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Basic questions on SMZ-10 configuration
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Espy



Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:10 am    Post subject: Basic questions on SMZ-10 configuration Reply with quote

Hi -

Given a Nikon SMZ-10 trinocular scope, a PL2.5 projection lens and a Nikon D5000 DSLR (with a handy swivelling screen and live view), what is a good - and preferably inexpensive - off-the-shelf way of mounting the camera over the trinocular port?

I've bodged a lump of Delrin into use for this so far, but it's not the most elegant solution (and I can't tweak the focus terribly easily without changing the scope's focus); the EBay cheap solutions are invariably for eyepiece mounting, while the commercial solutions I've found while googling seem to insist upon using their own optics. I've seen some of the Microflex units, but they all seem to be dedicated shutter systems over and above the camera's own setup.

I've done a moderate amount of searching but haven't found a definitive answer - help?!

TIA
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mount camera directly onto the horizontal arm of a tripod or attach it onto the ballhead where the rail is in image below.
1st image half-way down on this page
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7298
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Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
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Espy



Joined: 23 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that, an interesting approach. Is it fair to say that's a dedicated photomacrograph setup rather than a general-purpose microscope with the ability to take photos?

Of course, you *know* I'm going to spanner things with additional constraints Smile The scope is on an arm, usually positioned over whatever I'm working at on the bench - what I'd like to do is get a grab shot of work in situ. I'm generally working at <20x (0.5 reducer lens fitted to allow me a little more working space under the scope) - although that doesn't affect the mounting - which possibly gives me a little more latitude on vibration and lighting.
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NikonUser



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, try a Handy Copy Stand
http://www.alanwood.net/photography/olympus/handy-copy-stand.html
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NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives
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Espy



Joined: 23 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the use of the articulated arm probably precludes that - the scope isn't always vertical for one thing - although I can think of a few other uses I'd find for one. Any idea what the "official" Nikon mounting method was, or was it all based around the Microflex?

This isn't my setup - it's a stock photo from GRS - but it gives some idea of the working environment. Theirs is much tidier though:


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g4lab



Joined: 23 May 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go to www.diag-inc. com and buy one of their PA1 series adapters.(about $250) Tell them you don't need the 2.5x photoocular they usually quote it with. That will make it reasonably priced. They will sell you a black anodized tube which will drop right into the SMZ-10 and will accept your 2.5x ocular and will have a T mount at a parfocal distance. They will sell you the T2 to nikon adapter too if you need it but you can probably find it elsewhere for less.

The SMZ-10 trinocular is a wonderful thing which uniquely can shoot stereo pairs by operating the lever from left to right. Nobody else has ever built such a thing. Plus you get 100% light to the viewing ocular when you are not
shooting. It has a built in 0.6x relay lens. So you may or may not wish to use the 2.5x or you may even need to get a 4x photoocular. I don't know offhand the chip size of the D5000.

It would not be too difficult to make such a thing out of correctly selected black delrin pipe if you have access to a lathe. Or modify some kind of
T or Nikon mount extention tube.

I have an SMZ 10 and can probably help you. Feel free to PM me.
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Gene has suggested the best "off-the-shelf" solution with Diagnostic Instruments PA1 series tube. (Although lately their site is in a jumble and there appears to be a great amount of re-organizing being done with the emphasis on selling their "Spot" cameras and accessories. It's not as easy to track down some of the "older" pieces. I think the one you need is seen here: http://webstore.diaginc.com/PA1-12A-35mm-SLR-Camera-Adapter-for-Nikon-Microsco-p/wsn-pa1-12a.htm )

With the "built-in" 0.6X of the SMZ-10 trinocular tube it means that the CF PL2.5X will be nearly a perfect match for an APS-C sized sensor (as is found in your Nikon D5000).

