Simple set up?

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Marci Hess
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Simple set up?

Post by Marci Hess »

I'm new to photo'g by connecting a microscope objective to my camera. I got all my pieces and parts and they fit! One thing down! When I tried it out, I realize that I'll need some stable set up so that 1) the pinned or pointed insect doesn't move, 2) the insect is at the correct height and depth, and 3) I'm not forever futzing with getting #2 correct. I've reviewed the set ups that are listed in one of the threads but they are much more elaborate than what I am hoping for. Hopefully a simple set up is possible but feel free to disarm me of my delusional thoughts if that's the case!! :)
Marci

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Post by rjlittlefield »

Consider this one: http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=15711

Lots more setups, mostly elaborate but some with simple holders, are linked from http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... 5311#55311 .

I hope this helps!

--Rik

Marci Hess
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Post by Marci Hess »

Thanks again! I appreciate your kindness in answering all my newbie questions! I never thought about the set up when I was thinking about the getting the right adapters and lenses for the camera.

I do have a suggestion...it would be helpful to have a resource section (like the FAQ) where all this info was compiled and easy to search thru, especially for beginners.

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Post by rjlittlefield »

Marci Hess wrote:I do have a suggestion...it would be helpful to have a resource section (like the FAQ) where all this info was compiled and easy to search thru, especially for beginners.
Well, as it happens, the list that I pointed you to is in the FAQ, in the topic titled "FAQ: What's the best way to step focus when stacking?".

Making the info simpler to search through and absorb turns out to be a tough problem. We're still working on that.

--Rik

Marci Hess
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Post by Marci Hess »

Rut roh -- I totally missed it!!!! :oops:

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Post by rjlittlefield »

No problem, and surely you're not the first. The difficulty is that there's just a lot of information that might be considered. Some people end up using bits A, other people bits B, and so on, but figuring out which bits are needed may require skimming them all. Even the minimum amount of information needed by any particular beginner is still quite a few pages. Just go ahead and ask, and somebody will provide pointers. If we cannot quickly find appropriate pointers, then we'll know there's an even worse problem to be solved!

--Rik

Marci Hess
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Post by Marci Hess »

Thanks!! I'm creating my own simplication via a Word doc as I move thru this process. I can imagine trying to condense, organize, label, etc all the info on this site is difficult. I'm glad you're there and willing to help!!

marceppy
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Post by marceppy »

I can appreciate Marci's post on the amount of information within the site. In looking through many of the same post, I noticed some good points were noted here by ChrisR and others on focusing rails: http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... using+rail

Achieving the stability and having the equipment for micro-level adjustments seems to be an important point. I did notice a few post where the camera was sitting on a table top with microscope objective attached but the focusing rail was not there, which was a little unclear because other post were saying micro-adjustments were necessary due to the shallow DOF. Then, considering one note by poster, the sizable number of stacks needed for a good image (~200) would be beyond their personal tolerance for manual exposures, they just got the stackshot rail. Very good points to consider and also the cost developing this system.

I did like a more recent post http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=21546
that showed a simple system and have some thoughts on how this might work for me.

An update to the latter here http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=22310

It might take a while to get all the parts tho.

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Post by Chris S. »

marceppy wrote:I did like a more recent post http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=21546
that showed a simple system and have some thoughts on how this might work for me.
Marc, if you build a system based on Miljenko's early version pictured in the above link, I'd suggest noting with care a portion of Miljenko's accompanying write-up that is very important, and that might easily be overlooked:
Miljenko wrote:. . .cooling fan vibrations influence sharpness above 1:1 magnification. This is the reason I'm designing completely new kind of LED lighting now and the one shown gets fanless heatsinks very soon.
As Miljenko described, attaching fans to one's macro rig is an invitation to vibration problems.

Cheers,

--Chris

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Post by marceppy »

ChrisS,

I would probably use flashes and not as a sophisticated lighting system as Miljenko. Being lucky I guess and finding a very nice Nikon CFI Plan Achromat 10X NA 0.25, I am still working on a base and focusing rail.

I have the objective, lens, and adapters. Finding a simple rail that will achieve the micro-adjustments is where I am. I believe it was Miljenko that used another means to move the subject rather than the lens, which might be a simpler approach.

Here is where I struggle a little - If I am going to spend $200-300 on parts to build this, and high magnification may require 100's of stacks, why not just cut to the chase and find a stackshot that will solve the problems?

Im still thinking out the parts. I like the idea of a portable device and one where the parts can be used on other projects.

Marc

Marci Hess
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Post by Marci Hess »

I've reviewed the link to the set ups and think I had an AHA! moment. If I'm understanding them, most of these are creating the rail system for the focus stacking process, which makes them more complicated by definition. I have failed to mention in my original post that I bought a Stackshot. Now, if I understand this, my set up would be primarily focused on getting the insect in the right position and if I decide to use a flash for lighting, something that would stabilize that. With that said, it seems there are 2 types of set ups: 1) one with a system such as Stack Shot and 2) one that creates the rail system. Is this accurate? Or does having the Stackshot still require some other type of rail system? Has anyone found a simple solution for how to move the insect up and down as well as forward and back for the purpose of the initial focusing?

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Post by rjlittlefield »

Marci Hess wrote:Or does having the Stackshot still require some other type of rail system?
The StackShot by itself is completely adequate until you get to very high magnification, say using a 40X microscope objective.
Has anyone found a simple solution for how to move the insect up and down as well as forward and back for the purpose of the initial focusing?
Take another look at the link I provided earlier: http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=15711.

The bit you're describing is just under the specimen. It's labeled "Vertical positioner / Olympus Zuiko Auto-Macro 50/3.5". The exact spec doesn't matter. The point is that it's an old manual-focus lens with a built-in helicoid that is pretty stiff so it will hold position by itself. To move the specimen up and down, you just turn the "focus" ring on that lens. To move the specimen left/right or forward/backward, just set the lens on a flat base and slide it around.

--Rik

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Post by ChrisR »

If you're using the Stackshot for incrementing the camera position, then for something to move the subject about in x-y-z directions you may find a very cheap old microscope base suits. Many have a slide positioner, (for the x-y) but a cheap add on fitting is available if not.
The Stackshot axis doesn't have to line up with any of the three the subject mount has. Adding three rotations - roll, pitch and yaw if you like, isn't straightforward, though a pin in a lump of "Blu-Tack" (or the black version), "Plasticine" or similar may be all you need. For more on that, search for "goniometer" or "positioner".

Marci Hess
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Post by Marci Hess »

HAHAHAHA!!! I'm laughing at myself. I thought the camera lens was just because he needed something quick and it was there. It never occurred to me it was being used for that purpose. (yes, I read it was the vertical positioner -- didn't sink in). I had it in my head that there was a piece(s) or part(s) that could be picked up at a hardware store to make this, since I don't have any old camera lenses laying around and this side of creativity is my downfall. My request for simple was not only in design but in the accumulation and creation of this, too. I'm not opposed to the clay lump as that is what I have now but I spend waaaaaaay too much time futzing with it -- more than I thought I should be.

Olympusman
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Initial positioning

Post by Olympusman »

One trick I have taken up recently is to shine a flashlight throught the camera eyepiece to create an axial spotlight to help "find" and centerthe mounted insect initially.
Michael Reese Much FRMS EMS Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

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