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Microscope + DSLR

 
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psyke



Joined: 15 Jun 2010
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:16 pm    Post subject: Microscope + DSLR Reply with quote

Hello! I've been lurking around the forum for a while now and I really appreciate the effort you guys put into making this content. I'm just starting to learn a few things about microscopy and I have a few questions:

I own a Celestron 104 microscope and a Canon EOS 1000 D and I'm looking for a way to take some decent quality photos through the microscope. I've tried using a tripod to mount the camera and shoot it through the eyepiece but that really doesn't please me in terms of quality.

Somebody has recommended me to buy a 32,2 -> T2 adapter (even though I guess my eyepiece diameter is 23.2) + a bainoette T2 (which I don't know what purpose would serve in this setup).

What do you guys think about this? Would you suggest something different? What should I expect to get out of a setup like that? Thanks in advance.
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rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18855
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

psyke, welcome aboard!

One of the challenges in dealing with that kind of scope is that it focuses by moving the tube. If you rigidly fasten your camera to the tube, then the tube will have to support the weight of the camera. That may work, or you may have problems with focus drift.

Given what you have now, I see three reasonable ways to proceed.

1. Shoot through the existing eyepiece, but using a different lens on your camera that plays better with the eyepiece. An example of that approach is shown HERE (scroll down a bit) with a result as shown HERE.

2. Remove the eyepiece, remove the camera lens, and let the microscope's objective cast its image directly onto the camera's sensor. It is important that the sensor is parallel to the microscope stage and that no stray light gets onto the sensor. This can be accomplished by an mechanical mount such as the adapter pair suggested by your other contact. However, that will also force the microscope to support the camera, which introduces the focus drift issue. Alternatively, you can support the camera on tripod, align it carefully, and block out stray light with a wrap of some opaque material such as black velvet.

3. Remove the eyepiece, remove the camera lens, remove the microscope(!), and move one of the scope's objectives to the end of a bellows. Optically, this gives you the same image-forming path as option 2 above, but it makes different tradeoffs with respect to illumination and focusing. Many of the images you see here at photomacrography.net have been shot using this approach.

It would help if we had some idea what you want to photograph, and what other equipment you have handy that might be brought into service here. As an example, if you have an ordinary macro lens that goes down to 1:1, then you may be able to remove the eyepiece, set the macro lens at 1:1 and position the camera so that the macro lens is focused on the image that the eyepiece would normally see, formed 10 mm or do down inside the microscope's eyepiece tube.

You asked "What should I expect to get out of a setup like that?" Well, you're going to have to struggle a bit, and even in the end you're not going to get quality that competes with the best of what appears in the forum. The objectives on your scope are probably basic achromats. They will have decent central resolution, but with rather curved fields and some color fringing away from center (transverse chromatic aberration). Nonetheless the 10X should be able to capture finer detail than all but the most expensive macro lenses. See the third panel HERE for some images illustrating that point.

It is normal to see less detail in your photographs than you see through the eyepiece, particularly if you are young so that your eyes still have a lot of focus range. One reason is that pictures taken by a camera are only focused in a single plane. If your subject has depth or the objective has a curved field, then the camera will see a lot of stuff out of focus that your eye might be able to pull into focus. For subjects that do not move, this problem can be addressed by focus stacking. That process is discussed in many forum postings, though not collected in one convenient place. If you need some guidance, just ask.

I hope this is helpful. I'm sure you'll have more questions -- post when ready.

--Rik
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ChrisLilley



Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 680
Location: Nice, France (I'm British)

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjlittlefield wrote:

It is normal to see less detail in your photographs than you see through the eyepiece, particularly if you are young so that your eyes still have a lot of focus range. One reason is that pictures taken by a camera are only focused in a single plane. If your subject has depth or the objective has a curved field, then the camera will see a lot of stuff out of focus that your eye might be able to pull into focus.


That paragraph belongs in a FAQ somewhere, unless it is already there?
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