Forays into "Consumercam" Photomicroscopy
By Paul James, UK
Construction details of the camera support
and tips for camera alignment.
Heres the set-up used to produce the photos in the article. They show the basic layout which is, as you can see, very simple. The diagram shows more detail etc.
Top and side views of support. Note a 35mm film camera has been used to show the support in use; the Olympus 830 digicam was used to take the piccie!
Whilst not winning any awards for aesthetics, it nevertheless performs very well and is extremely easy to use and very quick to set-up and remove.
Some of you have expressed difficulty with alignment of camera to microscope, so I have listed here some golden rules that should sort this problem out.
Whatever contraption you make, it must have in-built adjustment to compensate for any errors in construction.
For the purpose of setting up, try to have the edges of the field of view showing in the LCD, even if only at the corners of the field. This may require a zoom to be left at its wide setting ?
When final adjusting takes place, before tightening up base screws etc., scrutinize the LCD screen carefully and concentrate on the setting up of even illumination, always taking a pic to verify this. Low powers can be more difficult to set up, so start here first.
Use lower illuminant intensity at first to make this alignment a little easier, to start with.
If you have trouble with alignment do not give up. Try decoupling the camera from the alloy plate and with both hands resting either on this plate or supplementary rests, adjust the camera's position handheld . Providing the microscope is not touched an image can be recorded showing no signs of shake. It might well take time to acquire the skills, but it can be done. Thus a simpler, but sturdy hand rest may prove to be more useful to some owners with cameras having awkward body shapes etc.. We all have to learn how to keep our heads still over the eyepieces whilst viewing without any additional support anyway !
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Published in the November 1999 edition of Micscape Magazine.
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