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Very new at photomicroscopy
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Simonoff



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:40 pm    Post subject: Very new at photomicroscopy Reply with quote

Hi and thank you for this wonderful resource. I am just starting out and have been failing pretty well so far. I tend to be a read a little, try a little, read a little, then ask questions kind of person. I am by no means a microscope nor photography expert but am looking forward to learning. I am just starting out, so please feel to "explain it to me like I am 5" - I won't feel insulted :-)

Ok, I have a Meiji trinocular scope on which I have mounted a Canon EOS T1i camera. I have the "C" adapter and a 1.9x magnification lens that goes in the trinocular assembly. I believe this is an attempt to get the image size the eye sees through the eyepieces to be approximately the same as what the camera sees (which by the way is not close).

Before I mount my camera on the assembly, I turn it to manual mode and turn on the mirror lock-up feature. Then I attach the camera to my computer via a USB cable and start up the camera and Canon's EOS Utility. My thinking is that if I use the EOS Utility in live view mode and use the software shutter button, I will reduce vibration.

Ok now the problems begin...

1) The live view in the EOS Utility is pitch black. However, when I take the picture, EOS Utility downloads it and displays it, the exposure is fine (if the shutter is set to 0.4 seconds). If I ramp up the exposure to 30 seconds (LOL) the live view is almost ok, but I couldn't take a shot that way, the image would be white! For some reason, the live view requires MUCH more light than the actual photo does. What am I doing wrong?

2) If I work around the problem described above (by leaving live view on, but taking a ton of test shots), I can then move on to trying to parfocalize the image. As it is, it seems that the field of view through the camera is significantly less than the field of view through my eyepieces. So, I suspect that the 1.9x adapter lens is not quite right, even though that is what Meiji recommended. Am I correct in thinking this or is there more to it?

3) When I try to parfocalize the camera, it seems that there is some kind of optical effect going on, which I do not have a word for. Looking at the taken images while trying to parfocalize, I consistently see that the middle 10-20% of the resulting image can be roughly in focus, but everything outside that is terribly blurry. More so to the left and right of center which is extremely blurry, but also to a lesser extent above and below center. I originally thought I was having a depth of field problem with the object I am trying to photograph, but everything is perfectly focused through the eyepieces. If it matters I am working at about 90x magnification - but the effect is the same if I drop it back to 40x magnification. I tried taking some pictures without the 1.9x adapter in the middle (which created some interesting effects as well) but ended up with basically the same problem.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you very much in advance
Bob
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Pau
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
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Location: Valencia, Spain

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bob, wellcome!

1. This usually happens when you use manual mode and the camera doesn't detects a Canon EF lens. Two possible solutions: Use a chipped adapter (or glue the adequate chip in your adapter EOS mount) who tells the camera that a (faked) EF lens is mounted. You can find them in eBay and other places as "AF confirm" adapter or chip. If you use Av mode the live view will be OK, for single shots it's very convenient, for stacks M mode is usually better.

2. As I understand your c-mount adapter is designed to work with a microscope camera wich sensor is much closer to the adapter thread than your EOS sensor, so you have important parfocality errors. If the heigh of this adapter can't be significatively changed the best approach would be another kind of adaptation.

3. two possible problems:
- as you say the one related with your parfocality issue: because you are forcing to work your optical system outside of its designed parameters, both the feld of view (related with magnification on sensor) and optical performace are altered, the lats one in special with high power objectives.
- If your objectives are not marked as Plan or Pl the image center is focussed in different plane to the periphery. Yo can see it through the eyepieces but because the eyes -and the brain- partially compensate it, the issue is much more evident in micrographies. The use of more corrected objectives is allways to be recommended, but they are more expensive. Focus stacking an also deal with tis issue.

You may consider other camera to microscope adaptations. Take a look at:

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15607&highlight=

http://www.krebsmicro.com/

Hope this may help
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Simonoff



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:31 am    Post subject: Progress and followup Reply with quote

Thank you! thank you! thank you! Av Mode worked very nicely!

For the part 3 I have some reading to do, but thought a picture might help explain what I am seeing. Unfortunately, the instructions on the link http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7 do not seem to work. The pop-up opens but there is nothing in it - even after waiting for 5 minutes nothing apopears in the popup.

So, I hope this is acceptable, but I am including a flickr link:

Image with center almost focused but everything else blurry

Thanks
Bob[/url]
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Pau
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome (3 times Wink )

You can link external galleries, but uploading pictures here works well if you follow all the steps and the image has the adequate dimensions and file size.

About the picture, the bad image periphery is much worse than I imagined. Is it a flat specimen?. You may try to take an afocal picture through the viewing eyepiece, even with a compact camera or phone to have a comparaison point.

