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Attaching a Full-Frame DSLR to a Microscope
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F4



Joined: 12 Feb 2017
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:24 am    Post subject: Attaching a Full-Frame DSLR to a Microscope Reply with quote

I want a microscope that is capable of attaching a full-frame Nikon F-Mount camera, epi-illumination, polarization, brightfield and darkfield, and potentially phase-contrast and/or DIC. New or used. Ideally the image projected onto the sensor would fill the frame and not be a circular projection.

I am leaning towards the Nikon Optiphot 2, which apparently uses finite lenses (and I'm assuming you can't put infinite 'CFI' lenses on there). If anyone has a different recommendation of a microscope that meets all the criteria, let me know. I know the Labophot exists, but that apparently has less features than the Optiphot, and I know the Microphot exists but is more expensive. Olympus BH2 exists but I've spent more time researching the Nikonn units / Optiphot so I am leaning towards that.

Questions:

Will adding/removing a vertical illuminator (epi-illumination light) or other things between the trinocular photo port and the objective add complications to how long the photo-tube/camera-adapter combo should be, considering this microscope uses finite lenses? I am under the impression that if it uses 160mm finite lenses, that means that the length between the aperture of the objective needs to be 160mm in length from some part of the trinocular port. Adding a vertical illuminator or whatever else may increase/decrease the length from the objective to the trinocular port to something other than 160mm. If this is so, can it be corrected easily?

What needs to be placed on the Optiphot 2 trinocular photo port in order to obtain good photos using a fullframe Nikon DSLR?

What is the difference between the adapters that are $90, to the ones which are $500-$1000?
$90:
https://www.amazon.com/AmScope-CA-NIK-SLR-Camera-Adapter-Microscopes/dp/B005OZ4BME/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1487677273&sr=8-3&keywords=nikon+microscope+adapter+camera
More expensive adapters:
http://www.martinmicroscope.com/product/c-mount-adapters-for-nikon-chimney/
http://www.martinmicroscope.com/product/mm-slr/
https://www.amazon.com/VariMag-DSLR-Microscope-Camera-Adapter/dp/B007WMAFFY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487700744&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=nikon+microscope+adapter+camera&psc=1
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JH



Joined: 09 Mar 2013
Posts: 1171
Location: Vallentuna, Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
I use Nikon Optiphot. On the trinocular head I use a 2.5x projections lens and an empty tube with a Nikon mount. I have this tube from Ebay;



The M Plan lenses are for 210 mm tube length but they also work OK with 160 mm tube length. It might also work to use the 160 mm CF lenses with EPI light and no cover slip:

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=179153#179153

One problem is that a short WD gets even shorter.

I have tried EPI light with a cover slip using an EPI light for fluorescens (not mercury just halogen) and a filter cube with polarizers - the result was not convincing.

Under some circumstances, it is possible to use infinity corrected lenses. Here are two examples.

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=192799#192799

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=205869#205869

Best regards
Jörgen Hellberg
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Ichthyophthirius



Joined: 07 Mar 2013
Posts: 806

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I have an Optiphot 2 and it's a good microscope. It has a few shortcomings but overall it's OK. Here is a manual: https://www.manualslib.com/manual/912153/Nikon-Optiphot-2.html

Keep in mind that for this Nikon, every intermediate tube (DIC; Fluorescence) has a 1.25x tube factor so the image gets a bit dim and is less crisp.

As far as I understand, the Nikon microscope camera solutions work just like the Olympus NFK projectives. You insert a projective into a suitable phototube (see here for the many types http://www.prc68.com/I/Labophot.html ) and the projective directly projects an image onto your sensor at a distance of approx. 150 mm from the top of the projective.

For good coverage of a full frame sensor, you need to get one of the following projectives:
CF PL 2x
CF PL 2.5x
This gives you an idea of the field coverage: http://www.alanwood.net/photography/olympus/photo-eyepieces-nfk-image-sizes.gif (this is for Olympus but as far as I know, the same applies to Nikon).

Finally, you can't mount your Nikon DSLR camera directly to the microscope because the Nikon doesn't have an electronic first curtain shutter (only some of the newest models have it). This causes vibrations that make photography on a microscope difficult to impossible (long exposures > 2s are necessary for the vibrations to settle down). You will need to mount your camera to a repro stand like this http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/userpix/2_dscn0223small_1.jpg to uncouple camera and microscope. As you have approx 150 mm projection distance, that's easy to do.

All the adapters you linked to won't work because there is a direct mechanical connection between camera and microscope, transmitting the vibrations.

