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.

Moderators: Chris S., Pau, rjlittlefield, ChrisR

Beatsy
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Post by Beatsy »

SallyFungi wrote: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?
I recently asked similar questions about the base for my horizontal macro rig. I ended up using both. That is, a concrete slab stood on 9 Sorbothane hemispheres with 9 smaller Sorbothane hemispheres on top of that and a 10mm steel plate topping it off. Works really well vibration-wise and I can still magnetically clamp stuff to the steel, which is useful for holding lighting and diffusers etc.

With flash and a sync speed of 1/160th to 1/250th, a bit of ambient light won't register in the image. Take an initial shot without firing the flash to be sure though.

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

If you start here
https://www.sorbothane.com/how-to-get-h ... ion-1.aspx
and delve into the pdf it leads you to, you'll find that on a paving slab you need numbers of 2" or so pads.

It's almost "just mass". Increasing the mass pushes the resonant/natural frequency way down. In the extreme, if your camera and subject were vibrating at one cycle a minute, you wouldn't care. "As low as possible" is your aim. 100Hz, would be too high. Higher frequencies from eg the ground should be massively attenuated if they're above the natural frequency of the mass. Pun wasn't intended, but it fits.

Metals spring with little damping though, which is why the
Newton's cradle exectutive toy thing works. The Impulse gets through.
If the balls were granite they wouldn't deform elastically without great energy loss so the toy would fail.
The energy transfer could mean you efficiently transfer vibrations between different parts of the rig, eg shutter to subject, as welll as from the gound.

I routinely use a flashgun or two and find I'm using low powers like 1/8th - 1/128th, with reflected light and a table tennis ball diffuser, so rechargeable batteries last well, as I get a few hundred flashes. Mike's semiconductor rig is extra-ordinary!

For small insects the Natural History Museum in London uses a Polystyrene cup diffuser, and a Canon MT24EX.
Chris R

SallyFungi
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Post by SallyFungi »

Beatsy, that's good to know. Thanks. Easy enough to do too. I'll try that.
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 »

Thanks Chris. Really useful information. The physics of vibration is fascinating. I see some experiments coming up. I see what you mean about granite vs metal.

I looked into the studio flashes that Mike uses and they do look good, but between the US$169 for shipping to Australia, plus having to deal with converting 110V to 240V, it wasn't looking like an economical option for me. So a standard flash is looking good. If batteries really become a problem, then I'll look at wiring up a 6V car battery to it or something similar.
Fungal taxonomist
Canon 6D Mark II, Stackshot, Nikon Eclipse Ni with DIC, Infinity 3 Luminera microscope camera

Pau
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Post by Pau »

SallyFungi wrote: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.
Sally,
- You're right, but the Canon extension tube is only needed if you plan to use it with Canon EF lenses, if not just use cheap extension tubes and a (chipped or not) adapter at the camera side. I would go for a chipped one as now they are inexpensive and they have few (not very relevant) advantages (exposure simulation in live view doesn't work well without chip, and reporting a fake Canon lens allows full use of the Canon DPP software to correct CA at the image if you use it), that said my adapters are chipless

- This is why in place of the Mitutoyo you must use Nikon (or adapted Olympus) objectives that also are great.
With the microscope you already have a stable stand, the camera, a precision stage and focus mechanism....and if the focus is remotely driven you could also have a precision focus stacking device or you could adapt it

Charles, one of our best microscopists does use that kind of setup
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... 389#144389
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... 214#204214
Pau

mawyatt
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Post by mawyatt »

SallyFungi wrote:Thanks Chris. Really useful information. The physics of vibration is fascinating. I see some experiments coming up. I see what you mean about granite vs metal.

I looked into the studio flashes that Mike uses and they do look good, but between the US$169 for shipping to Australia, plus having to deal with converting 110V to 240V, it wasn't looking like an economical option for me. So a standard flash is looking good. If batteries really become a problem, then I'll look at wiring up a 6V car battery to it or something similar.
The Adoroma strobes mentioned are rebranded Godox SK300 II, which the Godox versions come in various voltages including 240VAC. Same goes for Adorama XPLOR 600 which is a Godox AD600 and Rapid 600 which is a QT600II I believe.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Mike

SallyFungi
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Post by SallyFungi »

Thanks Mike. That helps. I've been able to find a Godox SK300 II on ebay that is 240V and it's A$158, so that looks like an excellent deal.

