My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

What equipment do you use? Post pictures and descriptions of your microscope(s) here!
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Wes
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My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#1 Post by Wes » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:38 pm

A while ago I acquired a Zeiss Photomicroscope III and after a bit of cleaning and alignment it became a pleasure to operate this finely built scope. Its equipped with Planachromat, Neofluar and Apochromatic objectives including phase contrast ones. I tested the internal 35 mm camera with crystals under polarized light and the image quality is stunning. I am now hunting for soil protozoa and hopefully will have some photos to post soon. I am very interested in hooking a digital camera to it but I don't know know where to start so if you have experience I'd be happy to hear from you.

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MichaelG.
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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#2 Post by MichaelG. » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:46 pm

That's a handsome beast, Wes

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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#3 Post by 75RR » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:03 pm

Welcome Wes,

beautiful monster you got there.

You will need a phototube: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Zeiss-47-30- ... SwhfRcFT9e

and a read through these pdfs: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=882
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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#4 Post by Wes » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:11 pm

Thank you MichaelG. and 75RR for the kind replies and information.

Wes

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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#5 Post by KurtM » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:03 am

I'm jealous too. :mrgreen: What a beautiful uber-classic optical machine!
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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#6 Post by apochronaut » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:20 am

what a beautiful heavyweight. Nice complement of objectives too. What does that actually weigh?

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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#7 Post by wstenberg » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:23 am

Nice to see the images on real film!
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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#8 Post by MicroBob » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:03 am

Hi Wes,
congratulations to your nice new microscope! It is really nice to see someone actually using the built -in camera that made these microscopes a best seller. It seems to have been lightly used and well cares for. The obectives seem to be a mix of Zeiss West, Zeiss Jena and Leitz, but as far as I can see they match quite well.
I recently came to a Photomicroscope 1, second version after 1961 in very nice condition and have read what I could find about these nice instruments.
They were a big seller: From 1955 to 1985 55000 were sold of these expensive instruments. They appear Zeiss-like overengineered but in fact they were really good at what they were bought for: Reliable quality microphotography.
I talked to a guy who has cared for research microscopes as his profession from the 80s on. He reported that the Zeiss Phomis were always preferred for photo work over Leitz Orthoplans and the like because they were so dependable and the image quality was great. He told that Zeiss has further improved the image quality from model to model which makes your model the star of the line. The arm of the stand is coated with dust-removal grease from the inside. To maintain the very best image the internal optics have to be serviced occasionaly. Some people say that there are just too many glass surfaces it the light path to allow quality photograph. This is not true, if you follow the light path in the availabe diagrams you can see that the light that hits the film has not been through more glass surfaces than in other micro photography setups using projectives or eyepieces and a camera lens.

To adapt a digital camera you can use the upper port. The Phomi 2 and 3 had settings to have all the light to the top port or some to the top port and some to the bino tube. I haven't tried it but I think that the top port is like the head of a basic Zeiss Standard so you could put an inclined mono tube there, a 10x KPL eyepiece for glasses-wearer, a pancake (flat design) camera lens and a camera. For APS-C a 40mm pancake like the Pentax M 2,8 / 40mm does fit nicely.

Bob

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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#9 Post by Wes » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:23 pm

apochronaut wrote:what a beautiful heavyweight. Nice complement of objectives too. What does that actually weigh?
The microscope is around 30 kg and the transformer weighs about 10-15 kg. Moving it around requires a bit of effort for sure.
MicroBob wrote:I haven't tried it but I think that the top port is like the head of a basic Zeiss Standard so you could put an inclined mono tube there, a 10x KPL eyepiece for glasses-wearer, a pancake (flat design) camera lens and a camera.
You can redirect all of the light (or 50%) through the top port and I have an inclined mono tube + the 10x Kpl eyepiece. What would be the intermediate element connecting the eyepiece to the camera lens?

