microscope infinity optical system setup for wild bees macro photography?

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

Moderators: Pau, rjlittlefield, ChrisR, Chris S.

jac B
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:01 am

microscope infinity optical system setup for wild bees macro photography?

Post by jac B »

Hello,

I’m using (as a hobbyist) a full frame dslr with a 105mm macro lens, a flash, remote control cable for handheld and tripod (living and dead) wild bees photography. I photograph for identification purpose, not for composition/beauty.

I want to start with dead wild bees macro photography (full frame dslr) via a microscope infinity optical system (infinity corrected objective lens). I’m not into processing (big) batches of bees. The photos must be suitable for publication on internet/non-professional publications. The photos of (very) small bee details, like the genitals, the puncturing, (the color of) a thorn on a leg, the (color of) hair, a mandible (end), etc. are important for identification purpose. The body size of bees are 4mm and up. I tried the in-camera focus stacking function with former macro lens for former bee details and want lesser/no cropping and to improve the photo quality. The identification guide “Les espèces du genre Sphecodes Latreille, 1804, en Belgique” has small bee genitals photos, made with a Nikon D7000, Cognisys stack equipment and a Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 50x / 0.55 lens (https://www.hymenovaria.nl/pdf/Pauly_20 ... lgique.pdf). That’s why I have the impression that for my setup a 20x or 50x magnification is a must. Do you have specific experience with my purpose?

Which equipment setup can you advise me? My intended room for a setup has a laminate floor!!! If I understand the concept of a tube lens correct, I prefer a setup with a (dedicated) Thorlabs, Nikon, Leica, Mitutoyo, Raynox, Olympus, Zeiss, etc. lens as a tube lens. Which (off the shelf) working table is suitable for macro photography and microscope equipment? How do I minimize/reduce vibration issues for the (advised) setup? Can I get (later on) help for dealing with vibration, subject and camera positioning, lighting, stacking, etc. issues?

FYI, concerning my vibration, positioning, lighting experience: I’m also using former full frame dslr with a spotting scope for tripod bird/waders (manual focus) photography at approximately 40-70m at an 30x magnification. Bird details are important for identification purpose.

Regards, Jac B

Scarodactyl
Posts: 584
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:26 am

Re: microscope infinity optical system setup for wild bees macro photography?

Post by Scarodactyl »

I have a hefty measuring stand, and even on my wood floor and not insanely solid table it does not have noticeable vibration problems at 50x. Maybe I have lucked out in its placement though.
Do you have an idea of your budget range? That will have a big effect on suggestions--that mitutoyo 50x for instance is a fairly expensive objective. Are you looking for a full microscope setup, or just objective+camera+focusing setup of some sort?

jac B
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:01 am

Re: microscope infinity optical system setup for wild bees macro photography?

Post by jac B »

@Scarodactyl, thanx.
Scarodactyl wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:02 am
I have a hefty measuring stand, and even on my wood floor and not insanely solid table it does not have noticeable vibration problems at 50x. Maybe I have lucked out in its placement though.
What specific hefty measuring stand? Is it an off the shelf table? What material is the tabel made from? How heavy approximately (kg) is the table? What height, width, depth (cm) has the table?
Scarodactyl wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:02 am
Do you have an idea of your budget range?
No. I expanded my current macro system step by step with quality/a-brand equipment/accessories, instead of replacing non quality/a-brand ones with quality/a-brand ones. Is it possible to set up a system step by step and expand my current Nikon equipment/accessories with quality/a-brand equipment/accessories towards a microscope infinity optical system setup?
Scarodactyl wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:02 am
That will have a big effect on suggestions--that mitutoyo 50x for instance is a fairly expensive objective.
Understandable.
Scarodactyl wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:02 am
Are you looking for a full microscope setup, or just objective+camera+focusing setup of some sort?
I’m looking for an objective+camera+focusing setup, because I have the impression that an objective+camera+focusing setup can reach better photo quality/detail then a full microscope setup.
A (Greenough) (stereo) microscope (binocular without lens tube, non-trinocular) is for wild bees preparation purpose.

Regards, Jac B

Perl
Posts: 272
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:43 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: microscope infinity optical system setup for wild bees macro photography?

Post by Perl »

Wild M Serie Microscope (M3-M8)
with Phototube do the thing
Regards
Pär
****** Seeing is Believing ******

jac B
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:01 am

Re: microscope infinity optical system setup for wild bees macro photography?

Post by jac B »

@Perl
Perl wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:46 am
Wild M Serie Microscope (M3-M8)
with Phototube do the thing
Regards
Pär
Hi, Do what thing? Can you show photo results?
Regards,
Jac B

Macro_Cosmos
Posts: 1051
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:23 pm
Location: Andorra la Vella
Contact:

Re: microscope infinity optical system setup for wild bees macro photography?

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

Alright, there's some good information to work with. Firstly, check out USGS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml
They seem to be doing exactly what you intend to do. Their setup is rather approachable, using a Canon MP-E and some home brew box with one or two flashes. The results are nothing exceptional, but I see all the features you desire, at merely 5x. I honestly don't think 50x would be necessary for text book cropped photos.
Their posts contain information on their shooting technique and setups, such as this one: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/ ... ateposted/
PDF of Basic USGSBIML Photography Set Up:
ftp://ftpext.usgs.gov/pub/er/md/laurel/ ... 20Lab2.pdf

Google Hangout Demonstration of Techniques:
plus.google.com/events/c5569losvskrv2nu606ltof8odo
or
www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c15neFttoU
For the 50x, you will want 1um/step, you will get large amounts of files and depending on the depth, this could easily reach over 300.


Dead insects are a good starting point. You must clean it, or else the stack will be quite gross. This isn't a matter of pictorial quality, I would imagine the grime and dirt obfuscating identification or just wasting valuable time.
To clean the specimen, I personally soak the corpse in 70% alcohol. Some use an ultrasonic cleaner with those metal tea holder things, giving good results too.


The PDF you linked has some interesting photos. I'm pretty sure a 10x mitutoyo objective is all you really need. 50x implies something that's ~500um covering an FX sensor, vertically. How large are the bee's typical features you're looking for? I searched for "male bee genital size" and got some stupid nsfw results, let me clear my browsing history...
Here's what a 10x can do to the leg of a rather small butterfly: https://flic.kr/p/2geseDL
You can see plenty features, do you think it's good enough? Mit's 50x will typically cost a good $1000, and according to some anecdotes from friends, the yield ratio is quite poor. One friend obtained a 50x that looks pretty new on the outside but has some pretty horrible ghosting, another got one with a chipped front element... however it produces crisp images. It's a big gamble -- always buy from sellers that allow returns!
I prefer a setup with a (dedicated) Thorlabs, Nikon, Leica, Mitutoyo, Raynox, Olympus, Zeiss, etc. lens as a tube lens. Which (off the shelf) working table is suitable for macro photography and microscope equipment? How do I minimize/reduce vibration issues for the (advised) setup? Can I get (later on) help for dealing with vibration, subject and camera positioning, lighting, stacking, etc. issues?
For starters, I advise you to stick with Nikon or Mitutoyo objectives, you can go Olympus too. You will find a very hard time getting a Leica/Zeiss tube lens at an acceptable price. Zeiss uses 165mm tube lenses.
A good easy to adopt lens is the Nikon 200mm ai-s version or the Raynox DCR-150. There's plenty information on how to mount them. Adaptors are readily available, albeit from China so you will have to wait a while for it to ship.
According to my test, the Carman Haas clone ITL200 performs slightly better than the original copy I have, it's $180+$40 shipping off ebay, shipped from Suzhou, China via TNT.
https://macrocosmosblog.wordpress.com/2 ... vs-itl200/
Considering you might have to pay as much for a good used 200mm ais, I do recommend the clone CMH-200.

The easiest way to reduce vibration issues is getting a very heavy base.
- Big slab of marble/granite
- Heavy DIY box filled with pennies
- Optical bench
- Heavy DIY box filled with water

I used to use a 300x600 aluminium optical breadboard. I will get vibrations when people walk pass, when I walk around in the room, when there's a storm...
I was then lucky enough to save a small optical table from the dumpster at the lab I work at, vibrations? No more, I can even jump in the room. A big slab of marble will do the trick while being rather cheap. You will find a hard time getting optical tables unless you're based in China or the USA. I've personally never seen one for sale on Australian sites.

We are always here to help. Simply show us the setup and sample photos so we can troubleshoot. The more specific the question is and the more detail you provide, the easier it is for everyone to give good advice.

Ichthyophthirius
Posts: 1117
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:24 am

Re: microscope infinity optical system setup for wild bees macro photography?

Post by Ichthyophthirius »

Hi,

Just from an entomologist's, not macro, standpoint: The pictures in the paper are excellent for a scientific publication (considering the small size and the large volume of illustrations that had to be made for the paper). The stacks of the genitals and antennae with their microsculpture are outstanding, better than what I would see visually with a stereo microscope with 1x Planapo objective. Those features are also not visible in the images taken - of larger bees - with the Canon MP-E that Macro_Cosmos linked to (does anyone know the NA of the MP-E at 5x?).

My feeling is that you don't need a very expensive Plan Apo 50x/0.55 and would think that Macro_Cosmos' suggestion of a (Plan apo) 10x is a good starting point.

Regards, Ichty

rjlittlefield
Site Admin
Posts: 21278
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:34 am
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA
Contact:

Re: microscope infinity optical system setup for wild bees macro photography?

Post by rjlittlefield »

Ichthyophthirius wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:04 am
does anyone know the NA of the MP-E at 5x?
Wide open, NA 0.149 (effective f/16.8 at sensor).

--Rik

jac B
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:01 am

Re: microscope infinity optical system setup for wild bees macro photography?

Post by jac B »

@Macro_Cosmos Thank you for your explanation, suggestions, links, help.
@Ichtyophthirius Thank you for your comment and suggestion.

Hi,

What’s your opinion about my intended setup for my specific purpose (see my drawing in the attached JPG file)?

Regards,
jac
Attachments
Setup 29072020 SM2V15 CONCEPT 2 PS.jpg

Ichthyophthirius
Posts: 1117
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:24 am

Re: microscope infinity optical system setup for wild bees macro photography?

Post by Ichthyophthirius »

rjlittlefield wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:22 am
Ichthyophthirius wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:04 am
does anyone know the NA of the MP-E at 5x?
Wide open, NA 0.149
Thanks, Rik!

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic