Snow crystals - taken with a 1942 AO Spencer Microscope

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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nlamendo
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:37 pm

Snow crystals - taken with a 1942 AO Spencer Microscope

Post by nlamendo »

Here are a few pictures of snow crystal taken with an old AO Spencer Microscope w/ a LOMO 4x objective. Taken on ground hog's day, 2/2/2011. C & C welcome.
Thanks
-Nick L

Image
Image
Image
Last edited by nlamendo on Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Pau
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Post by Pau »

outstanding pictures!

...and wellcome aboard
Pau

Cactusdave
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Location: Bromley, Kent, UK

Post by Cactusdave »

Wonderful indeed. :D I think you are going to have to explain a little how you isolated these perfect shapes and took the pictures using such a simple 'scope and objective combination. Are they impressions in nail varnish films or actual crystals? I'm very jealous. :shock: :lol:
Leitz Ortholux 1, Zeiss standard, Nikon Diaphot inverted, Canon photographic gear

RogelioMoreno
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Post by RogelioMoreno »

Beautiful!

Please details how they were taken.

Rogelio

nlamendo
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:37 pm

Post by nlamendo »

Hello, and thank you for the nice comments.

I leave the microscope out in a cold unheated barn. A 9 LED flashlight is used as a cold white light source. I capture snow crystals on a foam core board covered with black velvet. Using a very small paint brush I transfer a suitable snow crystal to a slide and quickly put it under the microscope. Then I quickly focus the image and snap the picture. Between the flashlight (torch to some) and the mirror on the microscope I place a colored filter, part way into the light path. A blue gel was used for these shots.

The LOMO objective is a 4x Plan Achromat 0.12NA, 160mm w/ RMS threads. The working distance is not great, but I'm happy with the detail captured. Someday I hope to afford an APO 4x or 5x objective, with a 0.13 NA or greater.

Most of the snow crystals I image are not perfect, I was very lucky with these 3. The only editing done was to crop the images, clean up some of the spots and debris from reusing the slides, and to apply a little sharpening. I find that temperatures below 20 degrees F give me adequate time to capture, transfer, and focus before they melt. Any warmer and forget it. This is the first year I've had a camera w/ live view and it has been very useful.

Thanks again
-Nick

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

As mentioned by others, the images are beautiful in all respects. Thank you for posting, and for the description of your equipment and technique.

Welcome aboard! :D

--Rik

Cactusdave
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Location: Bromley, Kent, UK

Post by Cactusdave »

Thank you for that explanation. You are lucky to have a nice roomy 'cold room' to do this kind of work in. Can I ask how you are coupling the camera to the microscope and which camera model you are using?
Leitz Ortholux 1, Zeiss standard, Nikon Diaphot inverted, Canon photographic gear

Jean-marc
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Location: France

Post by Jean-marc »

Hi,

I have rarely seen such beautiful picture of snow crystal, even in professional books. Very great !

JM

nlamendo
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:37 pm

camera used and method of coupling

Post by nlamendo »

Hi, Thanks again for the positive feedback, every time I take a picture of a nice looking snow crystal I'm amazed at the beauty and symmetry. It makes winter go by just a little bit faster.

I'm now using a Nikon D300s, and I really appreciate the live view function. Last year I had good luck with my trustyold Nikon D70, though I had to rely on the dim view finder and the focus lock indicator for focus.

I have a standard microscope tube adapter w/ M42 thread that then connects to a T-Thread adapter. It was made for a full frame camera, but it's so tall that the magnification is too high for my needs. So I made a shorter adapter out of a body cap epoxied to a PVC plumbing fitting. The 3/4" pipe thread is almost 1" in diameter so it just needed to be bored out a little bit to fit the 1"OD of the microscope tube. I use this exclusively. Even though it is shorter, the microscope tube does not protrude into the camera's mirror box, I made sure of that. The picture below should explain it.

Thanks
-Nick

Image

Cactusdave
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Location: Bromley, Kent, UK

Post by Cactusdave »

Thanks, that's a neat little adapter.
Leitz Ortholux 1, Zeiss standard, Nikon Diaphot inverted, Canon photographic gear

Charles Krebs
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Post by Charles Krebs »

Nick,
Wonderful snowflake images! Definitely among the the most enjoyable I have seen.

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