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micro photography, I need help!

 
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GaryB



Joined: 29 Jul 2016
Posts: 373

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:00 pm    Post subject: micro photography, I need help! Reply with quote

My newly acquired Zeiss Standard 14 doesn't have a trinocular head so I need to shoot through the eyepieces, however, I can't seem to ever get good focus. My eyes are now so far sighted the cameras dioptre adjuster doesn't accommodate them any more and it doesn't do live view (Nikon D40). Is there any trick anyone knows of to make this any easier because I really want to take pics but they all come out a horrendous mess Crying or Very sad

I have no money left for buying new gadgets, whatever they may be, and I'm stuck! I've read masses of info on microphotography online but none seems to address my particular conundrum. If there is a device to help I'd still like to know so that someday I could get it.

I do have a bunch of lenses, odd optics etc. I can mess with if there's a jerry-rigged McGuyver type thing I can try, I'm open to all suggestions.
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may be a silly question, but do you have contact lenses or glasses that give clear distance vision, for example as needed for reading street signs while driving?

If so, then why not just wear those while using the camera?

--Rik
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Pau
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
Posts: 4000
Location: Valencia, Spain

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take a look at: http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15607

I short: Put a 40 or 50 mm lens, focus the camera lens to infinite, set the camera lens diaphragm wide open (or at least no more closed than 5.6); focus the microscope with diopter 0 at the the eyepiece...and not having live view take several pictures moving the microscope focus slightly between them to choose the best focused

Don't rely much in the camera viewfinder, too coarse to be adequate, better test the images magnified at the camera screen after taken.
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GaryB



Joined: 29 Jul 2016
Posts: 373

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
rjlittlefield
This may be a silly question, but do you have contact lenses or glasses that give clear distance vision, for example as needed for reading street signs while driving?

If so, then why not just wear those while using the camera?


I can't compensate enough to get a sharp reticule target focus, all my camera lenses need to have autofocus now or I'd never get anything sharp. Eyes... really bad!



Quote:
Pau
I short: Put a 40 or 50 mm lens, focus the camera lens to infinite, set the camera lens diaphragm wide open (or at least no more closed than 5.6); focus the microscope with diopter 0 at the the eyepiece...and not having live view take several pictures moving the microscope focus slightly between them to choose the best focused

Don't rely much in the camera viewfinder, too coarse to be adequate, better test the images magnified at the camera screen after taken.


I don't have a program for quick screen previews, I have to dump them to the computer first. I did get one mostly clear shot just now by removing the camera lens, hold the camera right over the eyepiece and take it direct to the sensor, so far it's been the most accurate but hardly optimal. I'll give that section a read. It's just so frustrating because it seems the simplest thing and yet it defeats me at every turn. I think my brain is addled and I'm as crushed as this diatom! Crying or Very sad

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Chris S.
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 2848
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gary,

Nikon makes correction eyepieces in a range of diopters from -5 (for nearsightedness) to +3 (for farsightedness). These come in both round and rectangular shapes—it’s the rectangular shape that will fit your D40. These are fairly inexpensive-- $15 apiece at B&H.

The D40’s built-in diopter adjustment is comparatively modest—just -1.7 to +0.5 diopters. So one of these add-ons might make a big difference for you.

By the way, don’t blame your eyes for all your difficulty--part of it is likely due to the low-quality of the D40 viewfinder. It uses a pentamirror, which is darker than the pentaprism used in higher-end Nikon bodies. Also, it has a magnification factor of 0.75x, compared with something like 0.94x for a step or two higher in the Nikon line.

My dad has a Nikon D40x, which he bought when I was shooting the much more expensive D200. These bodies have the same sensor, and with the same lens on the same settings, produce identical results. However, I found his D40x much more difficult to use. In particular, the viewfinder image seems dark and small—unpleasant to frame with, and very difficult to focus with.

--Chris
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GaryB



Joined: 29 Jul 2016
Posts: 373

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Chris.

Yes, I (now) know about the cheap and nasty bits in the D40, at the time it was all I could afford. I'll definitely look into the dioptre adapter, that'll help a ton. I days of old my fave 2 cameras were my Nikon F3 with honking big motordrive and a Contax RTSll with lovely Zeiss glass.... mmm 80's goodness!

Thanks to Pau for the read and info. I was missing one step, setting the eyepiece to '0', with the 50mm set to infinity I got this handheld:


Man, I just love oblique circular oblique (yes, it's a thing)! Not perfect, but much better than before Very Happy
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Pau
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
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Location: Valencia, Spain

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris, as you say DSLR camera viewfinders do vary a lot but even the best ones are inadequate for microscope focusing because the small effective NA. In the film days some cameras with interchangeable screens (Nikon F and Olympus OM series I recall) had the option of clear screens to focus with a double cross specific for microscope work.
AFAIK this doesn't exist now, with digital image this would make little sense.

My first photomicrographies back in the early 70s were done focusing through the SLR camera eyepiece coupled to a monocular microscope. This was painful at high magnification...even with young eyes with perfect eyesight
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Pau
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Location: Valencia, Spain

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gary, you now have preliminary tested the two typical approaches: eyepiece projection and afocal

With the first method you will have the best results raising the eyepiece few millimeters over its position while for afocal it must be placed at its right position as explained at my thread.

For first results I find them pretty good (better the first one)
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Crusty



Joined: 11 Dec 2016
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Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does your camera have a HDMI or USB port? If so, you can buy a cheap cable and attach the camera to a computer while the camera is on the microscope. If this works, you can focus through the computer screen.
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GaryB



Joined: 29 Jul 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly mine isn't compatible with live view. Of course, it didn't matter when I bought it years ago Embarassed I've been trying to figure out what is the cheapest old camera that can do it on ebay. Finding out which can and can't is a pain as there are so many makers who've made so many cameras. A live view old clunker would do.
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Ichthyophthirius



Joined: 07 Mar 2013
Posts: 728

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Gary,

That's easy. The following older and less-expensive Canons have LiveView, vibration-free capture from LiveView http://www.krebsmicro.com/Canon_EFSC/ and option to control the camera directly from the computer:

1000D, 1100D
450D, 500D, 550D, 600D

With a mechanical adapter, you can even use your old Nikon 50 mm prime lens on the Canon for the microscope.

Regards, Ichty
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GaryB



Joined: 29 Jul 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Ichty!

Those seem like ideal candidates, and inexpensive Very Happy
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Chris S.
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
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Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pau wrote:
Chris, as you say DSLR camera viewfinders do vary a lot but even the best ones are inadequate for microscope focusing because the small effective NA.

Pau, I have little knowledge of microscopes. But I used to shoot my Nikon D200 body with objectives up to 100x/0.70 on my macro rig, and found the viewfinder convenient to focus through--so much so that I was a reluctant convert to live view, though I use it now (Nikon's implementation of live view has evolved, as has tethering software). I did have a right-angle finder attachment mounted on the viewfinder, and certainly appreciated the 1x-2x lever for focusing. It's pictured here.

Any thoughts on what made my experience with microscope objectives on a macro rig so different from yours on production microscopes?

--Chris S.
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Pau
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
Posts: 4000
Location: Valencia, Spain

PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course it's doable but doable is not the same as convenient: the accuracy with high magnification objectives is poor, with experience and moving the focus up and down you can find the good point.

A 100/0.70 on bellows is in fact a microscope, I don't think that it could be a different case

I've done it with film cameras and later with the EOS 20D, so I'm used to that method. Now with live view it is much more convenient, accurate and easy, despite the optical viewfinder of the 7D being really excellent. Different people, different experiences.
You can also see a right angle finder at my vertical macro setup thread Very Happy
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