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How to connect Nikon measurement scope base to camera
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
Posts: 1676
Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:28 am    Post subject: How to connect Nikon measurement scope base to camera Reply with quote

What I have is this (I currently use it on a granite check stand):



The microscope head connects with focus block base with 4 screws that goes in from back of base:


The scope head surface that connects focus block base:


The space between those two pairs of screws is just enough for my camera to sit in. But most quick-release female plates (those that sits directly on tripod) may not fit in there.

I would prefer an off-the shelf product that needs minimal modification (so that I don't need to bother my friend), though I do have a machinist friend.

Some more related photos can be found in this old thread of mine, though my plan has changed slightly (I would now use infinity objective on Olympus m4/3 auto tube lens and in camera focus bracketing; no enlarger lens is needed now): http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=33483&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15
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Last edited by zzffnn on Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
Posts: 1676
Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In that previous thread of mine, NikonUser mentioned using "a rail and clamp" for replacing the scope head and attaching camera directly.

Chris S mentioned "aluminum adapter plate with tapped holes suitable to mount an Arca-standard clamp".

Sorry, I am slow on this. Some photos may help me visualize them better.
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JH



Joined: 09 Mar 2013
Posts: 1106
Location: Vallentuna, Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I you like to use the ” microscope head ” you could use that to connect the camera.

Best regards
Jörgen Hellberg
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Jorgen.

Using the scope head would prevent me from using in-camera automatic focus bracketing though, as it uses auto m4/3 lens as tube lens for infinity objectives and goes from close focus to infinity.
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found this Arca clamp and understand how it can connect to camera:

https://m.ebay.com/itm/Osrso-Clamp-For-QR50-Quick-Release-Plate-Compatible-Tripod-Ball-Head-Arca-Swiss/263388687655?hash=item3d53306d27:g:KBUAAOSw65FXqC90

But I am not sure how to connect it to an adapter plate. The adapter plate would have to have a screw hole with the right threading and thicknesses. That may not be easy to do? I could be wrong.

Please feel free to suggest other Arca clamps or plates. Do all Arca clamps accept all tripod plates, or only some match (do I need to buy extra Arca specific camera plates)?
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lothman



Joined: 14 Feb 2009
Posts: 330
Location: Stuttgart/Germany

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

all Arca compatible plates (at least the cheap ones I have) work on Arca -compatible clamps.

If you make an adapter plate you could use the centerhole hole of the clamp and bolt it with a countersink screw to the Adapter plate. Better would be to drill two countersink holes in the clamp (Or an additional locking pin), then any momentum could no longer unscrew the clamp as with using only one screw.

But you still will Need an Adapter plate or at least a spacer otherwise the clamp will interfere with the cover metal sheet shielding the rails from the focus block from dirt/dust.
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much, lothman.

I found this Arca clamp with 3 holes:
https://m.ebay.com/itm/Andoer-60mm-Quick-Release-Clamp-Arca-Swiss-Type-with-2-spirit-levels/152885108462?hash=item2398a99eee:g:564AAOSwbWZabpIE

That would work better, I am guessing?

I think I understand what you meant by bolting the Arca clamp with countersunk screw to adapter plate.

Let me draw up the idea and post here in a few hours. Please tell me if I am wrong.
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Saul



Joined: 31 Jan 2011
Posts: 1153
Location: Naperville, IL USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is better to use this type of clamp:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Andoer-Tripod-Monopod-Head-Quick-Release-Plate-Clamp-Adapter-for-Arca-Swiss-Z8V6-/292005206317?hash=item43fcddd92d

EDIT: I see, you found it already Smile

You can use 3 screws for the base - clamp will not unscrew or become loose.

Regarding adapter - nice way is to design adapter and print it, like I made for my Deltron stage:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=192436#192436
(BTW, it will go for sale)

Quick'n'dirty way - piece of plywood, 4 holes in it, longer screws with nuts to attach plywood to the stage, 3 other flathead screws to attach the clamp to the plywood. I used this method for setup in the very beginning of the testing phase:
https://flic.kr/p/dgXM72

Of course, you can use bigger/nicer piece of the plywood Wink
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enricosavazzi



Joined: 21 Nov 2009
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Location: Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zzffnn wrote:
I found this Arca clamp and understand how it can connect to camera:

https://m.ebay.com/itm/Osrso-Clamp-For-QR50-Quick-Release-Plate-Compatible-Tripod-Ball-Head-Arca-Swiss/263388687655?hash=item3d53306d27:g:KBUAAOSw65FXqC90

But I am not sure how to connect it to an adapter plate. The adapter plate would have to have a screw hole with the right threading and thicknesses. That may not be easy to do? I could be wrong.

