathanm



Joined: 02 Jun 2016
Posts: 222
Location: Bellevue, WA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am at a conference where Levon Bliss spoke, and I talked to him afterward.

While his images are pretty good looking when you take them overall, I found that when you zoom in they get soft (the website lets you zoom in quite a bit.)

I think that there are many people on the forum that take images that are technically as good or better. In addition I think that a lot of people on the forum are artistically as least as good.

(BTW, that does not include me, at least for insects, which isn't what I shoot)

I am not trying to take anything away from Levon Bliss - he has some great insect images - but they are by no means unique.

His technique is very labor intensive. He says it can take up to 3 weeks for a single image. Yet when I look up close at his work it is not clear to me that it actually better than taking many fewer photos with a much simpler workflow and less manual effort.

Bliss appears to use a 10X Fluor Nikon CFI objective with a Nikon 200mm macro lens as tube lens (that is what he said, and that is pictured in the video on his site.) I think that you'd get a better result with the 10X Mitutoyo because the Nikon objective is designed for use with a cover slip. For 10X this might not be as important as for higher power. Perhaps it works out OK at this mag. I use Mitutoyo (or Nikon LU Plan CFI non-cover silp objectives) and don't have experience with this directly.

I have not used the Nikon 200 mm or any similar lens as a tube lens. However, it may not be optimal. A tube lens is focused at infinity, so having a macro lens for the tube lens is actually not ideal because they tend to be corrected for optimum quality at close up ranges, not infinity. Many people on the forum get superior results with the far cheaper Raynox lenses.

Bliss uses a stackshot for moving the camera. As ChrisR says 10 micron steps are very likely too big to get good stacking.
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pentelaravi



Joined: 12 Apr 2017
Posts: 7
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mike and Nathanm.

i am glad my google search "connecting microscope lens to my dslr camera" landed on this site, and found lot of information about micro photography and setup.

For now i am starting Nikon CFI 10X objective, got one and waiting on adapter rings. Once i am comfortable with setup and micro photography, i will check other objectives based on my budget.

i would like to learn something about different types of optics used in camera lens/microscope objectives, is there any references for that kind of reading?, that might help to debug my setup if something not working. right now i am just following other members lens setup hoping i will get same results for my hobby work.

Thanks,
Ravi.
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nathanm



Joined: 02 Jun 2016
Posts: 222
Location: Bellevue, WA

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enrico Savazzi (who is a forum member) has a very good book

https://www.amazon.com/Digital-photography-science-paperback-Savazzi/dp/0557925371/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1493764723&sr=1-1&keywords=savazzi

Here are other books that touch on the topic

https://www.amazon.com/Extreme-Close-Up-Photography-Focus-Stacking/dp/1847977197/ref=pd_sbs_14_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1847977197&pd_rd_r=PTDK60B6G7HHZ1Y0DCGF&pd_rd_w=6azuk&pd_rd_wg=Yh1zg&psc=1&refRID=PTDK60B6G7HHZ1Y0DCGF

https://www.amazon.com/Focus-Stacking-Wild-photograph-incredible-ebook/dp/B00R8P7NMI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1493765796&sr=1-1&keywords=focus+stacking

https://www.amazon.com/Enthusiasts-Guide-Multi-Shot-Techniques-Photographic/dp/1681981343/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1493765796&sr=1-3&keywords=focus+stacking

There is a VERY good book in German, but I don't have it in front of me. Alas I don't read German, but knowing the topic I can follow things well enough.

Note however that these books are, in my view, well behind the state of the art as expressed in posts in the forum. The people in the forum include the most sophisticated in the world. The posts here are at the edge of the state of the art.

There are also some great web sites - too many to list them all, but these are great

http://www.coinimaging.com/
http://extreme-macro.co.uk/
http://www.krebsmicro.com/

Nathan
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pentelaravi



Joined: 12 Apr 2017
Posts: 7
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is my first attempt with my 10X setup.

Around 1200 images stacked and stitched(4X300).

Canon 70D
canon 70-200 L
Nikon CFI plan 10X
Lighting i used two Walmart LED clip lamp,Link below. It already have diffused and cool light.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-MS16-021-002-04-Mainstays-LED-Clip-Lamp/49333227?variantFieldId=actual_color

Please review and give suggestions for improvement.


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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 341
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks beautiful. What is it, a colored pencil?
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pentelaravi



Joined: 12 Apr 2017
Posts: 7
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, color pencil tip(Pink).
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18180
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything looks good except that I question the overall brightness.

Your description "Pink" suggests that the image is quite a bit darker than the actual pencil.

Do the image and the pencil match for you?

How did you determine what the exposure should be?

--Rik
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ChrisR
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Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 7189
Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel underqualified to comment on Levon Bliss' work, but I agree with what Nathan is saying above (and Mike, who was actually the one suggesting 10ยต is too tight with that lens!).

To produce that stacked and stitched image of your pink pencil you obviously aren't doing anything very wrong, but with the forum size limits, fine examination isn't possible. Getting the best out of what you have, is hard. Sme forum members are very good indeed at it. Charles Krebs and others can work magic with a cheap enlarger lens.
To be blunt( ) about your pencil point, you shouldn't need anything like as many frames as that. Probably you don't, but we can't tell.

For reference, have a look at this, using a $17 objective, and a very unsophisticated, low precision macro rail ( I know Rob won't mind that description!) It's a hand held stack.
http://photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=34277

Somewhere in the top few priorities come the hardware and the software, but most of the rest are lighting.
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pentelaravi



Joined: 12 Apr 2017
Posts: 7
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies Chris and Rik.

Yes my image is darker compared to actual pencil, and will try to improve on my lighting. Thought of improving exposure in post production, that time my priority was 100th second and ISO 100.

Can you please help with the below?

Attached is the unprocessed image(in terms of exposure adjustment, sharpness,...), If i need to adjust in post processing, which phase is better? before stacking? before stitching? on final image?

Is there any way to save image files directly to PC with out using SD card in camera? Looks like my SD card in camera getting too hot and it has only one card slot.

Thanks,
Ravindra.
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