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I'm a Newb, I know it, and I need some help :)

 
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justinduke



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:54 am    Post subject: I'm a Newb, I know it, and I need some help :) Reply with quote

Well, title says all.

I am really interested in getting started and I am looking for some direction on what things I need to purchase to get going.

I have a Nikon D50, and I will be purchasing a Compound Microscope soon, but am looking for some direction on what kind / brand to purchase. Obviously it will need to hook up to the D50 and so I'm looking for some advice on what I will need.

Im looking to be able to hook it up and be successful. If my wife finds out how much money I spent and I get a blurry picture, then my hobby won't last too long. So is it possible to get started with around $500.00 for a microsope and attachements for a D50, or is that just not going to cut it?

Thanks in advance for the help Smile

Justin
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2537
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read a lot on this site about members having difficulty with photography through a microscope.
I recently bought an Olympus BH2 scope with a trinocular head.
It came with an essential NFK photoeyepiece in the phototube.
I simply suspended my D90 above the eyepiece such that the camera sensor was 125 mm from the top of the eyepiece.
Not much could be easier.
Unfortunately, $500.00 would not even buy you a BH2 frame.
For a functional trinocular BH2 your looking at $1500-$5000 depending on lenses.

MY SETUP HERE
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NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
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Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives
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justinduke



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So are you saying that there isn't a way I can do this without spending $1500.00 on a microscope? Or I just cant do it with my current setup?
Thanks for the info btw!
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2537
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No. What I'm saying is to take a look at all the images posted here on "Through the Microscope", see which ones have the quality you want (and those whose quality doesn't meet your standards) and then look at the system the poster uses.
What I consider to be the best images are taken with an Olympus scope using S Plan Apo objectives. There are several of these currently available 2nd hand and used on ebay starting at $595.00 for a single lens.
There is a good reason these lenses command such high prices.

But there is no question that one can get images from a new microscope that costs $500.00 or less.
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NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives
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Mitch640



Joined: 15 Aug 2010
Posts: 2137

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am one of those that can't seem to get good pictures. So far, I have tried adapting my Canon 1D MkIII, a 10Mp dedicated microscope USB camera, and my old Logitech Webcam, to the third port on a trinocular scope. The problem is the adapters, not the scope or the camera. Maybe I expect too much, but I think my pics ought to be better than what they are so far. I have another adapter coming now for the 1D3 and hopefully, this should get it.

You might look at this company for scopes. They are very reasonable, and then all you would need is an adapter for the Nikon.
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Craig Gerard



Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 2877
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mitch,

Regarding the camera attachment. Are you familiar with this approach?

http://www.krebsmicro.com/microsetup2/index.html

Craig
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Craig Gerard



Joined: 01 May 2010
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Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Justin,

Your question is a good one and this forum was established to advise regarding your situation.

Finding the pieces you are looking for will depend, to some degree, on which continent you live, due to availabilty, shipping costs, etc.

You don't have to do it in one giant leap. You can 'trade-up' gradually. This approach can significantly expand the buying power of your initial $500.00. I started with a standard Olympus CH2 Binocular Microscope, purchased at a very good price and in very good conditon. I now have an Olympus BH2 outfitted with SPlan objectives NFK photo-eyepiece and a BH2-TR30 Trinocular head - total cost of the BH2 after buying and selling during the trading-up process, including initial investment, approximately $500.00.

However, $500.00 is not going to deliver acceptable results, unless you stumble upon something rather unique or are prepared to invest additional strategies; such as trading-up gradually.

One suggestion; if considering earlier model scopes; look for an Olympus CH2. Outfit this with an Olympus trinocular head (there are a few models, some less expensive than others). Use an Olympus NFK 2.5X photo-eyepiece in the trinocular tube. The objectives need special consideration, especially when used for photomicrography. If you go with an Olympus scope then it is advisable (necessary) to use Olympus components. Olympus DPlan objectives are okay..., but Olympus SPlans are better. You do not need the expensive Apo objectives; but at some point you will feel inclined to posess them, with good reason.

The condition of the components listed above will vary and there are additional considerations when buying second-hand goods, same as when buying a second-hand car.

Looking at new scopes; well, there are many affordable options that look like microscopes, but don't deliver in regard to desirable/acceptable results. Photomicrography adds additional requirements and raises the quality-bar, somewhat beyond the capabilities of the cheaper scopes.

I would like to be able to add more helpful information; but I am still in the 'trading-up' phase. My reasoning behind the CH2 approach is that any additional components (most) that you purchase for the CH2 will be compatible if/when upgrading the base with that of the more complex BH2.

Justin wrote:
So are you saying that there isn't a way I can do this without spending $1500.00 on a microscope? Or I just cant do it with my current setup?


Could you provide more details regarding your "current setup"?

Craig
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Mitch640



Joined: 15 Aug 2010
Posts: 2137

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig, yes, saw that, but it's way beyond my means and the room I have to devote to this hobby.
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justinduke



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig, thanks for the info. Part of the issue is that I really have no idea of what brand of microscope would bring me ok results versus one that wouldn't. So you're examples are perfect. This gives me an idea of what to kind of look for.

