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My first photomicrography

 
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cozdas



Joined: 11 Jun 2010
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:41 pm    Post subject: My first photomicrography Reply with quote

Hi all,
I've been following this forum for a while, learned a lot from the posts. After getting a microscope as a birthday present I attempted to build a basic/cheap photomicroscopy setup. My initial plan was to use my Canon G10 but finding a cheap optical adaptation turned out to be a challange. I was able to do the physical connection via a t-mount etc but stuck with the optical adaptation. G10 lens can not be removed, and since I'm a beginner I don't want to spend $500+ on the photo eye pieces (yet). I'm still trying to understand the pros and cons of afocal, photo eyepiece or regula eye piece approaches.

Anyhow what I ended up using is my 10+ years old Nikon Coolpix 995 camera which I use along with a 12.5x basic eyepiece with the help of a 28mm threaded filter holder super-glued to it.

here are the first set of images I've came up with my poor-man's setup. I guess this little wasp is from Lysiphlebus testaceipes family (not sure though)











I posted more details about the setup picturing this specimen in my blog:
http://cozdas.com/blog/english/life/lysiphlebus-testaceipes/
http://cozdas.com/blog/english/life/photomicroscopy-setup-v1-0/

P.S. I had some difficulties uploading the photos to the forum (using firefox) thus attached the photos off-site. I hope this is not against the forum rules.
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18855
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cozdas, welcome aboard! Very Happy

This is the second Celestron microscope I've heard about today, and I can't recall another one before that. Interesting coincidence.

From reading your blogs, I think you have this technology well in hand. (Thank you for the kind words about Zerene Stacker -- I wrote that one.)

Uploading photos to the forum should be reliable using Firefox (that's what I use), but the procedure is not completely obvious. See instructions at Image Hosting Steps, but notice that in Step 4, you will have to scroll the upload window to its bottom in order to see the various "Insert picture" links. It is OK to link off-site photos, though we prefer to have photos uploaded to photomacrography.net because that way they don't mysteriously disappear when posters rearrange or clean up their other sites.

By the way, about your subject, I notice you commented about reflections in the ocellus in the last image. I think if you check your original images, you will find that the apparently V-shaped bristles are actually single bristles and their reflections in the very shiny cuticle. The first time I saw this effect on one of my own insects, I found it very confusing!

I hope this is helpful. It is good to see you here at photomacrography.net.

--Rik
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cozdas



Joined: 11 Jun 2010
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rik,

Thanks for the warm welcome and another thanks for the Zerene Stacker. Being a graphics programmer myself in profession I immediately realized that your stacker is designed with a user and task oriented mindset unlike the others that I tried which were developed more like underlying technique in mind rather than the user or the task. Really good job!

For the reflections, when I first saw them I thought they are shadows but then realized that my lighting is too soft for that kind of hard shadows (and probably at that scale hard shadows are almost impossible to get, that scale is still pretty alien to me).

I have lots of questions about the equipment and such, but I want to read around more before pestering you guys with noob questions Smile

Thanks again


Last edited by cozdas on Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18855
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cozdas wrote:
probably at that scale hard shadows are almost impossible to get, that scale is still pretty alien to me

That's a good point. At some scale, diffraction of light as it passes around the hairs will cause the shadows to blur out except very close to the hairs. I've never tried to calculate how small is needed to make that happen. Maybe these qualify.

--Rik
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cozdas



Joined: 11 Jun 2010
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally I have a dSLR (instead of the old Nikon 995) and a flash light now. I've tried several combination of microscope lens + non-photo eye piece + camera lens setup. Since my microscope optics are pretty humble (the microscope + 3 objectives + 2 oculars = ~$100), the best result was using the microscope objective alone without any other optics on the way between it and the sensor.

The CCD's position is a quite a further away from the designed real-image formation location, which if I'm not mistaken is somewhere near the eye-piece I guess 160mm (correct me if I'm wrong). So my setup is kind of a microscope objective on bellows, or a microscope with extension tubes Razz.
So since I'm letting the light beam to diverge even more the light beam starts to hit the tube walls and thus reduce the contrast quite a bit. To prevent the bounced light off the microscope tube to reach the sensor, I placed an eye-piece with its lenses removed on the light path -near its original location-, thus adding an aperture on the light path; it did the trick pretty well.

Here is a couple of images of the same guy with my new setup.
Canon 7D, cheap 4x and 10x objectives from the Celestron kit, Canon 430EX II flash light, tissue diffusers, Zerene stacker.





Last edited by cozdas on Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18855
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These look very good. I can't tell about corners (nothing in focus there), but the sharpness at centers of edges looks good and I don't see a trace of chromatic aberration.

You have a bit of streaking at the bottom of each image, which is an artifact of Zerene Stacker's alignment method.

Going back to your original post, and noting that this small wasp fits comfortably on the tip of a finger, it seems quite astonishing to get so much detail from inexpensive optics. If you had shown these images 10 or 15 years ago, they would have been award-winning. Nice work!

--Rik
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