Interesting mineral, what one?, what are those repeated black simetrically grouped spots?
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob,
Quote:
I have the "C" adapter

Let's make sure we understand properly which camera adapter you are using, because it should not be the "C" adapter..

This is the one you should be using:
http://www.meijitechno.com/camera_adapters.htm
The 1.9x magnification photo-eyepiece (MA986) is the most appropriate one for your camera.

If you are using one of the ones on this page you have the wrong camera adapter:
http://www.meijitechno.com/cmount.htm


Quote:
As it is, it seems that the field of view through the camera is significantly less than the field of view through my eyepieces.
Again, first let's confirm that you have the proper camera adapter. Properly set up, a 1.9X photo-eyepiece will "crop into" the view seen through the eyepieces a bit, but it should not be extreme.

Tell us what viewing eyepieces you are using (give us the markings on one of them).

Look at the illustration below. If the white circle indicates what is seen through the eyepieces, then your camera field of view should be slightly larger than the box marked 2.1X, and slightly smaller than the one marked 1.67X.


Edited to correct Meiji URL.... thanks Doug for pointing this out and providing the correction
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Last edited by Charles Krebs on Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob, welcome aboard!

I see your microscope questions are being answered by experts, but I'd like to follow up on one Admin issue:
Quote:
the instructions on the link http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7 do not seem to work. The pop-up opens but there is nothing in it - even after waiting for 5 minutes nothing apopears in the popup.

I have not heard a report like this before. Are you referring to the popup shown in Step 2? Is this repeatable? If so, what browser are you using?

--Rik
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microcollector



Joined: 14 Mar 2007
Posts: 254
Location: Port Orchard, Washington

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charles,

The c-mount link you gave gives a 404 error. It should be the following without the + on the end.

http://www.meijitechno.com/cmount.htm

Doug
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micro minerals - the the unseen beauty of the mineral kingdom
Canon T5i with Canon 70 - 200 mm f4L zoom as tube lens set at 200mm, StacK Shot rail, and Mitutoyo 5X or 10X M plan apo objectives.

My Mindat Mineral Photos
http://www.mindat.org/user-362.html#2
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Simonoff



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the comments and questions. I will look up afocal to answer your question. If the a prefix means 'without' it seems I have accomplished that :-)

Hi I will answer those questions I can now, while sitting in the parking lot of my daughter's school and the rest when I get back home.

The piece being photographed is quite flat. All areas are nicely in focus through the eyepiece. They are actually fluorite octahedra having small cube faces. It appears that the cube faces are dark blue and the rest of the crystals are colorless. These fluorites are sitting on a translucent purple 'matrix.' My daughter is writing a paper for publication about the locality and I am responsible for the micro photot, a task I hope I can actually acomplish :-)

As for what browser, I have actually tried both Chrome and IE 8. My first thought was that Chrome was not supported, which is why I backed off to IE. Not sure what happened, I could see that the upload happened, but the window never came back to show the resulting upload and url. I tried both browsers a second time after having increased the jpeg compression, to no avail.

More later and thanks again!!
Bob
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As for what browser, I have actually tried both Chrome and IE 8. My first thought was that Chrome was not supported, which is why I backed off to IE. Not sure what happened, I could see that the upload happened, but the window never came back to show the resulting upload and url. I tried both browsers a second time after having increased the jpeg compression, to no avail.

I looked on our server and I see four of your images, all of size 4752x3168 pixels, with lengths of 4772 and 5092 KB. Looks like you uploaded camera-size images, and probably the server timed out before it could reduce them to posting size for you. It's always a bad idea to let the server resize your images, because even if it works you may not like the result -- the server's resizing algorithm isn't the world's best. Resize them yourself, save them at 1024x1024 or smaller, with file size < 300 KB, then the upload will work OK and you'll get predictable results.

Quote:
The piece being photographed is quite flat. All areas are nicely in focus through the eyepiece.

The image shot by the camera is sharp along an almost vertical line stretching from top to bottom of frame, and getting more blurred to both sides. The camera image looks like the specimen is tipped, but the eyepiece view says otherwise. I think you're facing some sort of misalignment issue in the trinocular head, though I don't know how that could happen. Can you remove the camera, insert a conventional eyepiece in the trinoc tube, and see what it looks like that way?

--Rik
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Simonoff



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I have looked and taken notes on what I think are all outstanding questions.

The camera mounts on a ring whose only marking is "For Canon Only." This ring, on one side mounts nicely with red-dots-aligned to the camera. The other end mounts onto a tube whose part number is "MA 150/50." This mounts on another part which is a holder for the 1.9x lens (appears to be pictured on the URL you posted earlier). Though this 2.9x lens assembly does not seem to have a part number printed anywhere. All of this sits on the silver trinocular tube. Did I explain that well enough? If none of that is a C-Mount, sorry about the confusion. Is a picture needed?

