Springtail polarized

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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NikonUser
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Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

Springtail polarized

Post by NikonUser »

extracted this small, body length 1.0 mm, Collembola from moss that had just been exposed below melting snow.
In normal light seen as a small off-white beastie, polarized light shows the internal musculature - red, blue, yellow.
Note the large yellow dorsal muscle at the rear end which pulls the furculum down thus propelling the springtail up as much as 80x its body length. A predator escape mechanism.
Once classified as insects they are now placed in the Entognatha, one of their features being having the mouthparts tucked inside a pouch in their head
Olympus BH2/BHS, DPlan 4x, + 1,25x intermediate tube, + 2.5x projection eyepiece, Nikon D810. Flash, Zerene PMax.
Attachments
2iii21 springtail.jpg
NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives

Lou Jost
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Re: Springtail polarized

Post by Lou Jost »

Really nice! However, I think it would be nicer with a plain white background via post processing, including WB, so that the different colors of the springtail can be better appreciated. I did a quick-and-dirty edit on it if you want to see what that looks like, but I shouldn't post it here without your permission.

NikonUser
Posts: 2660
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:03 am
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Springtail polarized

Post by NikonUser »

The uneven-lighted background is a result of me using the wrong condenser, i.e., their BH2-NC (not recommended for low NA objectives).
The Olympus 4x D Plan has a NA of 0.10 and is meant to be used with their Ultra Low Condenser (ULC), which I have.
The ULC gave a very evenly-illuminated background but even at full power the flash could not show the internal details of the springtail.
Using the NC condenser the light seemed more concentrated and the inner structures could be seen but at the expense of a very uneven background.

Here is an image of a larger springtail from the same sample but with normal reflected light.

Thanks, I would like to see your adjusted-background image.
Attachments
31iii21 springtail.jpg
NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives

Lou Jost
Posts: 4950
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:03 am
Location: Ecuador
Contact:

Re: Springtail polarized

Post by Lou Jost »

That natural-light springtail is very nice!

Here is a quick correction of the purple color of the first shot. This could have been done much better from the original tiff, of course.
Attachments
NikonUser.jpg

NikonUser
Posts: 2660
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:03 am
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Springtail polarized

Post by NikonUser »

Thanks Lou. Not only did you vastly improve the background but also the musculature became clearer.
As an extra bonus it shows that high NA condensers can be used with low NA objectives, if one is competent in post-processing.
NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives

Lou Jost
Posts: 4950
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:03 am
Location: Ecuador
Contact:

Re: Springtail polarized

Post by Lou Jost »

I'm glad you liked it. This was fairly easy in ACR: first do a s much as possible with white balancing (green/purple slider or WB sampler), then brighten the whites using the Whites slider, then use split toning to desaturate the remaining excess purples. It was important not to desaturate the purples too much because the details of the far-side legs are mostly purple. A little manual clean-up was needed on the far left edge of the background after all that. Much of this could have been automated as a Photoshop action and applied to a large set of images at once with no human intervention, in case you needed to deal with a large number of images from the same set-up.

NikonUser
Posts: 2660
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:03 am
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Springtail polarized

Post by NikonUser »

Thanks again.
I worked on the Zerene stacked image and got a better image than my original post. However, it was still slightly inferior to your adjusted image.
Had most trouble with removing the purple around the springtail's rear end and furculum, desaturation left me with dark pixels between the hairs.
I will probably improve my technique with practice; plenty of other small arthropods here to practice on.
NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives

Lou Jost
Posts: 4950
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:03 am
Location: Ecuador
Contact:

Re: Springtail polarized

Post by Lou Jost »

Those areas were problematic for me too. One way to fix that is to ensure that the background is really white, by making a Curves adjustment that moves the white point down a bit. The remainder of the curve can then be adjusted to recover any lost detail on the body. Here is what that looks like; the hairs are now mostly clean though there are still some problem areas. (This would be more effective on the original Tiff):
Attachments
NikonUser2.jpg

Pau
Site Admin
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Re: Springtail polarized

Post by Pau »

Did you use a full lambda plate? (I think that the purple background and colors can be indicative of it)
If so, test with a 1/4 lambda plate, i use it much more often than the full lambda because I find the colors looking much more natural
Pau

NikonUser
Posts: 2660
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:03 am
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Springtail polarized

Post by NikonUser »

Yes, I believe it is a full lambda plat'; labeled 530 nm.
By rotating the polarizer I can get various colour backgrounds; the setting that gives the awful purple colour also gives the best definition of the internal musculature.
NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives

Pau
Site Admin
Posts: 5406
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:57 am
Location: Valencia, Spain

Re: Springtail polarized

Post by Pau »

NikonUser wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:17 pm
Yes, I believe it is a full lambda plat'; labeled 530 nm.
By rotating the polarizer I can get various colour backgrounds; the setting that gives the awful purple colour also gives the best definition of the internal musculature.
Yes, this are the typical full wave plate behavior and label. With 1/4 plate you'll get the maximum contrast with less intense colors and a (for me more pleasant) grey background
Pau

Robert Berdan
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Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:58 pm
Location: Calgary
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Re: Springtail polarized

Post by Robert Berdan »

Very nice photos of spring tails, I like the white background.
Cheers
RB

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