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Canon T3i to microscope
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jeaton



Joined: 17 Dec 2017
Posts: 18
Location: Tropic, UT

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:38 am    Post subject: Canon T3i to microscope Reply with quote

I take photographs of specimens ~1 mm in diameter that have high relief so I need good depth of field. I have a Canon T3i which can be used on either a Meiji EMZ stereo zoom binocular scope (eyepeice diameter 30.5 mm) or a similar Olympus (with 30 mm diameter). I have tried an AmScope adaptor, but as it lacks an adjustable aperture I cannot get adequate depth of field. I have not found a microscope mount that adapts to any Olympus EOS lens (e.g. a 50 mm f1.8). Any suggestions?
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Jeff Eaton
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, welcome to the forum

From your Profile:
"Occupation: Paleontologist
Interests: I do micropalaeontology. I need to figure very tiny complex 3D specimens for publications."

Canon T3i is fine Smile

Zoom binocular scopes, aren't so good Sad
You won't get very sharp pictures.
For a start try using a camera phone held rigidly over your scope (remote trigger or delayed shutter).
The phone won't be the limiting factor, probably.
If you try to get more DOF, they'll get more blurred. It's all about the NA of the objective, which leads to an Effective Aperture, and diffraction blur .

Do you have access to a compound scope? One of those would be better.
Or,
Do you have any other camera lenses? Such as a zoom which goes to 200mm?

You'll need 10x - 20x magnification onto your camera sensor, in total.
Your DOF will be of the order of 10 microns, so for say 0.500mm depth you need of the order of 50 photos, stacked in software. Piece of cake. Ish.

Scan the longest/most viewed threads in the FAQ section, which will give you a good idea what we're on about.

If you have a compound scope, for 20x that's probably the better way to go. Your working distance at 10x will typically be under 10 mm, and at 20x, less. It depends how much the optics cost..

For putting a camera such as yours onto a compound scope, the word to search on is "Afocal", username "Pau".


Let us know how that makes you feel !
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jeaton



Joined: 17 Dec 2017
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Location: Tropic, UT

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:17 am    Post subject: lenses Reply with quote

I had reasonable success years ago with a Nikon 990 that had a fixed lens and adaptor for the microscope I described. I used very low light, high F stops, and very long exposures. I only have accesss to zoom microscopes and currently have a 18-55mm zoom lens and a 60 mm macro lens. I would not object to buyng an EF zoom with 200 mm or any other lens if it would work reasonably well on my scope (I can't afford to buy a good compound scope). I do not have a cell phone with photo capabilities and I have a hard time believing I could get publishable results with a hand held phone. I also have had trouble using the search you suggested to find out how to mount a T3i with any lens to a microscope (sorry, I'm not very good with some (perhaps most!) aspect of technology). I very much appreciate your time and help.
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the Afocal thread I hoped you'd find .
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=99265

From time we get similar questions - here was one here with a photograph of something at a much lower Mag than you're asking, which is I would suggest inadequate for publishing these days, except perhaps on the web.
To use your camera above your eyepiece, (Afocal) you'd need high eyepoint eyepiece, which you probably have.
You then need a lens with its entrance pupil in about the same place your eye would be. With zoom lenses it's much too far back. I think with a 50mm you'd get vignetting (small circular image) but I haven't tried one. Others will be able to advise better.
How you'd fare by projecting the image directly on to the sensor with a simple adapter, I don't know.

Your Nikon 990, if like mine of that family, is 3.3 MP and 18(?) year old technology. Today's smartphones, in most ways, beat it easily. Kids I teach have better phone cameras than I do so I try theirs out. Samples off the web
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Last edited by ChrisR on Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:21 pm; edited 2 times in total
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeff,

I used to be a research microbiologist and have published some microscopy images. Trust me, forum members here care about (and know about) image quality, a bit more than scientific journal editors.

In many cases, phone camera image can be good enough for scientific journals.

Please write down your budget for the project and current camera(s), in addition to your T3i, if any. That way forum members can help you more.

The 200mm camera lens approach that Chris R mentioned is more for photographers who are mechanically inclined. The total cost of that approach may be slightly higher than the approach of using a used compound microscope.

Your 1mm fossils would need 10-20x on-sensor magnification, which is likely over the maximum power provided by your stereo zoom microscopes.

Do you currently have a small sensor camera (smaller sensor than your T3i's APSC sensor) with manual zoom lens? If so, try holding its lens over zoom scope's eyepiece and see if magnification/image quality is sufficient for you. Zoom the lens back and forth to find a good match, you want full frame equivalent focal length of about 50-60mm.

A decent compound microscope for focus stacking, such as an Olympus CH, may be obtained cheaply ($100-$200?) from eBay. You want a compound scope with decent fine focus with graduations and long travel range.

You may need a 20x metallurgical (no cover slip type) objective on that microscope. For limited budget, I would recommend Nikon S M 20x NA 0.40, short ~33mm length, non-plan version. It has a working distance of 5.7mm (plan version has 1.6mm of WD). I bought mine for $25 shipped. It is not the very best for image quality, but more than enough for journal publications. It looks like this one:
https://m.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-M-20x-Microscope-Metallurgical-Objective-tested-excellent/292217083019?hash=item44097ed48b:g:c7gAAOSwSypY~OdX

You then just do focus stacking manually, using microscope's fine focus.

Many compound objectives of 4x and 10x are decent and cheap enough. Even some Chinese ones. For 4x power, there is a $17 AmScope 4x objective that provide image quality well above its cost (it is the 3rd one to the left in those photos)
https://www.closeuphotography.com/4x-lens-test/part-one-4x-for-less-than-100-dollars

The above web page used, in some cases, an approach similar to the 200mm lens approach mentioned by ChrisR.

For holding camera/lens over microscope eyepiece (afocal imaging, basically, camera sensor -> 50-60mm full frame equivalent lens -> 10x microscope eyepiece -> microscope body/eye tube -> objective):

I used to use this one:
https://www.amazon.com/Orion-SteadyPix-Universal-Camera-Smartphone/dp/B00I9RHNNI

But now I use several lens step-down rings, with the last adaptor ring almost matching diameter of microscope eyepiece and glued to eyepiece. You need one extra eyepiece for convenience. Such a DIY is lighter, cheaper and more convenient (no adjustment needed) than the Orion adapter.

For your Canon T3i, try setting lens focal length to 40-50mm and hold camera/lens over 10x microscope eyepiece.
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jeaton



Joined: 17 Dec 2017
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Location: Tropic, UT

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks - it will take a while to absorb all of this information. I'm afraid the only other camera I have is a Sony DSC-HX80. As I am retired, I can spend a few hundred dollars without my wife killing me! I'll check out the compound microscopes at E-bay, etc.
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeff,

I suggest open a new thread at equipment forum and ask recommendations for a budget compound microscope that:

1) has long fine focus travel and graduations;
2) has budget trinocular head option; and
3) is of 160mm tube optical design and can easily work with short 33mm parfocal objectives (if you want to use that Nikon M20x objective I recommended);

If you don't view fast moving live subjects (such as protists), then I can recommend American Optical (AO) Spencer series 2 or 4 scopes. They offer good quality for cheap. But their trinocular heads don't offer simultaneous eye/camera view (they offer all visual or all camera tube viewing), so not very good for moving subjects (but good enough for microfossils). Use AO2/4 with that Nikon M20x objective.

Note AO 10/20/110/120/410/420 are infinity corrected scopes and won't work well with 160mm tube objective like the Nikon M20x.

That Nikon M20x objective is unique, in that it has a long working distance, offers reasonable image quality and is quite cheap. It is quite difficult to find 20x objective that offers all 3 of those features. You want working distance of at least 3mm, for microfossils under top /reflected light (longer is better). Many budget 20x compound objectives have working distance of less than 3mm, if not less than 2mm.