Please feel free to suggest other Arca clamps or plates. Do all Arca clamps accept all tripod plates, or only some match (do I need to buy extra Arca specific camera plates)?

I don't like that particular clamp (with rubber ring around its locking knob). I accidentally bought two years ago, and they turned out to be built to poor or "odd" tolerances, e.g. the did not open enough to accept some of my "Arca-compatible" plates. The rubber ring was also loose. The particular clamp you link to might be different, but since that time I stayed away from clamps with a rubber ring.

Look for instance at eBay item 232409130596 if you need a very small but precise clamp (I have two), or 282822071250 for a very long one (I have at least three, very good for long plates but not for a short one), or 263220240999 for a round clamp that attaches via multiple screws (not just one, and therefore cannot twist around), or 263439738870 for a more ordinary type.

PS - Most Arca-compatible plates today fit most clamps, but there may still be the odd units around. No-brand ones from China tend to be broadly compatible, while some branded ones, especially from Europe or USA, are intentionally incompatible with true Arca brand plates/clamps. Some plates even have an extra pin not found in Arca clamps that prevents their use in ordinary clamps.
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much, Saul and Enrico!

Saul:
I am open to plywood or whatever that works.

Enrico,
The round one you linked to (263220240999) looks very good and I would likely go with that one. The long one (282822071250) is way too long (I will soon upload a drawing with my dimensions).

No results were found on eBay, when I searched 232409130596 or 263439738870 .
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zzffnn



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would this design idea work?



I am open to whichever design idea that works. Thank you!
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Last edited by zzffnn on Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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lothman



Joined: 14 Feb 2009
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Location: Stuttgart/Germany

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK but I would keep the shape more simple if the little bit of additional weight is no problem ;-)


With the right piece of alumina it can be done without milling machine, just drill and sink/tap the wholes.
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the top and bottom holes need to be "tapped", as the screws come through from the other side, the focus block, into the L shaped part.

We (UK) use MDF, which I think might be banned in the US because the dust can be hazardous. It's a bit more homogeneous than plywood and it's easy to screw machine screws into it well, if you get the pilot hole the right size. No need to "tap". Plywood would be OK if you put glue in the holes. Apply a little candle wax to the screws and they'll unscrew easily.
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zzffnn



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the four bottom and top screws should be tapped.

I forgot to say that I should not remove this adapter and put it back on very often, but I may remove/replace it a few times. So I would rather pay more to have solid taps and more durable material.

The middle screws for Arca clamp can be glued, as I would not remove the Arca clamp from that adapter (they would be married for life).
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Chris S.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zzffnn wrote:
Chris S mentioned "aluminum adapter plate with tapped holes suitable to mount an Arca-standard clamp".

Earlier, Fan PM’d me to point out this thread and request input. I couldn’t respond right away. In the meantime, good advice has been provided. Here are a few more thoughts.

First: Strongly recommend aluminum for the adapter, as opposed to other materials (though numerous materials could indeed serve). Aluminum is very easy to source and work with. It takes threads easily. It can be thinner and neater than equivalent plywood. It’s an industry standard (note that most Arca-style components are made from it, with good reason). How many microscopes or Arca-compatible components are made from plywood or MDF board? None or almost none? I wonder how many folks are reticent to work with aluminum because even rudimentary metal-work is outside their experience? If so, making a simple aluminum adapter is a good place to get one’s feet wet.

Such an adapter would be dead-easy for a machinist or fabricator, and my own fabricator would make one for very reasonable cost. This work is also well within reach for most of us who are not trained in metal fabrication. Tools required are a power drill, a hacksaw, a file, a drill bit or two, and maybe a tap and handle. [Any competent hardware store can advise how to purchase a drill bit, tap, and tap handle to create common threaded-hole sizes that photographers use (1/4"-20 TPI and 3/8"-16 TPI); such items are inexpensive and easy to use.]

Second, let’s note that in Fan’s first photo (focus block with L-shaped nosepiece holder), the nosepiece holder is separated from the block by a few millimeters. This is important, as it permits the nosepiece holder to move without grinding against the block. In Fan’s second picture, the bottom of the L-shaped nosepiece holder shows a protruding rectangle; the purpose of this protrusion is to help provide this needed separation. In this same image, the four screws protruding from the focus block appear to have circular nuts screwed down flush with the carriage of the focus block. These might be standoffs to increase the amount of separation.

