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Experiment with PhotoShop

 
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scitch



Joined: 29 May 2010
Posts: 461

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:21 am    Post subject: Experiment with PhotoShop Reply with quote

Tonight, I decided to try an experiment. I had a dried up juvenile damselfly and even on the lowest magnification on my trinoc, I couldn't get the entire subject in the picture. So, I thought I'd do three stacks and then stitch them together in photoshop. Someone with better PS skills (and better photomacrography skills) could have done a better job, but it was a proof-of-concept for me.

I also took some more measures to reduce vibration. Do you think it did any good? I weighted the camera with a bag of beans and used very bright lights to enable a faster shutter speed. I also waited at least 5 seconds after touching the microscope to activate the remote shutter release. I also put the microscope on the concrete garage floor and turned the air conditioner off. I also turned off the Steady Shot. The photo tube is adjustable so as to be parfocal with the eyepieces, but then the tube wiggles. So, I sacrificed parfocal-ness to screw the photo tube all the way down to the bottom.

Keep in mind that my PhotoShop skills are weak so the shadows look terrible. It wasn't worth spending any more time on.

I used a ring light and stand-alone illuminator with the diffuser removed and turned all other lights off. I used ISO 800 1/40" AWB.

After all that . . . I'm still not happy with the picture. But I think that the idea of stitching the photos together is something I might try again later.

Mike

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scitch



Joined: 29 May 2010
Posts: 461

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reading some other posts, I realized that I should have aimed for a longer exposure, not shorter, in order to reduce vibrations. I was thinking of it like trying to stop action at a sporting event by using fast film and a short exposure. I can give it a shot the other way as well.

Mike
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Mitch640



Joined: 15 Aug 2010
Posts: 2137

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know of any real way to stop vibration from the camera. Mirror lock up does help, but then you have the shutter tripping, which is almost as bad as the mirror flipping up. I would definitely use live view if your camera has it. Longer shutter times has never worked for me, even when shooting starfields with a wide angle. Vibration seems to be vibration, no matter where or when it comes during the capture.

I have used beanbags, sand bags, bricks and rocks with blankets on them, and nothing has been perfect. One thing that has helped a little bit, is to shoot say 3 or 4 shots as fast as your cameras burst mode will do it. With luck, the harmonics of the whole thing will balance out for one of the frames.
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scitch



Joined: 29 May 2010
Posts: 461

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Mitch. My camera does not have shutter lock or live view Sad I had no idea what stacking was when I bought the camera. It does have burst mode, though, and I can try that.

Mike
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 5805
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There can't really be a "set" answer for SLR vibration. So much will depend on the set-up... mass, "settling" time, camera model and such.

(And we're not even addressing external vibration sources... air conditioners, loud music, cars rolling by outside, clothes washer/dryer, even someone else walking in the room or floor above).

But every time I have tried to do a relatively thorough test of shutter speeds on a well "damped" system the results can be characterized in a similar way. At very fast shutter speeds the issue is much less (around 1/1000 sec). As shutter speeds get longer the problem get more noticeable. It's not unusual to find the range between 1/4 to 1/30 to be the most problematic. As the shutter speed gets quite long... 2 seconds and longer... the vibration problems become less (but at these long shutter speeds you are far more vulnerable to external sources, so it's not an option for everyone. Also, a set-up with a long "settling time" can require an unworkable long exposure).

I always feel the need to preface the next few comments by saying that I am about equally invested in Nikon and Canon gear... and like both systems very much. But there is simply no doubt in my mind that if you are going to use a continuous light source with a microscope mounted DSLR, the Canon bodies that use an "electronic first shutter curtain" in the live view mode cause far less vibration problems than any SLR I have ever used. When I use the D300 for micro work I generally try to use electronic flash. (And if I was using a continuous light source, and my camera model did not have, at the very least, a mirror lock-up setting I would not even consider it for microscope use unless I was going to use electronic flash).
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Mitch640



Joined: 15 Aug 2010
Posts: 2137

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have owned most of the Canon EOS line, from D-30 to the 1D MkIII. I think I missed the 10D, 50D and all of the full frame bodies. But I have found that all shutters are different also. The 30D was nice and light, little vibration, but the MkIII is called the sausage slicer by my friends. That thing is about like a train locomotive going by. Nothing I know of can hold it still.

Wouldn't some of the P&S cameras, of any brand, with their electronic non-shutters, be better? I am thinking of buying one, just for the microscope.

How about turning off the lights, opening the shutter, turn on the light, time the exposure, then turn the light off and tripping the shutter closed? Using low ISO and small aperture ought to make it work close enough.
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scitch



Joined: 29 May 2010
Posts: 461

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The flash is a good next step. I made the silly mistake of buying an external flash advertised for "Sony dslr" cameras and assumed that it would fit my Sony dslr camera and I was wrong. So, I'm awaiting the return and replacement process. I've tried several different methods for using the pop-up flash with the microscope and couldn't get it to work. I tried aluminum foil reflectors and bouncing off of white paper, but with a trinoc, there's too much stuff in the way.

Thanks for the advice.

Mike
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 5805
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mitch,

If you have not already seen these pages, they might be of interest:

http://krebsmicro.com/Canon_EFSC/index.html

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8943
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Mitch640



Joined: 15 Aug 2010
Posts: 2137

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I have seen every page, image and article on your site. LOL. I heard about it before I ever found this forum. Someone over at POTN told me about it in a thread I started to ask about microscopes. Not really strong on micro over there. Smile

The other link I saw once before, digested it and was going to get back to it, but didn't until now.

I have the MkIII, and have used live view a lot on it, when shooting in my light tent. I wasn't sure about Silent Mode or Second Curtain, but ran through them just now. You can add the 1D MkIII to your list. It works. Smile
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mitch,

hmmm... maybe we're not talking about the same thing.

As far as I know, the 1D III and the new 1D IV do not have any setting where there is an "electronic first shutter curtain" utilized. In all live-view situations with these cameras there will be a mechanical first shutter curtain utilized.
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Mitch640



Joined: 15 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It could be. I don't know the scientific details of how the MkIII works, but it does have a silent mode, and I can set first or second curtain and I can do it all in Live View. Isn't it the same thing as in the other bodies you mentioned?
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK... I see where we're not quite on the same page. "Silent Shooting" on the 1DIII is a drive mode that changes the shutter "re-cock" so it makes less noise. And what I'm referring to is not related to first or second curtain flash sync.

The "electronic first shutter curtain" capability first appeared in the 40D which was introduced after the 1DIII.
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