My setup, lol, is just my Nikon D50 at the moment. Which is why Im asking of all this advice so that like you said I don't have to plunk down a massive amount of money to get started. The main thing is if I buy something now, I want to have decent results. Obviously I don't expect Charles' output from something I would buy, but I don't want just some blobby picture on the screen either Smile And also have the capability of saying well I can replace this piece I bought in the beginning with this newer better piece, and still be able to use it on the original equipment.

But with my extremely limited knowledge, I don't know what is ok to purchase, thus the questions.

Also, is it best to get a trinocular scope, and then purchase the adapter so that my camera will be mounted directly to the microscope or are there better methods?

Thanks for your input as well.


Justin
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Pau
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
Posts: 4428
Location: Valencia, Spain

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Justin,
If yo do not plan to compete whith Charles you can beguin whit a much more modest equipment

Here in the microscope and technical fora (and i a lot of microscopy websites) you have a lot of ideas.
It's a too big lot of possibilities for a short answer, you can see some simpler and still effective setups:

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=56333#56333

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9429

to beguin the most simple method may be the afocal setup:
you need a microscope (of course) whith good illumination and plan objectives (plan apos and plan fluorites are better but much more expensive), whith 10X wide field eyepieces of the same manufacturer, a 50mm fixed focal lens for the camera and a device to maintain the camera very near the eyepiece (because your D50 can transmit vibrations to the microscope it's is better if it's suspended without touchuing the microscope.


NU,
I know you are a big fan of the best equipement (in special Nikon according your nickname Wink ), but most amateurs can't afford it and photomicrogaphy can be done whith more modest material.
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Pau
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the used market you can find great bargains, for ex.:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Leitz-Laborlux-D-Microscope-w-5-Objectives-Extras-/180558693076?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a0a2302d4

this one may be (if you live in the U.S.) all you need
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Craig Gerard



Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 2877
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pau,

That's a tidy package for the price. Think
There are also some pieces in that package that could possibly be resold separately to off-set purchase price.

..............

Justin,
A trinocular scope would be the ideal approach, but as Pau mentioned there are genuine alternatives.

If you purchased an Olympus CH2, for example and it came supplied with a binocular head, the head can be easily replaced. The head is attached via a thumbscrew; so you do not necessarily need to specifically look for a trinocular microscope initially.

Trinocular heads usually command a reasonable price. The optics need to be in excellent condition. Inside the trinocular port there would need to be a photo-eyepiece; this is a separate lense, an Olympus NFK 2.5x would be sufficient if you decide to go down (up) the Olympus road.

Regarding camera adapters and microscopes, with specific reference to a trinocular approach; the older microscopes with trinocular heads were mostly designed to work with various format film cameras. These cameras were specific to microscope use and had vibration free shutter systems. It is difficult to find a standard adapter to attach a modern DSLR. Ideally, you want the viewing eyepieces and the camera to both be in focus at the same time (parfocal); so the adapter needs to have some form af adjustment capabilities. Charlie's example at the link below is an appropriate solution.

http://www.krebsmicro.com/microsetup2/index.html

This approach requires a bellows and a copy stand or a modified enlarger stand. Extra expense, yes, but the bellows also enables another possibility for your photography. Have you read many of the posts on the forum regarding the use of microscope objectives on bellows?

Here is one example recently uploaded by Pau:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10821

Craig
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justinduke



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Pau! That's a great find, funny part is, I have no IDEA what some of that stuff is! I guess my question would be, if I did purchase htat, what else would I need?

Also, I saw on your setup you literally just had your camera hooked up to a microscope lens. I have a macro lens for my D50, is that an option to go with as well?

Justin
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Pau
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

justinduke wrote:
if I did purchase htat, what else would I need?


I think you may need a device to hold the camera over the photo port. I'm not sure of the "internal anatomy of the leitz photo adapter, but I think it can be dismounted and, acording the listing, it has a periplan photo eyepiece inside, so with a 50mm lens you can do the afocal setup.
An enlarger o reproduction base (like in Krebs setup or my macro setup) would be be fine if you want to suspend the camera over the photo port to avoid vibrations
(perhaps even whith the lens inside the medium format camera you can setup a photo adapter)

justinduke wrote:
Also, I saw on your setup you literally just had your camera hooked up to a microscope lens. I have a macro lens for my D50, is that an option to go with as well?


Well, this is a new approach for extreme macro with infinite corrected microscope objectives (not my microscope), it's discussed here:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9664

If you are convinced and the price is OK my advice is to buy it whit the buy it now price. It's a realy nice scope (Leitz, now rebranded Leica, is one of the four big microscope manufactures), and this one seems very good and complete (it only lacks, for an standard configuration a 100X objective, easy to find, and in general not the most interesting for photomicrography).
Of course if you want more specialized techniques (Phase contrast, DIC, epi, fluorescence...) you will need other optics and accesories and the prices can go much higther, but for a good begining seem excellent.
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