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Nikon , Olympus, Meiji, Swift Focus Blocks; & Setups
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augusthouse



Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 1195
Location: New South Wales Australia

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mgoodm3,

The MFU you purchased can be post-mounted, or the thread holes used for the post mount attachment could be utilized in attaching a right-angle bracket. I mentioned a couple of models from Newport or Thorlabs earlier in the thread as possible solutions.

I do not have a Nikon MFU at hand so I can only indicate possible solutions.

The Olympus BHMJ focus plate extends 10mm below the block and 20mm above the block. Post hole on the BHMJ block measures (I.D.) 21mm.

Regarding the base; the picture in my previous post shows an optical breadboard. This one is an Edmunds Scientific 12" x 12" and they are heavy. Newport, Thorlabs and others make similar and in most cases compatible versions for securing attachments or additional devices.

I chose to use the XY translation stages under the BHMJ; but an XY microscope stage attached to the BHMJ would most likely serve the same purpose; but they are a bit 'bulky' and have certain mounting requirements. I was happy with the accuracy of the translation stages, plus I already had them on-hand, and they bolt to the optical breadboard.

The stage I will be using will be attached to the nosepiece bracket on the BHMJ. There are a couple of ways of accomplishing this non-destructively.

I could use a microscope stage, but I'd prefer to use a custom stage that accommodates my requirements; which include recessed, interchangable, circular 100mm stage plates (glass, black, white, balsa, nothing) and will also hold a 62mm iris diaphragm on the underside for use with substage lighting.

The stage I am putting together will measure 7" x 6". This allows sufficient area to accommodate specimen holders and other devices etc, as or if required.... The XY aspect is an important consideration and so too the ability to rotate the various stage plates within the recess.

One of the advantages of these focus blocks is their ability to move considerable weight with no impact on accuracy or performance; but the most important feature is the amount of fine focus travel they provide.

Quote from Charlie's post here:

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2825

Quote:
That piece has proven to be wonderful! It is from an Olympus BHMJ scope. The total travel is about 30mm (1.18"). The fine focus knob is calibrated into 200 units... and you can easily make 1 unit changes. (Also, you can travel the full 30mm with the fine focus if desired... unlike some blocks where fine focus "travel" is limited).

A full turn of the fine focus knob moves the platform .2mm (.008")
So one unit on the fine focus moves the platform .001mm (.00004")
And it is smooth as silk!



Craig
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mgoodm3



Joined: 08 Sep 2008
Posts: 273
Location: Southern OR

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want something extremely stiff and heavy. I guess that I have a couple of choices on mounting it.

Old school: 7/8" x 8 inch ( I think it's a 24mm post mount, gotta check that) bolt and nuts to connect it to a large piece of wood. Probably one nut below the post mount to raise it off the surface a little.

Modern: take the post mount off and mount it directly to a right angle bracket on a lab plate. Would have to check the threading and spacing of the connection to see if it is compatible with the right angle bracket. Otherwise I could drill new holes to match.

I really need to stabilize my camera mount a bit more. I have a heavy copystand, but the weak point in the system is a single 1/4"/20 connection to the camera body. I have some ideas for that.
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augusthouse



Joined: 16 Sep 2006
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Location: New South Wales Australia

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mgoodm3 wrote:

Quote:
I really need to stabilize my camera mount a bit more. I have a heavy copystand, but the weak point in the system is a single 1/4"/20 connection to the camera body. I have some ideas for that.


I'm not an engineer; but a quick release clamp and plate (Arca-Swiss or compatible) would spread the load and reduce the stress on the actual 1/4"/20 (this is only an assumption).


Craig
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
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Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RE: mounting the Nikon MFU
mgoodm3 wrote:
I want something extremely stiff and heavy. I guess that I have a couple of choices on mounting it.

