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Is my set up the right one for image stacking of insects?

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Joined: 16 Nov 2017
Posts: 1
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:10 pm    Post subject: Is my set up the right one for image stacking of insects? Reply with quote

I've read all that I can on photomicrography and haven't been able to find solid videos, lists, or articles of equipment set up, shooting techniques, and image stacking. I am trying to find out why my photos are not stacking sharply in Zerene Stacker and if I am even shooting the right way to get correct image stacks.

Below is my setup as well as links to my most recent shoot.

My equipment is listed below:
-AmScope SM-2TZZ-LED ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GGY2N6I/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 )
-Nikon D810
-AmScope CA-NIK-SLR ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005OZ4BME/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 )

Link to photos [Admin edit - dead link.]
- https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1ruhhls0mh56803/AABrPeRQPLnx-Z-XLBAchbmka?dl=0

This is what it looks like for a photo I tried stacking

I am looking to photograph subjects like those in the Stereomicroscopy section of Nikon's Small World contest ( http://www.nikonsmallworld.com/techniques/main/stereomicroscopy )

My main questions are basically, is my setup even capable of shooting subjects like I've tried and in the link above? Am I using the wrong image stacking program? Is there a particular method to shoot? I've tried changing the tension (moving the stereoscope down towards the subject) and the magnification to change the focal ranges then cropping to the field of focus.

Any help is greatly appreciated since I am not yet bound to any microscope brand and can still return my microscope.

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Corey Kennedy
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
Posts: 5026
Location: Valencia, Spain

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Corey, welcome aboard!

Stereomicroscopes like the one at your link are not the best instruments for photomicrography because their intrinsic design limitations: small NA, out of axis light path...
At work I had the same microscope (but in binocular shape) and it is pretty good for visual work except at the higher zoom setting but when tested it afocally for photography it was poor.
Only some very high end and priced stereos are really good for imaging
At high zoom settings you can expect lack of sharpness because the limited objective resolution (what is called empty magnification)

At your image I also see chromatic aberration

Take a look at http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=219827#219827

A compound microscope or a macro setup with microscope objectives will provide much better image quality, take a look:

Stacking hairy subjects like yours is always difficult.
Zerene is one of the best stacking software available
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