The objectives are SWF 10x and on the opposite side from that marking there is an S.

I did the experiment where I remove all of the above assembly and held the objective lens (eyepiece) to the trinocular tube and looked down. The image was just as distorted as in the picture whose link I shared above. VERY different than looking through the same objective eyepiece when it is mounted in its normal position. I guess that means the problem is internal to the microscope? Do I need to get it to a shop and have it repaired QUICKLY so I can hope to get pictures for my daughter's project - or am I jumping the gun?

Thank you on the picture upload procedure, that makes sense. Simple AJAX-like time out. That is what I suspected, but didn't know the cause.

Thanks again all!
Bob
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Pau
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob, posting pictures of your adapter parts would help.

Is it a new or second hand microscope?
Because usually the vertical phototube is optically much simpler than the viewing ones, the problem may be just in the prism that directs the light to the eyepieces, to the camera or both (this varies between microscope models).
Test all its positions (is the slider working well and locking in discrete positions?), dismount the head and look at that prism and move it, perhaps it may be out of place or locking in wrong positions....
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simonoff wrote:
I guess that means the problem is internal to the microscope? Do I need to get it to a shop and have it repaired QUICKLY so I can hope to get pictures for my daughter's project - or am I jumping the gun?

Yes, internal to the microscope. Try the things that Pau suggests, but do not take anything apart unless you're very sure what you're doing. As for your daughter's project, because the normal eyepieces are working OK, I suggest trying the afocal method. See HERE for discussion and example of that. It is pretty simple and reliable if you have a lens for the camera that will play nice with the eyepieces. The 18-55 mm kit lens that probably came with your camera may work well enough at full zoom and wide open. If you let it stop down, it will surely vignette badly. I would give this a try before handing the scope over to a shop, because then goodness knows when you'd get it back. On the other hand if it's quick for you to get to a shop, they might be able to quickly show you how to adjust some knob or lever that you're overlooking.

BTW, if you have a point-and-shoot camera, try that also with the afocal method. Sometimes the lenses on those things play very nice with microscope eyepieces (and sometimes they don't -- you just have to try).

One last comment on terminology: In the world of cameras, the term "objective" can mean any lens. In microscopes, "objective" normally means just the lens on the turret, next to the subject, while the other lens next to your eye is always called the "eyepiece". Referring to an "objective eyepiece" is likely to cause some confusion.

--Rik
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Simonoff



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the terminology clarification.

This is a new/old scope. I got it for my daughter because she really love micromounts. We go to 2 symposiums per year about the subject. I got the photo set up for it 2-3 years ago when we got the scope under the assumption that someday we might want to do photography.

Ok, pictures of my setup (let's see how this goes)

The following is the whole set up


With the camera removed, looking at the adapter ring sitting on the extension tube.



The the camera, connector ring, and extension tube removed


With everything removed that I know how to remove (including the metal tube with many threads per inch), looking down the hole


Hope that helps!

Thank you very much!!!
Bob
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Charles Krebs



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You do have the correct camera adapter.

Which model Meiji do you have? If it is the EMZ-8 or EMZ-13 there will be no lever to pull to get an image in the trinocular tube, the trinocular tube is always "active". With the other models you need to move a control and the image from one of the eyepiece tubes is diverted to the camera tube.

Either way, the eyepiece test (putting a viewing eyepiece in the trinocular tube) does appear to indicate an internal problem. The quality of the view through the top tube (using the viewing eyepiece) should look essentially identical to the image seen through the two regular eyepiece tubes. And the height of the trinocular tube should be adjusted so that when you do this (on a properly working microscope) the focus is the same in all three tubes.

I would double check it using a subject that you know to be very flat... perhaps a coin, just to be sure you experience the same thing. Focus on the coin with the two viewing eyepieces. Then (with no camera adapter on the microscope) place one of the viewing eyepieces in the top camera tube. DON'T CHANGE THE MICROSCOPE FOCUS. Then adjust the height of the trinocular tube until it is also in focus when you look into the eyepiece that is in the camera tube. See if you have the same problem you saw with your mineral specimen.
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Simonoff



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no lever and the view is always on for the trinoc and eyepieces.

Double checking with a coin under 90x has similar problems. But given the depth of field at 90x I would expect this, right? The eye pieces and the tube with an eyepiece atop both show blurriness, but the trinoc has a huge difference by comparison

I tried a pad of paper with a pattern at 90x and again the right side is slightly blurry even through he eyepieces. But it is extreme through the trinoc with an eye piece atop.

I do not see how to adjust anything inside the head, should I avoid playing in there?

Bob
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