Polarisation: a brief dalliance with glycine

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

Moderators: Pau, rjlittlefield, ChrisR, Chris S.

Beatsy
Posts: 1652
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:10 am
Location: Malvern, UK

Polarisation: a brief dalliance with glycine

Post by Beatsy »

I saw some polarised shots of glycine in a Facebook group and liked the convincing "landscape look". So I ordered some glycine to see if I could make some landscapes of my own for use in surreal composites (arty farty stuff). I simply made a weak solution and dabbed out a few dots on a coverslip, some diluted more than others. I then stitched 15-shot panoramas of a few using a 10x NA0.32 PlanApo objective (Sony A9, 6k x 4k full frame). First results were a bit wispy (solution too weak) but still pretty with a cellophane retarder in the mix.
cavescape-glycine-dots-pmn.jpg
cavescape-glycine-05-pmn.jpg

I didn't see anything very convincing as a landscape, but I was able to make "cavescapes" by unrolling individual dots using a polar to rectangular co-ordinate transform. A stronger solution was used for these...
cavescape-glycine-00-pmn.jpg

And finally - with a half-wave plate added to lighten the background (by shifting colours again) I got a nice abstract of a koi carp out of one. Can you see it?
cavescape-glycine-04-pmn.jpg

And there concludes my return to fiddling with polarisation for a while. Back to the other distractions now... :D

Saul
Posts: 1712
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:59 am
Location: Naperville, IL USA
Contact:

Re: Polarisation: a brief dalliance with glycine

Post by Saul »

"Cavescapes" are impressive
Saul
μ-stuff

Macro_Cosmos
Posts: 1047
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:23 pm
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Re: Polarisation: a brief dalliance with glycine

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

They look feathery and dreamy. Lovely results, maybe I should get some to play with too.
Oh -- another a9 user!

Beatsy
Posts: 1652
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:10 am
Location: Malvern, UK

Re: Polarisation: a brief dalliance with glycine

Post by Beatsy »

Macro_Cosmos wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:53 am
They look feathery and dreamy. Lovely results, maybe I should get some to play with too.
Oh -- another a9 user!
Thanks. There are a few cheaply available amino acids. The pure chemicals are sold as health and bodybuilding supplements. All worth a go, but I didn't want to get sucked too far down this particular rabbit hole, so only got glycine.

Yes, A9 (+ A7riv + A7rii). I would wager A9 is one of THE best high-quality cameras for microscope use. Take any of the dedicated scope cameras at a similar price (or higher - body only) and I'm sure the A9 will outperform them by miles. At the very least, it will match them - but can also be used as a wickedly fast sport/wildlife action camera. Or just as a regular camera with superb low light performance, autofocus and tracking. All this at "only" 24MPix, but that makes the full-frame image scale better suited to high power microscope use IMO (or at least it's less oversampled than with higher resolution sensors). The 10mpix APS-C crop is quite useful too. Oh, and 20fps raw capture allows for super-fast stacking too. As does 4k video. What's not to like?

Macro_Cosmos
Posts: 1047
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:23 pm
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Re: Polarisation: a brief dalliance with glycine

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

Beatsy wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:50 am
Macro_Cosmos wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:53 am
They look feathery and dreamy. Lovely results, maybe I should get some to play with too.
Oh -- another a9 user!
Thanks. There are a few cheaply available amino acids. The pure chemicals are sold as health and bodybuilding supplements. All worth a go, but I didn't want to get sucked too far down this particular rabbit hole, so only got glycine.

Yes, A9 (+ A7riv + A7rii). I would wager A9 is one of THE best high-quality cameras for microscope use. Take any of the dedicated scope cameras at a similar price (or higher - body only) and I'm sure the A9 will outperform them by miles. At the very least, it will match them - but can also be used as a wickedly fast sport/wildlife action camera. Or just as a regular camera with superb low light performance, autofocus and tracking. All this at "only" 24MPix, but that makes the full-frame image scale better suited to high power microscope use IMO (or at least it's less oversampled than with higher resolution sensors). The 10mpix APS-C crop is quite useful too. Oh, and 20fps raw capture allows for super-fast stacking too. As does 4k video. What's not to like?
Great minds think alike! Refer to this post: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=42155&p=265766#p265766
Thanks for the follow! I will try to answer your questions as best as I can. The first question was regarding the clean backgrounds. I spend a lot of effort in making the backgrounds clean already when preparing my slides. In many cases, it is not perfectly clean, but during focus stacking, I carefully select the source pixels from the cleanest areas. Also using DIC helps as DIC cuts through layers like a laser knife and has very shallow depth of field (unlike darkfield) where every piece of dirt and debris is visible throughout the stack. A secret trick I also use is to always shoot a few images of the subject which is way out of focus so I more or less get a clean background, but with the same light conditions and colors. That one is then included in my stack so I can use it as a source image when doing retouching in Zerene or Helicon.

Regarding the choice of camera. The A9 is actually almost perfect for microphotography. The A9 uses a stacked sensor with built-in memory which makes it perfect for capturing moving cilia or vorticella and other stuff without a seriously warped image that slower sensors may produce. Almost liek a global shutter, even though it is not. Shooting moving subjects under the microscope is actually a bit like sports photography, for which the A9 is particularly good at. Overall the A9 is a better camera with bigger buffer, exposure times down to 1/32000 second, and a higher frame rate up to 20 images per second. The bigger buffer is a blessing for sure as the A9 (and A7 III) only has normal USB and not the higher speed USB-C. I use Capture One for tethering the camera and the software downloads all the images in the background from the buffer. Meaning I can shoot a burst of images at high speed and let the download go on in the background. However, the USB is slow, so in many cases, I fill up the buffer (245 images) and have to wait for the download over USB to clear some images before I can shoot the next burst. Also, until the buffer is empty, you cannot start to record videos, which also is a huge drawback. Emptying the buffer may take a minute or two and that is a long wait especially if your sample is moving or even starting to dry out. I am almost considering an upgrade to A9 Mark II just to get the USB-C speed... Then emptying the buffer takes seconds.
The ultimate way to address resolution crazed people, I think.

My z6 is quite similar, in certain aspects. 10 FPS, a LOT slower, but it's a really good video oriented camera with 24MP and uncropped 4k, log and prores... video stuff I honestly don't understand. Low light is really good as well.
Originally thought the choice of a9 would be low light capabilities which will come in play with fluorescent specimens. Aspect of speed is something I was just introduced too, I think it's time to tweak the settings and exploit that high FPS.

According to my calculations, 2 of my objectives, namely the 20x and 40x (and 10x actually) can take advantage of very high resolution sensors. I might just get a Z7 on loan to see what I can do instead of selling the Z6. Pretty convinced with it as an all-rounder for me at the moment. I shoot exclusively microscopy/photomacrography stuff nowadays.

Sumguy01
Posts: 1594
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:05 pm
Location: Ketchikan Alaska USA

Re: Polarisation: a brief dalliance with glycine

Post by Sumguy01 »

=D> Very nice set.
I like the last one best.
Thanks for sharing.

houstontx
Posts: 341
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:07 pm

Re: Polarisation: a brief dalliance with glycine

Post by houstontx »

These are great and I definitely see the koi swimming around. These shots particularly remind me of ceramic crystal glazes :
https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/daily/ce ... reduction/

These glazes work by giving the work a soak period at highest temperature to allow crystals to grow in the silica. None look this good however.

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic