Choice of stages & micrometers vs camera & magnifica

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vikcious
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 1:15 am

Choice of stages & micrometers vs camera & magnifica

Post by vikcious »

Hi all,

I am trying to get the best “compromise” when buying a stage and a micrometer for my microphotography. The following assets are already in place:
Camera(s): Canon 5D MkIII & Olympus OM-D EM-1
Lens: Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro
Canon 50mm f/1.4
Raynox DCR-250
Bellows: Nikon PB-6

Targeted magnification:
- Anything from using a reversed 35mm/50mm on the Nikon bellows to 10x-50x (infinity corrected Nikon or Mitutoyo).

Given the above gear and targeted magnification I was wondering what best combination “stage + micrometer” would be? What I am currently looking at is a Newport (M-) 433 Precision Linear Translation Stage with either SM-25 or SM-50 Micrometer, most probably coupled with a Novoflex Castel-L/Q.

Keeping in mind the sensor types used (FF and MFT) and the types of lens / objectives do you think this combo I am looking at would suffice? I mean would it work for high magnifications (above 20x to 40/50x) while still being feasible to work for lower magnifications (1x to 5x)?
While for everything above 10x the finesse of the micrometer is justified I was wondering how much knob turning would be required for lower magnifications and if it’s not a killer task.

Any clues and links to others alternative products would be much appreciated.

Thanks a lot for your help.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Have you considered automation, such as a StackShot rail or a StackShot-enabled focus block?

I spent quite a few years turning handles. That seemed OK at the time, but now that I have automated stepping, I would not be eager to go back.

--Rik

vikcious
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 1:15 am

Post by vikcious »

rjlittlefield wrote:Have you considered automation, such as a StackShot rail or a StackShot-enabled focus block?

I spent quite a few years turning handles. That seemed OK at the time, but now that I have automated stepping, I would not be eager to go back.

--Rik
Hi Rik,

Of course I have also considered (but forgot mentioning!) StackShot but I am curious if that is an option for the field work? I've never seen any picture depicting a setup for field work based on StackShot and I am pretty sure it would be a very cumbersome/heavy one. Am I wrong?
What gear (stage + micrometer) would there be needed for field work stacking?

elf
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Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 12:10 pm

Post by elf »

LordV shoots high magnification focus stacks handheld in the field. Fotoopa has a laser guided field unit. I'd say the sweet spot lays somewhere between the two :)

Some of the larger macro panoramas I've done have >3500 individual shots, so manual shooting would be almost impossible to do well. If you have DIY skills, then making an automated focus stacking rig doesn't have to be expensive.

vikcious
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 1:15 am

Post by vikcious »

elf wrote:LordV shoots high magnification focus stacks handheld in the field. Fotoopa has a laser guided field unit. I'd say the sweet spot lays somewhere between the two :)
Great info! Else... for now, knowing my own not so stable hands I could only envy LordV! Will look for Fotoopa setup details.
elf wrote:Some of the larger macro panoramas I've done have >3500 individual shots, so manual shooting would be almost impossible to do well. If you have DIY skills, then making an automated focus stacking rig doesn't have to be expensive.
Ok, I figured I won't get a simple answer.... the more such comments & info I get the better!
Thanks!

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

vikcious wrote:Of course I have also considered (but forgot mentioning!) StackShot but I am curious if that is an option for the field work?
I was wondering if you were targeting field work also.

You're right, working with StackShot in the field is cumbersome & heavy. There's an illustration at http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=12288.

For field work I think a manual stepper is best.

But if you want a single system that can also work on bench, comfortably, at 50X, then perhaps using a microscope focus block would be the best compromise. See for example http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=12722 .

A focus block can also be automated, by the addition of a stepper motor, and it turns out that when the stepper motor is not powered, the focus block is still completely usable by hand.

The big advantage of a focus block over a linear stage + micrometer is that the focus block is effectively geared down a lot farther, so it's simpler to make very small focus steps -- fractions of a micron, if you want. At the same time, the fine focus knob is a lot bigger than a micrometer barrel, so it remains simple to make larger steps also. At 1:1, your typical step size will be about 0.20 mm, which is exactly one turn or exactly two turns of the fine focus knob of most focus blocks.

--Rik

Saul
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Post by Saul »

IMHO....

Buy :
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/100mm-st ... 087d845169

Swap original stepper with dual shaft 0.9 degree:
http://www.amazon.com/Vexta-Resolution- ... tepper+0.9

Put the knob on the 2nd end and you have auto/manual unit - good for the field and for the studio horizontal setup. There are a lot of Arduino based designs for controls . If step is to big for your purpose (even with 0.9 instead 1.8 stepper and driver divider), you can use different ball screw with smaller pitch.
Saul
μ-stuff

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Saul, that's a very interesting idea. That rail represents a class of device that I did not know about, so I very much appreciate the link.

For manual use, I think I would find 4 mm pitch to be too coarse. But I don't know what finer screws are available, or where to get them. Can you share some pointers about that?

--Rik

Saul
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Post by Saul »

Thanks Rik !

I was looking something to replace my horizontal setup
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... +leftovers
and what could be used for the field also. And this is close ...

Our forum member Michael Pankratz has similar approach:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/_papilio/ ... 16962@N00/
using
http://openbuilds.com/builds/c-beam%E2% ... uild.1955/
http://openbuildspartstore.com/c-beam-l ... or-bundle/

Maybe he'll join our conversation and share his ideas about changing ballscrew ( what he is already mentioned in his Flickr thread). Most probably I'll go with Openbuilds bundle because their ball screw sits on the two bearings and could be bought without stepper motor which one I own already (twin shaft). What I do not like in their design - stepper is attached to the main rail through the two bottom spacers only (maybe it could be fixed adding something on the top of the hC-Beam™ End Mount (if needed)
http://openbuildspartstore.com/c-beam-end-mount/
and connected to the stepper motor.
In my case most probably it will be custom 3D printed NEMA 23 to 17 adapter (my motor is NEMA 17, in the bundle - NEMA 23)
Saul
μ-stuff

Saul
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Post by Saul »

Update:

Macro enthusiast Arda Kutlu is using Del-Tron LRS3-1 Linear Stage:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/masquerade/27037786472/
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R4 ... -1&_sop=15
http://www.deltron.com/search/Posi-Driv ... px?pkid=71

I liked small size, what would be great for outdoors comparing with options which I mentioned above (shortest is 100-150mm) and, like Rik mentioned, pitch size is not fine enough. Found some fine screws on the ebay
http://www.ebay.com/itm/272247594728?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT
but another problem - nut will not fit to the Openbuilds design.

So bought Del-Tron...
Saul
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Saul
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Post by Saul »

Ebay seller sent me information (his listings) about stages with very fine pitch:
172179504833
182105758257
Saul
μ-stuff

vikcious
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 1:15 am

Wow!

Post by vikcious »

Many thanks Saul for your great contribution!

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