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Thread: Photomicroscopy P&S solution?

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Photomicroscopy P&S solution?

    Way back in the bronze age when I worked at a research facility, photomicroscopy was a challenging black art. I confess it wasn't my strong point and fortunately, most of the major microscope manufacturers and camera makers had optional accessory packages that allowed it to be done without a ton of high level math.

    But like everything else, digital has changed that field as well. An old friend and microbiologist wants a recommendation for a point and shoot that can be used to make photos through the eyepiece of her microscope. A quick google led me to several articles that make it sound fairly simple. The trick seems to be that you must be able to focus your camera on infinity. Apparently to make an image you simply set focus on infinity and then position the camera over the monocular viewer of the microscope to approximately the distance of the eye relief (which will be where the focussed image plane will be) and make your exposure. With a manual focus camera that's easy, but can you set an infinity focus on a point and shoot that won't hunt as soon as you press the shutter release?

    Edmund Scientific sells various relay tubes and step filters that allow for mounting a lens/camera directly to the microscope. I know my friend already owns a D70, wouldn't it make more sense to buy the appropriate tubes/filters to use the D70 instead of spending money on another camera like a coolpix?

    Anybody? I know this is a little from left field, but there's lots of hidden talent here, I thought maybe someone might have some advice.

    Thanks!
    Tim

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Photomicroscopy P&S solution?

    One advantage of the little P&S cams for this application is the live-view rear LCD and why they are recommended. I think the D70 has live view, so yes, it should be a better solution.
    Jack
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    Re: Photomicroscopy P&S solution?

    some of the p&s cameras do have manual focus (lx2, d-lux3, ricoh,etc). If I remember correctly on the inexpensive side, some of Canon A series also have the capability.

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    Re: Photomicroscopy P&S solution?

    Tim,

    I do macro photography (somewhere in between Micro and Photomicroscopy, ie
    >1X and <40X magnifications) using various macro lenses (Zeiss Luminars, Leica Summars/ Milars/ Photars and the incredible Nikon Macro Nikkors).

    I have tried using my old D70. It sucks. Main reason is the fairly high IR sensitivity it has (not as high as the M8 but the same as the Epson R-D1s).
    Another reason, mirror slap. Can't lock the mirror up.

    Among the P&S, Canon's G (is it G9 or G8) something would be good as they have excellent IR cut filters (major problem when working with halogen sources for illumination).

    If going for SLR, something like the D300 with a mirror lock up option plus live view (that can be viewed on a large TV screen separately) would be fantastic.

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    Re: Photomicroscopy P&S solution?

    Thanks everyone. Good suggestions bringing me closer to a solution. Vivek: yup, I do remember reading about the IR/cut being important, thanks for the reminder. I'll do a little more research armed with this intelligence.

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