Regards, Ichty
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Attaching a Full-Frame DSLR to a Microscope Reply with quote

F4 wrote:
Questions:

Will adding/removing a vertical illuminator (epi-illumination light) or other things between the trinocular photo port and the objective add complications to how long the photo-tube/camera-adapter combo should be, considering this microscope uses finite lenses? I am under the impression that if it uses 160mm finite lenses, that means that the length between the aperture of the objective needs to be 160mm in length from some part of the trinocular port. Adding a vertical illuminator or whatever else may increase/decrease the length from the objective to the trinocular port to something other than 160mm. If this is so, can it be corrected easily?


With a 160mm finite microscope most of these added components (if 160mm finite tube length optics are to be used) will contain optics to correct for the increase in tube length. So there is no other need for correction in this regard.
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F4



Joined: 12 Feb 2017
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ichthyophthirius wrote:
Hi,

I have an Optiphot 2 and it's a good microscope. It has a few shortcomings but overall it's OK. Here is a manual: https://www.manualslib.com/manual/912153/Nikon-Optiphot-2.html

Keep in mind that for this Nikon, every intermediate tube (DIC; Fluorescence) has a 1.25x tube factor so the image gets a bit dim and is less crisp.

As far as I understand, the Nikon microscope camera solutions work just like the Olympus NFK projectives. You insert a projective into a suitable phototube (see here for the many types http://www.prc68.com/I/Labophot.html ) and the projective directly projects an image onto your sensor at a distance of approx. 150 mm from the top of the projective.

For good coverage of a full frame sensor, you need to get one of the following projectives:
CF PL 2x
CF PL 2.5x
This gives you an idea of the field coverage: http://www.alanwood.net/photography/olympus/photo-eyepieces-nfk-image-sizes.gif (this is for Olympus but as far as I know, the same applies to Nikon).

Finally, you can't mount your Nikon DSLR camera directly to the microscope because the Nikon doesn't have an electronic first curtain shutter (only some of the newest models have it). This causes vibrations that make photography on a microscope difficult to impossible (long exposures > 2s are necessary for the vibrations to settle down). You will need to mount your camera to a repro stand like this http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/userpix/2_dscn0223small_1.jpg to uncouple camera and microscope. As you have approx 150 mm projection distance, that's easy to do.

All the adapters you linked to won't work because there is a direct mechanical connection between camera and microscope, transmitting the vibrations.

Regards, Ichty


What do you see to be its shortcomings?

Wow, I was thinking that the microscope was large and heavy enough that using a wireless remote to trigger the shutter while having Exposure Delay Mode set to 3 seconds would work - do you know from experience that this wouldn't work? The pictures that JH linked look good to me.

Can I purchase a 'repro' stand or will I have to make it myself? Perhaps I may just get a camera that has the electronic first curtain shutter - do you know of any models offhand that use F-Mount lenses that have that feature any chance?

Why do you have two microscopes? (assuming the last picture you linked is yours)
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F4



Joined: 12 Feb 2017
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JH wrote:
Hi
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=179153#179153


What camera are you using? Does it have eletronic first curtain shutter?
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JH



Joined: 09 Mar 2013
Posts: 1171
Location: Vallentuna, Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

F4 wrote:
JH wrote:
Hi
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=179153#179153


What camera are you using? Does it have eletronic first curtain shutter?


Canon 5D II and 6D so yes EFCS. If you intend to use flash it does not matter, and -at least not for Canon- EFCS does not work with flash. If you are into pixels there might be some vibrations induced by the closing of the second curtain.
Regards Jörgen
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Ichthyophthirius



Joined: 07 Mar 2013
Posts: 806

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

F4 wrote:

What do you see to be its shortcomings?

Wow, I was thinking that the microscope was large and heavy enough that using a wireless remote to trigger the shutter while having Exposure Delay Mode set to 3 seconds would work - do you know from experience that this wouldn't work? The pictures that JH linked look good to me.

Can I purchase a 'repro' stand or will I have to make it myself? Perhaps I may just get a camera that has the electronic first curtain shutter - do you know of any models offhand that use F-Mount lenses that have that feature any chance?

Why do you have two microscopes? (assuming the last picture you linked is yours)


Hi F4,

I don't have direct experience because I listened to Charles Krebs before I bought the camera Smile http://www.krebsmicro.com/Canon_EFSC/ but I know a few people who tried for months to get a Nikon to work and who where very relieved when they finally moved to a Canon with EFSC. It is apparently possible to work with a Nikon but only if you uncouple it from the microscope.

Don't know much about the current Nikon models. Many (not all) Canon models are suitable, they all take Nikon F mount lenses with an adapter ring (I assume that makes them manual focus only ???). There is a list of vibration-free Canon DSLRs on Alan Wood's website but I can't find it.

The two microscopes belong to Charles http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12 I think over time most people here will have accummulated more than one stand Smile I know you are looking for a stand that can do all but in practice it is much more convenient to have separate stands for different techniques. It makes sense, though, for them to be from the same company so you can swap some of the components between stands. Having multiple stands saves you from having t change objectives very often; dropping and damaging a single expensive objective can be more costly than a complete stand.

About the Optiphot 2: the most important disadvantage is the 1.25x tube factor of the DIC intermediate tube. It lessens the advantages of the otherwise high-class optics and widefield tubes. Idealy, the tube factor should be 1x or, even better, 0.8x as it was in the Zeiss and Leitz stands. Apart from this, the Optiphot 2 has a lot of plastic parts that are now all in various stages of decay. It might have Nikon nylon focus gears which are infamous for breaking easily, although they are OK on my Optiphot 2. I was told that, at the time (1980s), Olympus and Nikon where good quality slightly cheaper alternatives to the more expensive European stands (Zeiss, Leitz, Reichert). It shows, in the poorer mechanical quality but not in the optics, which are great apart from the 1.25x tube factors.

The Optiphot 2 DIC is also only available for objectives 20/40/60 or 20/40/100; not for the 10 which I use often.

Regards, Ichty


P.S.: If you sprinkled a few more pleasantries into your posts (Hello/ Thanks/Regards), I think you'd get more and longer responses!
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Alan Wood



Joined: 29 Dec 2010
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Location: Near London, U.K.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ichthyophthirius wrote:

Quote:
There is a list of vibration-free Canon DSLRs on Alan Wood's website but I can't find it.


It is here:

http://www.alanwood.net/photography/olympus/digital.html

Alan Wood
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Ichthyophthirius



Joined: 07 Mar 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alan Wood wrote:
It is here:


Cheers Wink
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F4



Joined: 12 Feb 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Instead of using the little tungsten/halogen bulb that is near the base of the stand or the one above in the vertical illuminator, can a speedlight flash or powerful LED flashlight be placed up to the opening hole instead?

I would imagine that they are generally all roughly the same, but might as well ask in case anyone has anything to say about it: are Leitz, Ziess or Olympus optics better, worse, or about the same when compared to Nikon, in terms of clarity/sharpness?

Regards (and thank you!)
F
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Ichthyophthirius



Joined: 07 Mar 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

F4 wrote:
Instead of using the little tungsten/halogen bulb that is near the base of the stand or the one above in the vertical illuminator, can a speedlight flash or powerful LED flashlight be placed up to the opening hole instead?


Hi,

I haven't tried. My Optiphot 2 (and I think all of them) have an external 100W lamphouse with collector optics. The diameter of the Optiphot 2 illumination path is very large; the light source must be placed in the correct location! So best to place a highpower single LED exactly where the lamp filament would be.

Regards, Ichty
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zzffnn



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To add to what Ichty have said,

Speedlite flash, when placed correctly, will produce enough power.

But probably not a LED flashlight (torch). I have tried a 1000 lumen (about 10w) LED flashlight. For plain brightfield it is OK. When you add contrast techniques, such as oblique or pol, light may run out. My 1000 lumen flashlight was not enough for good darkfield. Not to mention expensive (C battery power) and inconvenient.
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Last edited by zzffnn on Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:43 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Ichthyophthirius



Joined: 07 Mar 2013
Posts: 806

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

F4 wrote:
powerful LED flashlight


Good point. With "LED flashlight" did you mean an LED torch (for continuous illumination) or a camera flash (for flash photography)?

Regards, Ichty
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Pau
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At my Zeiss microscope for transmitted illumination I use an inexpensive Cree XM-L T6 4000K LED (maximum forward current. 3000mA, around 10W) powered up to 2100mA placed at the very same position where the 100W or 60W lamp filament was and with the collimating lens of the lamp house. I get very good Köhler illumination even with DF, DIC or Cross Pol. The only inconvenience is with BF because the minimum light intensity is so high that I need to use a ND filter to attenuate it.

If you get a Nikon xxxphot your best option (and not expensive) for FF as others pointed is the CF Pl 2.5X photo eyepiece like in original Nikon adapters for 35mm.
Avoid the Amscope (it doesn't cover FF and even for APSC it will be inferior). No enough info about the other adapters but I don't think that they could be better than the original and they are way more expensive.
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