I was faced with the same problem, Craig's set-up is what I would like to have but this quick & dirty set-up works fine.
Not the prettiest of set-ups but fully functional and practical.
The Nikon MFU and its plywood brackets combined with the 14lb of lead make for a very stable piece of gear. I am not using a x-y translation stage. I can slide the gear by hand to accurately line up the specimen with the 10x objective. The heavy weight makes positioning along the x-axis and y-axis accurate to within 0.1mm. I move the horizontal base across the basebord of the copy stand (a modified enlarger stand).


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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.”
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

augusthouse wrote:
mgoodm3 wrote:

Quote:
I really need to stabilize my camera mount a bit more. I have a heavy copystand, but the weak point in the system is a single 1/4"/20 connection to the camera body. I have some ideas for that.

I'm not an engineer; but a quick release clamp and plate (Arca-Swiss or compatible) would spread the load and reduce the stress on the actual 1/4"/20 (this is only an assumption).
Craig

Vertical camera mounting set-up. RRS = Really Right Stuff equipment from California.
Again a somewhat clumsy system but stable as it can be locked in position and nothing moves as I move the specimen as shown in the earlier photo above.



EDIT: Photo label: should read RRS clamp and rail (just 1 clamp). Rail is bolted to plywood. Clamp allows for the removal of the bellows and camera to be used on a horizontal rail.
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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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augusthouse



Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 1195
Location: New South Wales Australia

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that got me thinking...

Here is an additional idea regarding the attachment of a larger stage.

The quick release clamp, in this instance a Kirk Enterprise 2.5" with 3/8" mounting socket is connected to the BHMJ. A bolt with a large washer is passed through the opening in the base of the nosepiece/turret holder and is threaded into the Kirk and tightened (all metal to metal). The quick release plate is attached to the base or underside of the stage (stage not in shot) and you are good-to-go.

The stage can be quickly released from the BHMJ if you want to use an alternative method for subject positioning, such as a mini ball head or even a different type of stage, whilst still utilising the fine focus capabilities of the focus block.

You could also use a fitting similar to that on the base of a compatible microscope head or a custom fitting made to suit. This fitting could be attached to the underside of a stage and fastened in place on the BHMJ in much the same way as a microscope head.

*Note: No focus blocks were harmed during the making of these setups.







Craig
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augusthouse



Joined: 16 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just an additional image and a sketch of the main stage.

The sketch is not intended to be legible.

In the photograph of the setup you can see the convenience the quick release plate and clamp approach provides (it allows you to swap-out stages).

For example, the Newport plate in the photo has 1/4" threaded holes, so if you wanted to attach a mini ballhead similar to the Novoflex that I saw Laurie using, well, you could; or alternatively, attach a stage like the one in the sketch, etc, etc... In this example, the quick release plate is attached to one of the threaded holes on the underside of the Newport.



This is the first rough sketch (doodle) of the stage.



Craig
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augusthouse



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This isn't entirely relevant to the discussion (maybe it is); but it is an interesting piece to visually examine closely nonetheless.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=390007753843

Craig
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
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Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

STOP: SEE PAGE 8 OF THIS THREAD FOR A BETTER DESIGN
Just made myself a new vertical setup. Purchased an Olympus BHM microscope stand that came with an x-y stage and a built-in focus block but no optics (sold for parts). As in Craig's setup above "no focus blocks were harmed during making the setup". However the microscope suffered a major trauma, the overhanging part of the stand that holds the optics was hacked off with a hacksaw. The result is an efficient, and relatively inexpensive, specimen mover that has X Y and Z axes.


_________________
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


Last edited by NikonUser on Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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mgoodm3



Joined: 08 Sep 2008
Posts: 273
Location: Southern OR

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am presently working on getting mine attached to a 12 x 6 aluminum baseplate. Just gotta figure out a good way to attach a flat plate to the stage area. Shouldn't be too difficult.
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 5805
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked " ... However the microscope suffered a major trauma...."

I must admit that I have suggested this to people and contemplated it myself. But seeing the picture (and as a BH user) is actually a little unsettling at first! Wink.

