Microfungi setup - which tube lens?

Just bought that first macro lens? Post here to get helpful feedback and answers to any questions you might have.

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SallyFungi
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Microfungi setup - which tube lens?

Post by SallyFungi »

Hi, I've been reading this forum and other websites about extreme macro for a while. I think I have mostly sorted out what I need to start but would really appreciate some feedback on a couple of questions.

Firstly, my aim is to take good quality images for publishing in scientific journals. My subject is microfungi which range in size from 100-1000 microns. They are usually around 200 microns. To get a good image with the subject in context with it's natural substrate, I think I need about 10x magnification.

I did consider trying the Canon MP-E65mm lens simply for ease of use, but I think it won't quite give the magnification that I need.

I have already ordered a Canon 6D Mark II and a Stackshot.

From reading here, it seems that the best option for me would be to get a 10x Mitutoyo M plan objective and mount it to a tube lens, then onto the Canon 6D. The thing that I'm having trouble deciding is which tube lens to go with for this setup. Any suggestions?

My options seem to be:
(1) Canon 70-200mm lens - not sure which one though. There are a few and they vary a lot in price.
(2) Raynox 5320 - this seems to be a good option, but also seems a bit complicated to set up. Which adaptors would I need for my setup with this?
(3) Thorlabs tube lens - again, this seems a bit complicated and I'm not sure what adaptors I would need.

Any help gratefully received. Thanks, Sally

p.s. I also take photos through my compound microscope, but I'm ok with that setup for now.
Fungal taxonomist
Canon 6D Mark II, Stackshot, Nikon Eclipse Ni with DIC, Infinity 3 Luminera microscope camera

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Sally, welcome aboard! :D

I agree with the general direction that you're going.

But I notice that a 200 micron subject at 10X is still only a 2 mm image. That's not very large on a 36mm x 24mm sensor with only 20 megapixels. You might want to consider whether you would prefer to use the Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 20X for your smaller specimens. The Mitutoyo 20X also has the nice feature that it can be pushed to much lower magnifications, such as 12.5X when used in conjunction with a 125 mm tube lens such as the Raynox DCR-250.

Regarding the tube lens, I agree that the Raynox DCR-5320PRO is a good choice. Other good choices, with somewhat more flexibillty albeit a bit more CA (chromatic aberration), are the Raynox DCR-150 and DCR-250.

In general zoom lenses are not a good choice because they tend to vignette when used at much less than their maximum length. The tube lens from Thorlabs is a good choice on smaller sensors, but the corners will go bad on full frame. See the comparison images at http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=23898 for comparison of Raynox DCR-150 and Thorlabs (and others) on full frame.

Regarding adapters needed for use with Raynox DCR-150, see http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=23898 ("Raynox DCR-150 tube assembly with flocking").

I have not seen a similar description for Raynox DCR-5320PRO, but the setup would be similar.

Major differences are that the 5320 has 72mm threads on both ends (versus 43mm and 49mm for the 150 and 250), and you would probably need a slightly different total extension in order to reach perfect infinity focus. The discussion at http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... 660#221660 indicates that the 5320 needs 198 mm from the rear of the lens to the sensor. For my DCR-150, the corresponding number is about 209 mm.

--Rik

SallyFungi
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Post by SallyFungi »

Hi!

Thanks for the welcome and the information!

I think that you are most likely right. 20x is probably what I need. I am just a bit hesitant in jumping straight into 20x with the increased complications with vibration etc that it entails. My plan was to start with 10x and work up to 20x. But it probably does make more sense to just get straight into the setup that I need.

So if I were to hook up this setup, theoretically it should work?
(1) Canon 6D
(2) Either macro extension tube or bellows
(3) Adaptor
(5) Raynox DCR-5230PRO
(4) Adaptor
(5) 20x Mitutoyo

Presumably bellows would give me more flexibility to get the distance from the lens to the sensor right. Would there be any disadvantages to using bellows on this setup?