Don't forget your local university / government / hospital surplus sales. They may offer good scopes for cheap.
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jeaton



Joined: 17 Dec 2017
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Location: Tropic, UT

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks as always for your time - I very much appreciate your knowledge! The Orion 05306 Steadypix mount is only for point and shoot cameras or cell phones and won't work on a T3i. What camera do you use on yours? On James Castner's 2010 "Photomicroscopy Equipment Selection" post he shows an Orion Steadypix camera mount that fits a Canon about the size of the T3i but I can't find any evidence of that mount style Orion mount anywhere. Suggestions?
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps https://www.telescope.com/Orion-SteadyPix-Universal-Camera-Mount/p/5228.uts ?

That looks the same as what I used at http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=56333#56333 .

--Rik
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeff,

Rik's adapter us similar to mine and he used it with his Canon camera. My camera was a smaller micro four thirds Olympus E-PM2, which I sold off. It and its 30mm Sigma lens fits on the Orion adapter just fine.

But like I said, I would recommend using lens step rings and glue an eyepiece to them. For example, my lens has 46mm front thread. I use a 46-28mm step-down ring, a 28-27mm step down ring, then glued on my eyepiece with its outside front shell removed. Rings with around 27-29mm diameter thread on one side may be glued to eyepiece in a similar way, if everything fits.
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jeaton



Joined: 17 Dec 2017
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Location: Tropic, UT

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got the specific Nikon objective (used for $25), got an used Olympus CH monocular scope, and the camera mount (used ) as shown in the photo. With the Nikon objective only a tiny part of the my 1 X 1 mm specimen is visible in the eypiece and the specimen is about about 5 mm from the objective. The eyepiece tube is very narrow (too small for the microscope mount). What have I done wrong?
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jeaton wrote:
The eyepiece tube is very narrow (too small for the microscope mount).

In the setup shown at http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=56333#56333, the pure white ring that you can see just above the clamp of the Orion holder is actually the top of a bushing made of a piece of PVC pipe split down its side. Without the bushing, the eyepiece tube of that scope is too small for the Orion holder also.

Quote:
With the Nikon objective only a tiny part of the my 1 X 1 mm specimen is visible in the eypiece and the specimen is about about 5 mm from the objective. What have I done wrong?

I don't trust my imagination or my interpretation of your words. I'm not sure which objective you're using or what your whole setup looks like, and I can't tell whether "is visible" means that you have some problem with magnification, with vignetting above the subject, or with illumination below the subject. Can you post a snapshot of the setup, and also a snapshot of what you see that prompts the description that "only a tiny part....is visible"?

--Rik
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jeaton



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This has WF10X eyepiece and the objective lens is the Nikon M 20X 0.40. When I look through the eypeice I can only see about 20/% of the specimen. With the smallest 4X lens the specimen will fit in the field of view. I tried photographing with the 4X lens and made an image stack (I had to use the Amscope adapter as my lenses where too long to fit on the mount with the long eypiece tube). The results were not as good as I'm getting using the zoom scope. I tried posting a picture of the mcroscope setup, but I don't see one on the post?
[/img]
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zzffnn



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeff,

Sorry to hear that you are having some difficulties. I am traveling, so will have to be brief here.

Some photos showing your rig will help. When you "post a reply", click on "upload picture", then click on " choose file" select an image of less than 1024*1024 pixels, then click on "send", then select "standard " and "submit". Your image should show.

Even a 4x compound objective should provide better image than a zoom scope, assuming enough stacks are taken, optimally.

Were you doing afocal imaging (microscope objective - microscope body/eye tube - microscope eyepiece - adapter of correct height - 60mm full frame equivalent camera lens - camera sensor)?

If your subject fills the field of view of 4x objective, then its length is likely around 5mm. To image the entire 5mm subject, you may want to use the 4x objective (unless you want to stack lots of images and stitch multiple stacks). Your M 20x objective is more suitable for an subject of 1mm long.
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's your picture Jeff. You may have missed one of the oddly named buttons.

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