But it is a great way to go. Some of these older scopes sell for very low prices. Having co-axial coarse and fine focus is great. It's nice to eliminate the need to "backtrack" (after a stack) by using many turns of a very fine focus mechanism. (If anyone considers this just be sure the fine focus can move the stage for the full amount of stage travel. On some scopes the fine focus was a separate mechanism that only moved a millimeter or two. It'll do the job, but you will need to regularly "backtrack" the fine focus toward the top of it's limited travel). One big thing to watch for is the focus "gear-train". The lubes they used when these were made practically becomes glue after 20-30 years if the scope hasn't been used and serviced. It's not hard to disassemble and re-lube, but Nikon Labophots, Olympus BH and CH (and probably others) have one plastic gear that will often be cracked and broken if someone tries to move the focus after the lube has hardened. I've had to replace this on two Nikon Labophot stands.

Charlie
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puzzledpaul



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 414
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<< hacked off with a hacksaw. >>

A thought / suggestion for those that prefer an approach that's ... ahhhh, how shall I put this ... somewhat less 'final'? Smile

Turn the whole lot on its head.

Remove the vertical upstand from its base - 4 x m6 screws
Turn the stage + carrier upside down
Make a single support point / foot for the nosepiece end.
Remove the 40mm sq (approx) cover plate at the rear / top of the upstand and use the features uncovered* to attach a bifurcated 'foot' - made from whatever available (I'd prob use 3mm ali plate or angle)

* also got the orig 4 m6 (esp rear 2) as additional 'free' features.

Obviously, if you don't mind drilling / tapping the odd hole here or there, then many other approaches available - without really compromising the integrity of the whole unit in quite the same way as a hacksaw blade Smile

Just a thought.

pp
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey pp you are making me feel guilty, sort of muted by the fact that Charles has considered a similar approach. It's not like I was cutting up live animals.

I tried the upside down approach. The nosepiece projects (projected) at an angle and that made it impossible, for me, to make an attachment to bring the stage horizontal (not too much I can do with a screwdriver, hammer, hacksaw, and drill).
The block holding the stage can be reversed so that the top of the stage would be dorsal if the stand was upside down.

My approach left me with a stable base that is essential for multiple frames at, say, 10x mag.

I had no use for an intact stand that had a nosepiece but no optics and the cost was less than I was prepared to pay just for the focus block which is all I really wanted; the stage was an extra bonus as was the stand.
I still have the nosepiece so I suppose it can be stuck back on if the need arises - but I see there a few more of these stands on e-bay but at a high price.
_________________
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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puzzledpaul



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 414
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

<< Hey pp you are making me feel guilty ... >>

Smile

Certainly not my intention - just making a suggestion so it'd be there for anyone considering messing about with this sort of kit in the future.

There's almost always several ways of achieving the same goal and we generally just choose the one that best suits us (and our resources / skill / tools / whims etc) at the time.

Whilst I'm not in a position to consider stacking atm, it's not stopped me from keeping eyes open for suitable gear (at the right price) - which is why I (also) have one of these beasts lying around.
<< stable base that is essential ... >>

Yes - understood - what I was describing would have provided a 3-point mounting for such.

pp
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NikonUser



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charles wrote "One big thing to watch for is the focus "gear-train". The lubes they used when these were made practically becomes glue after 20-30 years if the scope hasn't been used and serviced."

It seems that this comment is applicable to microscope stages as well!

When purchased, the stage in my Olympus stand, above, allowed for movement in the X-axis (left to right) that is controlled by the lowest rotating knob. Movement in the Y-axis (forward and backward and controlled by the upper rotating knob) was impossible presumably due to the lubricant turning imto glue.

I removed the stage and soaked it in an automotive engine de-greasing product ("Gunk") for 1 hr; washed off the stage with warm soapy water; rinsed with clean water; dried with cloth and then rinsed with 99% Isopropyl Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol from Chemists/Drug Store) to remove the last drops of water.

I now have a spotless stage that moves incredibly smoothly in both x and y directions.

WARNING. "Gunk" appears to have no effect on metal but it may have a detrimental effect on plastics, rubber, paint and other non-metals.
_________________
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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