As you say, if I have the 20x, then I could change the 5230 for a DCR-250 if I have a need for less magnification. I suspect that I'll be looking for more, rather than less magnification though.

Thanks again.
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Pau
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Post by Pau »

SallyFungi wrote: Presumably bellows would give me more flexibility to get the distance from the lens to the sensor right. Would there be any disadvantages to using bellows on this setup?
If it is a good bellows no, but here is where the problems could arise. Cheap Chinese bellows are of bad quality and limited range and the only new high quality models I know are from Novoflex, very expensive german stuff.
You can find at the used market excellent quality bellows at reasonable prices from Nikon, Canon FD, Pentax and many other brands from film days. We can discuss them deeply if you're interested.
On the other hand you can do well with M42 cheap extension tubes and if needed a focusing helicoid.
Pau

SallyFungi
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Post by SallyFungi »

Ok. That does make sense. The M42 extension tube and focusing helicoid do seem to be the better choice then. Thank you.

Just another thought, I have a Sony A7 that I use for other photography. Is there any advantage on getting the Canon 6D over just using the Sony A7 that I already have?
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Charles Krebs
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Post by Charles Krebs »

SallyFungi wrote: Just another thought, I have a Sony A7 that I use for other photography. Is there any advantage on getting the Canon 6D over just using the Sony A7 that I already have?
I would not expect any real image advantage. The 6DII has a 26Mp full frame sensor and your A7 is 24Mp full-frame... so about a "wash" in the Mp criteria. I would be sure to use both cameras in modes where an "electronic first shutter curtain" is used. The Canon is far more capable if you ever wish to tether to a computer.

Both the Sony and Canon can take older Nikon or Olympus manual focus lenses with a very inexpensive adapter. The Nikon 200mm f/4 lenses have been used successfully as tube lenses and are plentiful and inexpensive (see this and other threads http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=34585 )

One thing you always want to be aware of with full frame cameras is the possibility of vignetting with certain lenses used as "tube lenses". Also, if you try to reduce magnification by using a tube lens much shorter than 200mm image quality toward the edges can suffer.

SallyFungi
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Post by SallyFungi »

Thanks Charles. Your blog has been a lot of help while researching this. It's a steep learning curve.

I will be wanting to streamline the process as much as possible, so it looks like the Canon being able to be tethered to a computer is a better choice. When I have fresh samples I often look at about 10 species per day and need to photograph, measure and describe them. So it's important that I get the photography working as efficiently as possible.

So far I have ordered:
Canon 6DII
Stackshot with controller
Raynox DSC-5320
3 sets of M42 extension tubes
Canon extension tube EF 25 II
FotodioX Vizelex Macro Focusing Helicoid
FotodioX adapter M42 to Canon
M26 to M42 adaptor
Wemacro vertical stand

I'm just hunting around now to find the best place to buy a new Mitutoyo 20x.

Because I'm new to all of this, I'm intending to first set up just the stand, stackshot and camera with a Nikon 105mm f2.8 Macro lens that I already have to just get used to the new camera and Stackshot. I'll then launch into the 20x realm. It's a lot of money so I really hope I can get it to work!
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ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

What are your plans for lighting, and fine subject positioning?
Those can swallow significant cash too.
Something like a couple of decent flash guns, with wireless triggers, should do.

You'll need a finely controlled x-y stage at 20x. Rotation and tilts are usefull too.
Chris R

SallyFungi
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Post by SallyFungi »

I was going to start with continuous illumination (Ikea Jansjös) and see how that went. Do you think I'll need to go straight to flash at 20x?

The Wemacro stand comes with a 4-way slider, so I was just going to use that. I have a Leica MZ75 dissecting microscope which I use for scanning samples for fungi. My plan was to use that to observe anchoring a sample in the right orientation for photography onto a flat board, then transfer the board with sample attached to the camera set-up and just position X-Y.
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ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

Vibration is always worse than it seems. 20x would need a setup with definite steps taken to avoid building-fabric shakes having an effect. If you have a base with mass (paving stone) supported on the right buffers (eg sorbothane of the right dimensions for the mass) then you stand a chance.

