Recommendations for a digital eyepiece camera ?

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rjlittlefield
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Recommendations for a digital eyepiece camera ?

Post by rjlittlefield »

I'm looking for recommendations for a
  • digital eyepiece camera to be used with a
  • Zeiss Stemi SV11 microscope (30mm tubes, no trinoc port, objective 0.63X, zoom unit 0.6-6.6X) and
  • macOS 10.13.6 (High Sierra) on Powerbook with USB-3
  • for the purpose of online instruction regarding insect identification.
This is for a professor at one of the nearby universities, who suddenly finds that he has to teach his course online from home due to campus closure for coronavirus.

So, priorities are on ease of use and reliability, particularly for videoconferencing. Image quality is lower priority, but would like to take some good quality stills also, both for single images and for stacking.

Budget is preferably $500 or less.

Suggestions? Thanks!

--Rik

Edited to add objective and zoom specs.
Last edited by rjlittlefield on Mon Mar 16, 2020 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Pau
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Post by Pau »

I see no one responding, it seems that people here do not use this kind of cameras, and i suppose that there is a good reason for it.

I have little experience with them from when I was working as a high school teacher: only two low price models, one older analogic and a later one digital.
Both were useful for lab teaching and none of them for quality imaging. One of their drawbacks is the small sensor that crops the image too much. This is even worse for use with a stereo with its very limited NA. Look for a model with built in lens adequate for the sensor size (at least 0.5X in most cases).
Another issue is very often the loss of parfocality because they can place the sensor at a different height from the natural primary image place.

For the proposed use I would look for a model capable to produce 1024 or HDMI output at a good refresh rate and not to high Mpx specification: often this rate the more usefulness limiting specification
Pau

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Pau wrote:I see no one responding, it seems that people here do not use this kind of cameras, and i suppose that there is a good reason for it.
No doubt, a digital eyepiece is not ideal if the emphasis is on highest quality images.

But in this case I think the emphasis has to be on effective instruction, and I think that's more a matter of how well the camera works for teleconferencing.

When I heard about his situation, my response was
For your problem I think the eyepiece camera is hands-down the best solution in terms of usability and effectiveness. Even with all my equipment, if I had to plan on doing an online class I'd buy an eyepiece camera and go that route. All the other approaches ultimately give superb images but they're fiddly and slow to setup. Nothing except the eyepiece camera will give you zoom without changing focus.
One unit that he's looking at is OMAX A35180U3. That works out to have sensor size 6.14 mm x 4.605 mm. With its 0.5X lens, in the context of his scope with 0.63X objective and 0.6-6.6X zoom module, I calculate that he'd get a subject field size ranging from 32.5 mm x 24.4 mm at lowest magnification, down to 2.95 mm x 2.22 mm at highest magnification, all at the twist of a zoom control.

If the camera does play nice with teleconferencing, either as webcam or by screen-scraping, that seems pretty workable to me.

--Rik

lothman
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Post by lothman »

rjlittlefield wrote:
... Nothing except the eyepiece camera will give you zoom without changing focus.
--Rik
Those Navitar zoom lenses stay parfocal when zooming and once properly adjusted, just a setup like eBay 163869026310, but I won't use a DSLR but a small C-mount camera. I worked a lot with such a Setup before we changed to more convenient Keyence digital Microscope (what is optically rather the same than a Navitar zoom lens but excellent embedded in a Software and Lightning solution)
some more eBay numbers
223593039049

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

lothman wrote:Those Navitar zoom lenses stay parfocal when zooming and once properly adjusted, just a setup like eBay 163869026310, but I won't use a DSLR but a small C-mount camera.
Noted, thanks. My comment was referring to other possibilities that the prof had mentioned, such as Canon 40D with MP-E 65 lens (or other optics, yet to be considered).

Can you clarify, please: aside from a smaller form factor, what advantages would the Navitar optics have compared to the Zeiss Stemi SV11 that the prof already has?

--Rik

lothman
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Post by lothman »

rjlittlefield wrote:
Can you clarify, please: aside from a smaller form factor, what advantages would the Navitar optics have compared to the Zeiss Stemi SV11 that the prof already has?

--Rik
not so much beside the form factor. The field of view at low magnification will probably be be much larger.
Then there are also 12x zooms (higher priced of course). Navitars are quite affordable compared to Zeiss microscopes, but when there is already a SV11 available this is another story.

Has your friend tried an adapter for his mobile phone, connecting it sturdy to the eypiece? May be this is a fast and dirty solution.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

lothman wrote:Has your friend tried an adapter for his mobile phone, connecting it sturdy to the eypiece?
So, afocal through existing eyepieces? Not to my knowledge. That's a good option to think about.

--Rik

Scarodactyl
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Post by Scarodactyl »

Just as a note 163869026310 is my listing and I'd be happy to cut him a deal on it if it happens to meet his needs (especially if he only needs it with a c-mount adapter rather than the kinda rare dslr adapter I have on it). I also recently got one of their 12x lenses with a 76mm adapter that I'd also part with. Navitar scopes aren't super incredible but do give a view similar to a nice stereo microscope and attaching a camera is very easy. I rather like the setup (photomacroscopes are my favorite) but I have a Leica Z6 apo so it doesn't get a lot of actual use.

Pau
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Post by Pau »

Browsing Ebay I came across these eyepiece adapters, they seem convenient to couple a C mount camera to the eyepiece tube with the right magnification and (promised) parfocality:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Focusable-0-37 ... yuYDAyxgWg
Pau

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