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The best camera for both macro of plants/lichens & scope
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charles Krebs wrote:
For taking pictures through a stereo microscope (with no trinocular head or separate camera port) the G12 is small and light enough to use an adapter that will clamp onto an eyepiece.
...
This is called the "afocal" method of taking pictures through a microscope. One caveat is that you really don't know how well the camera lens will match up to your microscope eyepieces until you try it. You may experience some vignetting.

In addition to vignetting, be cautious about lens extension when using any of these simple adapters. I have two different P&S cameras. One of them vignettes pretty badly on my scope at all zoom settings. The other one works nicely at one particular zoom setting, when the camera is positioned very close to the eyepiece. However, that camera also has the "feature" that when it powers off, it briefly extends the lens full out, before retracting it into the body. When the camera is mounted on the microscope so that it does not vignette, the added extension on power-off is sufficient to run the camera lens into the eyepiece. This only happened once before I became very cautious, but even so there is a glitch in the zoom mechanism, probably due to damaged gears.

--Rik
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having re-read this thread several times, I confess that I'm frustrated. When it's hard to choose between multiple good solutions, you can just flip a coin and be happy either way. But given the list of what Melissa wants to accomplish, it seems that every approach is likely to involve some element that won't work well or will be challenging to configure and use, or won't come close to fitting in budget.

My earlier argument in favor of DSLR would be appropriate for myself at the present time, but I can easily retrieve memories of struggling to understand what to buy and how to hook it together to get good results. As indicated by my post just before this, even the apparently simple scheme of pointing a P&S into a microscope eyepiece is not entirely trivial and free of risk. And I can recall long and recurring discussions in the Yahoo Microscope group, regarding the foibles of one P&S after another. Enrico's report of success with the Panasonic G3 is very encouraging, but still we're talking about selecting relay lenses to work with the microscope. I'm not sure how well any of these systems fit Melissa's needs. Just now I explored the possibility of using a cell phone camera in conjunction with a holder like the "SkyLight" adapter (HERE) to tackle the microscopy side. That seemed like a "nothing could possibly go wrong" approach, but I was pretty disappointed by what I got from the camera of my Droid Incredible 2, despite that it works well well enough for street photography.

I'm not sure why I'm writing this, except possibly to convey to Melissa that the totality of what she wants to do is not simple, even though it seems like it ought to be. I think what we have here is a variant of the old line, "You can have good, cheap, and easy. Pick any two. Picking any one would be safer."

Please excuse the morose musings. I'm sure I'll feel better after I open the next equipment catalog...

--Rik
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Will Milne



Joined: 23 Sep 2008
Posts: 82
Location: Manitoba Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik- you were not being morose just realistic:)))


I do a lot of fly fishing , if photomacrography seems complex just try and get a group of flyfishers together and have them agree on which rod/reel/line/fly combo is the best one to catch a fish.Smile))))))))

Will
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lauriek
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjlittlefield wrote:
I think what we have here is a variant of the old line, "You can have good, cheap, and easy. Pick any two. Picking any one would be safer."


There are occasional lucky exceptions but that is a pretty good rule in life!
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Saul



Joined: 31 Jan 2011
Posts: 1383
Location: Naperville, IL USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rik,

[For Nikon cameras on Windows computers, there is a very effective yet cheap program (ControlMyNikon, $10) that can drive the focus motor of many lenses to shoot a stack automatically.]

Will it work properly with Nikkor 70-300 VR and microscopic objective combo ?
Thanks,

Saul
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Craig Gerard



Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 2877
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For Nikon cameras on Windows computers, there is a very effective yet cheap program (ControlMyNikon, $10)

It would appear there has been a recent price increase for ContolMyNikon software.



Craig
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Saul



Joined: 31 Jan 2011
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Location: Naperville, IL USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes, I saw that.There is still 50% discount coupon, which does not work, it was valid until Jan25th (contacted their support)
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Craig Gerard



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still good value for money Wink
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saul wrote:
Will it work properly with Nikkor 70-300 VR and microscopic objective combo ?l

Should. The camera can't tell that there's an objective mounted on front, and I've tested the Nikon CFI 10X down to a tube lens focus distance of 1 meter with good results. (That's about 0.4 mm total depth of field.) See AF motor focusing with a microscope objective.

--Rik
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_sem_



Joined: 04 Aug 2011
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been looking for a decent compact lately. Among S100, G12, XZ-1, X10, LX-5 etc, none seems to be particularly outstanding for macro regarding max magnification and image quality. There are also important handling issues to consider. For example, my old S60 is next to useless in the macro mode because:
- its AF fails up close (at magnifications where G series Canons work)
- its MF is awfully slow
- its display is not sharp enough to let you focus carefully with thin DoF, despite a magnifier window.

rjlittlefield wrote:
The issue about DOF is really a red herring. A small sensor P&S will give no more DOF than a large sensor DSLR set to the proper aperture. The P&S also does not necessarily provide a wider view of the environment. What the P&S can do, given commonly available lenses, is to provide a wide view of the environment while simultaneously providing a close view of the subject.

Agreed, compacts do not seem to provide any more DoF when both are stopped down to somewhere around the diffraction limit (which is where most macros are made because DoF is mostly thinner than you'd wish). Notice the F number will be larger with the DSLR, because the crop factor of the sensor size must be considered. But when using available light only, one mostly needs to bump ISO high but still needs longer exposures than with the compact. The small sensor alone is not a problem for macro.
The wide view makes a deeper impression of sharpness due to less relative background blur, since a larger frame of the background is included in the image (despite practically the same DoF and absolute background blur). However, a wide view can also be obtained on the DSLR using a short lens (for example 20mm) on a short extension tube (like 6mm to 12mm). Mind that a longer extension tube sets the focus point inside the lens, and that the achievable magnification before this occurs is limited, similarly as with the compact cameras. The same wide-angle effect works with short lenses mounted in reverse at higher magnifications. But there is a gap around 1:1 magnifications where short lenses do not work.

Charles Krebs wrote:
If the camera close up range is not adequate (or at higher magnifications you find yourself too close to the subject) you can outfit it with something like the Raynox DCR-250. Check out this page to see what I am referring to:
http://www.lensmateonline.com/G12macroSamples.php

If you take this route you will notice the angle of view when at equiv 100mm gets similar as with a short-to-midrange DSLR macro lens. The compact should have zoom range long enough, otherwise the diopter does not magnify much (or you need a stronger one, which typically degrades quality more). Additionally, the aperture must be wide enough at that zoom position, otherwise diffraction makes everything blurry.

Generally I think compacts aren't that great for macro, except if price or extreme pocketability are the main concerns. The EVILs are a good idea size-wise and should produce good quality, but entry-level DSLRs are cheaper (in both cases you need a good lens).

I've got no clue about the microscope part.
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Pau
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Returning to the title, for me the best general option is a DSLR because its versatility and IQ. Among them I recommend the Canon ones with EFSC
If budget is important like it seems, the EOS 1100D is an excellent option.

For me it is an easy recommendation, but I'm shotting with SLR cameras for more than 30 years.

For microscope work the easier way is afocal ( and the only one with compacts):
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=99265#99265
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