Your subject will be what - ~1mm across at 20x. Will you be able to to adjust say 0.1mm with the stage you have?
Chris R

Pau
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Post by Pau »

Some more points:
Canon extension tube EF 25 II
- If you put it at the camera side beware that you need to have a Canon lens with the adequate contacts or likely the camera will report an error and lock (at least it happens with my 7D), so you need or a tube/adapter without electric contacts or an adapter with a chip that mimics a Canon lens (easy to find)

- A reputed member is now selling some nice bellows at good prices at the forum http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=35879
Nikon Eclipse Ni with DIC
- If you plan to use a vertical stand maybe you just could use your nice microscope with the adequate Nikon objectives if you have it enough often at your disposal...you only would need to concentrate in the external illumination system and maybe to buy a 20X LWD adequate objective (the Mitutoyo is so long that likely it couldn't accommodate in the microscope stand
Pau

mawyatt
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Post by mawyatt »

SallyFungi wrote:I was going to start with continuous illumination (Ikea Jansjös) and see how that went. Do you think I'll need to go straight to flash at 20x?

The Wemacro stand comes with a 4-way slider, so I was just going to use that. I have a Leica MZ75 dissecting microscope which I use for scanning samples for fungi. My plan was to use that to observe anchoring a sample in the right orientation for photography onto a flat board, then transfer the board with sample attached to the camera set-up and just position X-Y.
Sally,

The WeMacro stage with the Vertical Stand don't think is precise enough at 20X, they have a Fine X-Y adjustment platform that is much better.

If you decide on studio strobes for optical flash, Adorama has some good strobes like the Studio 300 AC, 400 AC, XPLOR 600 an Rapid 600 on Black Friday sale. All these are excellent strobes for macro use, I use them all (except I don't have the 400) for various needs including macro with the Vertical Stand with 4 Studio 300 AC.

Also, I have an extra Mitutoyo 20X M Plan Apo 0.42NA and 50X M Plan APO NUV 0.42NA I'm considering parting with, PM if when you are interested.

Best,

Mike

SallyFungi
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Post by SallyFungi »

Wow. Lots of help. Thank you so much.

I did wonder about the Fine X-Y stage. It doesn't cost much. I'll get that too.

Pau, thanks for the tip about the Canon extension tube. If I were to put the helicoid focusing ring (which doesn't have the electronic contacts) up against the camera, then the extension tube would I still get the same issues?

Great idea about using the Nikon Ni. I just checked, and unfortunately the Mitutoyo wouldn't fit with sample plus working distance.

It could be worth picking up some second-hand good quality bellows to play with. Will contact seller. Thanks.

Mike, I will PM you regarding the 20x. Cheers.
Fungal taxonomist
Canon 6D Mark II, Stackshot, Nikon Eclipse Ni with DIC, Infinity 3 Luminera microscope camera

SallyFungi
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Post by SallyFungi »

Chris, I have found an Australian supplier (I'm in Australia) for Sorbothane. Is there anything technical that I need to know about what thickness etc to get?

I was going to use a steel plate on top of the Sorbothane and mount the vertical stand to that. Has anyone had experience with whether steel or stone is better, or is it all just about mass?

A question on lighting. If using flash, how dark does the room have to be? Completely black, or can there be some ambient light?

Is there an advantage in using the Studio 300AC over say a Canon Speedlight?
Fungal taxonomist
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mawyatt
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Post by mawyatt »

Sally,

I started with speed lights and quickly got frustrated with the batteries and lack of available optical power. The subjects I use are different than most, these are silicon chips which require high levels of diffusion for very uniform illumination. This wastes lots of optical power, thus the move to studio strobes which are much more powerful.

Best,

Mike

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