Nothing to do with the method of camera attachment, but always be aware of vibration problems with SLR camera attached directly to a microscope. The D5000 does not have a mirror-lockup per se, so I would experiment and do some comparisons with "Quiet Mode" as well as the "Exposure Delay Mode" that this camera offers. With this camera these two methods are both likely to provide better results than taking a picture from the live-view mode. (Electronic flash would be even better yet).
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Espy



Joined: 23 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for that; somehow, I'd expected something a little more elaborate than a fixed length tube - I'd assumed there would be some need for adjustment. Perhaps I ought to be making this myself after all (although I've not yet tried any thread cutting on the lathe I've got). Which leads to the question - what length should it be? Should it be focal length of the PL2.5 less the distance to the "film" plane? Does the focal length indicate the convergance of the focussed image to a single point or is it just the distance at which the image is focussed? And is it measured from the recessed lens? Is there a primer I should read before coming out with daft questions?

I had assumed that the live view mode gave the near-equivalent of mirror lockup - AIUI, the mirror is moved up to expose the sensor...? I wasn't aware of the built-in relay lens either, thank you.

This is what I managed with the bodged adapter - a combination of a poorly-machined Delrin and a very cheap eyepiece/T mount kit:


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Charles Krebs



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
had assumed that the live view mode gave the near-equivalent of mirror lockup - AIUI, the mirror is moved up to expose the sensor...?

Have a look at this thread. There may have been a change or two to certain Nikon bodies since this was written, but I believe it is accurate for your D5000. Testing is really the only way to know what will work best. But in any event, vibration from a SLR attached to a microscope deserves some attention.
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8943

Also, for higher magnification microscopes you might find this interesting:
http://krebsmicro.com/Canon_EFSC/index.html

I don't currently have a Nikon scope set up with a CF PL projection eyepieces, so I can't measure distances. Essentially you want the CF PL2.5X to seat fully into the Nikon made piece on your trinocular tube that is designed to hold it (assuming you have that piece!). That should place the projection photo-eyepiece at the correct optical distance... so don't change that. Then you "simply" (Wink) need to determine the height the camera must be positioned above the eyepiece to be in focus at the same time the viewing eyepieces are in focus. With a live-view camera this is actually not hard to do.

Even with rudimentary DIY skills this should not be that difficult. If you have a lathe you should really be in business, even if you don't want to mess with threads. (The "lens side" of T-mounts has a removable insert held in by three set screws. All you would need at the top end of your adapter tube would be the appropriate diameter to insert into the T-adapter once that insert is removed (and it could then be locked down with the three set screws). I don't have the dimensions right now, but for a "quick" version a trip to your local Home Depot plumbing department would turn up all the pieces you would need to work with (except for the T-mount). Don't forget to "blacken" the inside of any tubes you make.

If you want to get more elaborate there are many other components that can be assembled and used. Here's one I made up for an Olympus microscope not too long ago where I wanted to be able to rotate the camera easily 360 degrees, and also adjust the camera "Z" distance very precisely and lock it down to make it very accurately parfocal with the viewing eyepieces:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13924
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tabarnes



Joined: 26 Jan 2016
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know this is an older thread but wanted to ask and add a couple of items. First an add Nathan Renfro wrote an excellent article about hooking this scope up to a DSLR.
http://www.gia.edu/gems-gemology/summer-2015-digital-photomicrography-gemologists

It has the necessary information to do what is needed.

Which leads me to my question. Most of the trinocular variety of this scope has a .6x sticker on the back and a reducer. My particular one looks just like the rest except it has a sticker that has ENG. Any ideas of the difference? I know he could make his scope parafocal with his set up I could not.

I like the microscope a lot. And am trying to get towards taking pictures and stacking them.

Any input on this?
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g4lab



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I particularly like the acknowledgements section of that article. Wink Cool Laughing

Nathan Renfro, is the up and coming photographer, at the Gemological Institute of America.

ENG usually refers to a Sony 1/2 inch bayonet mount (three ears on the bayonet), and also is usually associated with adapters for three chip ccd cameras iirc. This means they have a bayonet mount ,but also a 38mm back focus distance, to accomodate an RGB beam splitting prism. These were big in the nineties, but I haven't seen any new ones in a while, except I think Hamamatsu still builds one.

Diagnostic Instruments made a bunch of really wonderful adapters, that could be fitted to almost any microscope , to go with those cameras. But since they(3 ccd cameras) aren't very common anymore, the DI adapters are available very reasonably. But like old camera glass, they are getting a new lease on life. There is an adapter maker in Poland, who started making adapters for this mount

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-2-inch-lens-JVC-general-mount-FUJINON-to-MFT-micro-4-3-GH4-BMPCC-adapter-/251280425009?hash=item3a817b0031:g:HcUAAMXQDfdRoHzp

But now jinfinance has it for a more reasonable price:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/B4-1-2-CANON-FUJINON-lens-to-GH2-GH4-GH3-BMPCC-BMCC-micro-4-3-M4-3-adapter-/141852047770?hash=item21070a799a:g:V7EAAOSwys5WVT5Y


If you can use the size, a reason to consider them, is that these were designed, and built during the heyday of DIs productivity , prior to them discontinuing, everything they made that was any good,, which started about 10 years ago, when they discontinued a really wonderful macro dark field illuminator base.

The HRT, and later T series, had a removable front field lens. There were four different variants( all of which came with the adapter) so that the end user could tune out residual color on his particular microscope. Although they are designed for the 1/2 inch diameter chip their field number is probably the same as other DI products namely 19mm. If I am remembering all this correctly.

On the SMZ 10 the "0.6x" that is referred to in the Diagnostic Instruments catalog is mounted in the little flip prism. There is a 23.2 mm socket it the phototube and a 2.5x or other photoprojective can be dropped in there.
Nikon has a piece that will fit on top of that with a C mount. The socket which it goes into on the trinoc is 38mm but the tube has to be pretty thin walled to clear the casting that the projective fits into. Regular DI "microscope couplers" (the lower microscope specific piece in their system) won't fit that socket but their PA1 systems which are just tubes with tmounts (and places to drop oculars) will.

You can also get an old microflex and remove the solenoid operated prism for the exposure photometer and use it with a Nikon F mount. Nathan Renfro posted his journey doing that in this forum.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-UFX-DX-Shutter-Assembly-/361465632461?hash=item542907d6cd:g:vxAAAOSw5dNWkpx-
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tabarnes



Joined: 26 Jan 2016
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So out of curiosity which person in the acknowledgements is you? Smile

What was interesting with my SMZ-10 was the it had a metal ENG adapter but did not have a tube to get the photo eyepiece in. Had to have on machined.

I have never been able to get the thing parafocal like the article. But it takes some nice pics.
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g4lab



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So out of curiosity which person in the acknowledgements is you?
The first.

Quote:
I have never been able to get the thing parafocal like the article. But it takes some nice pics.
Live View makes this less important than in the film days but it is still nice if it can be managed.

Did the paintwork and/or engraving indicate that it was original Nikon or did it seem like it might have been an aftermarket arrangement? What color was the adaptation that said ENG?

The SMZ10 is very handy for shooting stereo pairs , at the move of the lever on the trinoc. That is why it was the favorite of Nathan's mentor who probably has done more gem and mineral photography than anyone alive. The scope Nathan adapted to digital was a gift from him.
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tabarnes



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The sticker on the Trinoc that usually says 0.6x says ENG on my scope. Have not seen another one like it. I had to do extend the PA1 adapter to get it to work.

Tim
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Nathan Renfro



Joined: 07 Aug 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This link shows the modification of the reflex housing for the UFX film components for a nikon scope. http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25777&highlight=
This is by far the easiest and probably cheapest way to adapt an smz-10 to a digital camera, especially a Nikon digital camera. A PA1-12A tube from diagnostic instruments works well too, but you will need to add about 2 inches of height to get it in the parfocal range.

Glad my article was well recieved Wink
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