Pau, I see what you mean now about the microscope setup. I'd still be hesitant to do this for a number reasons. My samples are often quite thick (chunks of wood) and messy. There's no way that I'd like a sopping wet chunk of decaying wood anywhere near this beautiful machine. :-)

Image

I think I'd need to modify it quite a bit to get it to work for macro. Given my workflow, I change between macro and micro regularly throughout the day, I need two different setups.
Fungal taxonomist
Canon 6D Mark II, Stackshot, Nikon Eclipse Ni with DIC, Infinity 3 Luminera microscope camera

Beatsy
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Post by Beatsy »

SallyFungi wrote:...My samples are often quite thick (chunks of wood) and messy. There's no way that I'd like a sopping wet chunk of decaying wood anywhere near this beautiful machine. :-)
Aww c'mon. A quick session with a decent hacksaw and you'd be set for life :D

SallyFungi
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Post by SallyFungi »

:lol: You'll give me nightmares.
Fungal taxonomist
Canon 6D Mark II, Stackshot, Nikon Eclipse Ni with DIC, Infinity 3 Luminera microscope camera

Beatsy
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Post by Beatsy »

SallyFungi wrote::lol: You'll give me nightmares.
Surprised this site hasn't already done that! The number of microscopes that look like Sid Phillips' toys (ref: Toy Story) is just shocking!

While I'm here being silly - "fungal taxonomist" caught my eye too. Obviously not a career choice for Shirley Conran. She thinks life is too short to stuff a mushroom :D

SallyFungi
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Post by SallyFungi »

I have noticed a few Frankenscopes around. Good to see older microscopes being repurposed though.
Beatsy wrote:While I'm here being silly - "fungal taxonomist" caught my eye too. Obviously not a career choice for Shirley Conran. She thinks life is too short to stuff a mushroom :D
:lol: To be fair, fungal taxonomist is not a very good career choice for anyone.
Fungal taxonomist
Canon 6D Mark II, Stackshot, Nikon Eclipse Ni with DIC, Infinity 3 Luminera microscope camera

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

Does it grow on you? :wink:
Chris R

Pau
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Post by Pau »

Nice scope, BTW...I see it bundled with a drawing device...like for old school microscopists (the traditional way for focus stacking :D )

I agree, it's better to have one system for each purpose.
Pau

SallyFungi
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:55 pm

Post by SallyFungi »

Thanks Pau. Yes the drawing tube is excellent. Takes a bit of getting used to but even with the really nice optics and DIC combined with focus stacking, I still find that a good drawing in certain situations is better. There are some very fine features that the camera just will not capture.
ChrisR wrote:Does it grow on you? :wink:
Groan :lol:
Fungal taxonomist
Canon 6D Mark II, Stackshot, Nikon Eclipse Ni with DIC, Infinity 3 Luminera microscope camera

SallyFungi
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:55 pm

Post by SallyFungi »

Hi,

After some delay, I've managed to get my system working to a stage where it's looking promising. My setup is:

Canon 6D
Nikon 200mm Nikkor Ai f/4 tube lens
Adaptor
20x Mitutoyo objective (thanks Mike :-) )
Canon 600EXII-RT Speedlight (with tissue paper as diffuser)
Canon Speedlight transmitter ST-E3-RT
Stackshot Rail
Zerene Stacker
WeMacro vertical stand

I've got both the camera and Stackshot tethered to a Mac. Zerene is controlling the Stackshot. I'm using Canon EOS Utility 3 to control the camera.

I'm still playing around with it, but these are some of my first shots. They're probably not terribly exciting to anyone else, but I'm getting pretty excited because they're far better than I've been able to get using a dissecting microscope. These are fungi on wood.



Image
Image

I've just got a few questions.

What step size would you normally use at 20x? I've been using 5 um and end up stacking about 30-40 shots. Would there be any disadvantage in going down to 2um apart from storage and time? I'd like them to be as sharp as possible and show as much detail as possible.

How dark should the room be? I have curtains and blinds drawn, but there is some light from the computer screen.

I have noticed that if I do a larger stack through more of the depth of the image, then objects appear flattened. Is this normal, or is it something that I'm doing?

What's the best way to blend between the focused area and the unfocused area?
Fungal taxonomist
Canon 6D Mark II, Stackshot, Nikon Eclipse Ni with DIC, Infinity 3 Luminera microscope camera

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