The takeaway is that any adapter will have to similarly hold the Arca clamp a bit apart from the stationary parts of the focus block, for clearance.

Fan, nice job on your mechanical drawing! Since you can draw this sort of thing, you can quite effectively communicate your needs to a fabricator. (Or likely, be able to construct the adapter yourself.) If you do use a fabricator, I suggest you also show him or her your actual parts and invite him to suggest alternate ways of accomplishing your task. These folks have good ideas, and a meeting of minds often sparks improvement.

This said, I agree with Lothman in preferring a simpler approach. Your part on the left, with its four right angles, is more complicated than it needs to be. A flat part will serve just as well, and is much easier to make. (This said, I see why you thought of it—it provides a through-bolt for the Arca clamp, and through-bolts are very strong attachments. But for this application, the strength of a through-bolt is not needed--a simple threaded hole, such as Lothman sketched out, will do fine.)

Also, in Fan’s sketch (right-hand side), the Arca clamp is mounted transverse to the direction of focus stage travel. If this works for this particular implementation, OK. But in all my implementations, I prefer to mount the Arca clamp such that its jaws line up with the focus block’s line of travel. I find this preferable nearly always; in the few situations where the converse is true, I use a matched pair of Arca clamps, bolted at right angles, to provide cross-wise mounting.

I like Lothman’s well-simplified sketch. But If I were making this part, I’d probably change a couple of things. One is the middle hole, tapped to thread to the Arca clamp. Lothman describes a hole with a closed bottom, which can indeed be tapped with threads. But if you replace this with a through-hole, it will be somewhat easier to tap.

More importantly, I’d suggest making your adapter out of two separate pieces of aluminum stock. The lower piece can be as Lothman sketched. A thinner upper piece can be added. Bolt the Arca clamp to the upper piece, and bolt the upper piece to the lower piece.

Why bother? The lower piece can provide separation between Arca clamp and focus block, and provide a foundation onto which you will bolt your upper piece. Your upper piece can have grooves that let you adjust alignment of the Arca clamp to make your camera's optical axis line up with the focus block’s travel axis. This particular alignment can be very important in making solid, easy-to-work-with, focus stacks.

The lower portion as suggested by Lothman (and as I’ve constructed it in my own rigs), does not lend itself to adjustment: The screws have just one place to go. A thinner top piece, on the other hand, can have elongated holes—or grooves—in which to bolt the Arca clamp. The screws in these elongated holes can be adjusted to provide coaxiality.

Also, when buying screws to put this assemblage together, suggest you look for screws made of stainless steel, to reduce the potential for corrosion. These screws will be connecting several types of metal: "Pot metal” for the focus block, aluminum for the adapters and Arca clamps, and whatever metal is used for the particular screws you buy. Such combinations set you up for bimetallic corrosion, which will, after a couple of years, look like rust on and around your screws, if they are not stainless steel.

Quote:
I think the top and bottom holes need to be "tapped". . . .

Quote:
Yes, the four bottom and top screws should be tapped.

Careful! Not sure I understand how either quote is meant, but just in case: If two adjacent metal elements are bolted together, with angular adjustment desired between them, the distal—and only the distal—element should be tapped with threads; the proximate element must be smoothly through-bored. If both are tapped, the alignment of threads will, when tightened, dictate the angular relationship between these elements.

Agreed that Arca clamps, for this sort of use, should not have just one mounting hole, but at least two. If just one, there will be twisting it, resulting in mis-alignments. As discussed, solutions can include multiple mounting holes or a single mounting hole plus an anti-rotation pin-in-hole. Once should note that drilling additional holes in an Arca clamp is not difficult. This said, since Arca clamps are now so widely available in many variations, getting exactly what one needs is not that difficult.

In terms of Arca clamps, I tend to fit out focus blocks with 3-inch (about 80mm) clamps. These provide a nice long base for solidly clamping a camera rig. They also permit some longitudinal adjustment for balancing the camera rig's center of mass over the focus block's center of support. I've never gone as cheap as the Osrso clamps discussed in this thread--have used mostly Kirk, Hejnar, and Jobu clamps, which are very well made and somewhat more expensive--but perhaps time and tide have moved on, and these ultra-cheap clamps are now well-machined out of reliable metal?

Ugh—reading this back, it appears I’ve taken a simple subject and made it appear complicated. Sorry! Rest assured that making this sort of adapter is not difficult. This was a too-quick brain-dump, insufficiently edited. But some of these things I've learned from mistakes, and would spare others.

Cheers, Very Happy

--Chris S.


Last edited by Chris S. on Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:50 am; edited 3 times in total
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