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My first week of stacking...
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ChrisRaper



Joined: 04 Oct 2011
Posts: 291
Location: Reading, UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a few updates from today - I managed to buy some polystyrene cups at a local discount outlet Very Happy

This is a rather nice little tachinid called Pelecotheca (Cryptocladocera) sp. with "multi-fissicorn" antennae from South America (Suriname to be precise). Photos taken with a Canon 1000D; Nikkor EL 50mm f2.8 set on f5.6; cheapie Chinese bellows (racked to 75mm, so about 1.5x?) & adaptor rings; YN560 flash offset to the right and run on half power Smile




I'm happier with them - needs a bit of tweaking but I think they are an improvement Smile
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ChrisRaper



Joined: 04 Oct 2011
Posts: 291
Location: Reading, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another quick Oestrophasia sp. from Brazil - same setup as the Cryptocladocera:



Very Happy
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ChrisR
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 8518
Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very quick progress in a couple of weeks Smile
Perhaps the dark ones need a bit more illumination in their undersides?
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ChrisRaper



Joined: 04 Oct 2011
Posts: 291
Location: Reading, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Chris - yes, I think I need to experiment with the flash position and really fine-tune the strength/distance from the subject to get it spot-on before I actually do the stacking. I just get too excited to see the finished stack and hurry it at the moment Very Happy

Here's one from today - a British species this time, a tachinid called Prosena siberita Smile



... and yes, it needed cleaning before stacking and I need to get a better stage arrangement inside the polystyrene cup so that I can remove specimens from their stage pin and get rid of the distraction of the data label and the stage mount Smile

I have to say ... hats off to NU for the polystyrene cup idea - the improvement in the lighting is amazing, just from that alone.
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2580
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those last 2 are just about perfect.

A couple suggestions.
1] Mount the fly on a rotatable stage. Simply a hole in the baseboard for a dowel enclosed within a plastic tube. The plastic tube extends above the dowel; place a piece of foam in the cavity formed.
Much easier, and better control, to rotate the fly from underneath the baseboard than directly rotating the pin.

NU11137
2] Add the foam diffuser cup after the fly is setup. Again , simply make a full length cut in the cup and insert over the fly. An elastic band around the cup will close the slit. Left off in image below to show the slit. In this case the distance between lip of cup and fly is 2.5".

NU11138
_________________
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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ChrisRaper



Joined: 04 Oct 2011
Posts: 291
Location: Reading, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again NU - those pictures make so much sense - I can see where I can improve the setup already. I am also watching for an old, broken compound microscope that I can cannibalise for the vertical stage and am saving up for a Proxxon for the X,Y adjustment. At the moment it is really fiddly getting the specimen into the correct position.

I had another go at the Microsoma exiguum (below) ... starting with my old, original attempt and then the new one, which to my eyes looks much better. The specimen is just over 2mm long in the body.

Tamron 90mm SP Di:


Nikkor EL 50mm f2.8:
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2580
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, that's a lot better.

Some final set-up 'tweaks'.

I anchor my camera and move the subject. I have changed the camera anchoring several times and had to frequently adjust the fly vertically. This led to a whole lot of 'stuff' behind the subject.

Just now I removed all the extraneous hardware and this is what my simpler system looks like. Note the Swift microscope focus block (cheap), the slotted metal plate and the most essential ball head.

NU11139
_________________
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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ChrisRaper



Joined: 04 Oct 2011
Posts: 291
Location: Reading, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@NU: That's really nice - and flexible for just about any subject matter and camera setup ... I am sure that I'll pick up the necessary bits in time ... just needs a lot of eBay-monitoring Very Happy It also really helps to see the setup and have the parts labelled because I know the kind of thing I need (ie. X,Y & Z movement) but the solutions are frighteningly simple when you see what can be cannibalised and bolted together Smile
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BugEZ



Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 804
Location: Loves Park Illinois

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding hte images posted on Tuesday (Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:55 pm )

I copied them into PowerPoint, placing them side by side with "landscape" orientation. I then scaled them a bit to make the heads appear to be the same size. I crossed my eyes and obtained a very good 3D image.

Your images (by the way...) are excellent. Nice work! I agree that you are making good progress in image clarity.

Keith.
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ChrisRaper



Joined: 04 Oct 2011
Posts: 291
Location: Reading, UK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Keith - I am really enjoying it and appreciate all the help I have received here. Considering I have only had the equipment a few weeks I am amazed. Smile
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rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 20621
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChrisRaper wrote:
the solutions are frighteningly simple when you see what can be cannibalised and bolted together Smile

Really well said! May I quote you on that one?

--Rik
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ChrisRaper



Joined: 04 Oct 2011
Posts: 291
Location: Reading, UK

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely! Very Happy
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