Here are a couple of phase contrast images of a spirochete and a ciliate from a soil sample. The background appears grainy probably due to the light diminutive nature of phase contrast. Bright objects on the other hand appear fine.
Soil spirochete, 40x/0.75 Ph Neofluar, 1.6x Optovar
Soil spirochete, 40x/0.75 Ph Neofluar, 1.6x Optovar
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Soil ciliate, 40x/0.75 Ph Neofluar, 1.25x Optovar
Soil ciliate, 40x/0.75 Ph Neofluar, 1.25x Optovar
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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#10 Post by 75RR » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:01 pm

... I have an inclined mono tube ...
A dedicated phototube is best as they are both vertical (cope better with camera weight) and are height adjustable which helps fine tune parfocality with the binocular eyepieces.
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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#11 Post by MicroBob » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:20 pm

75RR wrote:A dedicated phototube is best as they are both vertical (cope better with camera weight) and are height adjustable which helps fine tune parfocality with the binocular eyepieces.
The staight tube has no additional optics as an advantage. The disadvantage I see is that the camera towers in quite some height and the display and controls are difficult to see. With a camera like a Canon 600D this is less of a problem because it can be controlled by a PC software very well.

I use a Pentax Q7 and a Nikon 1J5 as micro cameras and control them with the camera controls or a simple Nikon App. For me it is better to have the camera well in view.

The connector between microscope tube and camera lens looks like a funnel, it sits outside the tube and offers a filter thread to connect the camera to. Usually it is necessary to assemble some adapter rings and perhaps a machined element.

Bob

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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#12 Post by MicroBob » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:54 pm

These are my camera adapters. One (grey) with a non correcting Zeiss Jena eyepiece, one (brass) with a Leitz Periplan correcting eyepiece. They fit both cameras. Image quality is good but not the best that is available. But it is a light an portable solution. The adapters are made from PVC round stock and a piece of brass installation material. I turned them on the lathe. A filter ring glued to a 3D-printed part would do too.

Bob
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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#13 Post by Wes » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:12 pm

I see now, making a connector element custom tailored to your particular microscope+camera setup does seem like a very reasonable solution. I thought there is an endless selection of connectors and finding the right one would be difficult to say the least.

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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#14 Post by Wes » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:45 am

Here are two items I got my hands on very recently. On the right is a classic non-inclined Zeiss monotube with a Leitz 10/20 Periplan eyepiece (I also have a Zeiss 10/18 Kpl). On the left a Zeiss 1108-984 phototube which as far as I can tell is for the older Axio series (unclear whether it would be compatible with the 160mm photomicroscope). Both tubes have a dovetail that fits my microscope and the one on the left has a 52 mm thread. I have a Canon 50D DSLR so I am wondering whether a Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM lens for example would fit well optically (it has the same thread fitting as the phototubus). What do you guys think?

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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#15 Post by MicroBob » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:06 am

Hi Wes,
for optimal results the exit pupil of the eyepiece and the entrance pupil of the camera lens should fall together.
The name pupil is somewhat abstract (at least to me).
In practice this means that it is easiest to get a good combination when you use a "for glasses wearer" eyepiece and a pancake lens like the old Pentax M 2,8/40. The worst combination would be an old keyhole eyepiece with a complicated wide-angle or zoom lens.
You have a good distance when you can close the lens aperture without restricting the filed of view.
The more complicated the camera lens is built the less likely it is to get an ideal combination.
If you already have the components I would just try it and check the results.

A photo tube of a infinity system will probably not correct chromatic errors so it won't fit very well to your microscope and objectives. But again, practice beats theory.

Bob

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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#16 Post by MichaelG. » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:49 pm

MicroBob wrote:Hi Wes,
for optimal results the exit pupil of the eyepiece and the entrance pupil of the camera lens should fall together.
The name pupil is somewhat abstract (at least to me).
Bob,
It's a virtual pupil, in the sense that the rays are restricted as if there was an iris diaphragm at that position.

You will find a reasonably good illustration here:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exit_pupil

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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#17 Post by Wes » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:57 am

MicroBob wrote:Hi Wes,
In practice this means that it is easiest to get a good combination when you use a "for glasses wearer" eyepiece and a pancake lens like the old Pentax M 2,8/40.
Hi Bob,
From my experience with point-n-shoot cameras and smartphone cameras it really is best to use the "for glasses wearer" eyepiece, in my case the 10x/18 Zeiss Kpl-W.

What is the thread pitch for you DIY eyepiece-holder? I will try to source a DIY adapter but I would need all the specifications for the thread. My guess is that the ~50mm thread diameters would have the same pitch.

I don't have a pancake lens but I would like to get one. I am thinking about getting a Canon 40mm f/2.8 which should be ok for afocal projection onto the APS-C sensor that my camera has.

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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#18 Post by MicroBob » Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:39 am

Hi Wes,
my adapters use 40,5mm threads with an uncommon pitch, fitting to Pentax Q and Nikon 1 objectives.
I would suggest to check the right thread size for the objective you want to use. In some rare cases the pitch is not what you would expect.
40mm pancake is good for APS-C. I don't know the Canon objective, maybe you can find some user experience about it's usability. YOu may also look in the german www.mikroskopie-forum.de.

Bob

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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#19 Post by 75RR » Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:16 pm

I do not think that the axio phototube will work on your microscope.

The black phototube on the other hand should work well enough. However, as it lacks any height adjustment, it will not allow any fine-tuning should it be needed to achieve parfocality with the binocular eyepieces.

The 47 30 24 is therefore better, as it is height adjustable, thus allowing for any adjustments needed for parfocality. It has a total adjustment range of 10mm. 5mm up and 5mm down from the midpoint.

If you are having trouble achieving parfocality with the fixed phototube, it would be a viable option. Plus it is colour coordinated ;)
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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#20 Post by Wes » Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:42 pm

Bob, that's a great forum, thanks! I've lurked before with the help of google translate and on this occasion I got an answer to my exact question. It seems like the lens I had in mind works well, a guy on the forum seemed very happy with the results he got.

75RR, I purchased a 47 30 24 phototube, will post results once I have everything set up. Thanks for the repeated advice on getting this accessory :)

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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#21 Post by 75RR » Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:58 pm

Thanks for the repeated advice on getting this accessory
My apologies, you are quite right, there shouldn't be any need to be repetitive.
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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#22 Post by Wes » Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:03 pm

No need for apologies, in fact your second reminder prompted me to finally buy one :D

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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#23 Post by Wes » Sun May 26, 2019 6:32 am

Finally after a short hiatus I have found a working solution. In this particular case pictured here I use an eyepiece for a direct projection onto the camera sensor. I haven't completely optimized everything yet (I have some parfocality issues) but I believe I should resolve it soon and start shooting photos.

Image

On a side note I have now equiped the phomi for DIC and while my microscopy budget is nearly depleted I want to get a few more DIC prisms (I only have the plan 16 and planapo 63). This hobby is the ultimate time and money sink but its worth it (not according to everyone in my household though :lol: )

Image
Last edited by Wes on Sun May 26, 2019 7:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#24 Post by 75RR » Sun May 26, 2019 6:58 am

Looking very nice!

When I was using Direct Projection via a normal kpl eyepiece (one has to raise the eyepiece for this to work), I used spacers cut from electrical pipe (the kind used to house cables in houses), it fits nicely over the eyepiece.

They were cut in 2.5 mm increments.

Note: To achieve parfocality do so before raising the eyepiece. Then simply raise by the required amount to give you the field of view you require.
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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#25 Post by Wes » Sun May 26, 2019 7:45 am

Thanks 75RR, I like that solution. I was initially thinking about having two short aluminum cylinders joined together via a thread that one can rotate in order to fine-tune the spacing of the eyepiece but its a bit of an overkill. Using a piece of piping as you suggest and then finally adjusting with the phototube itself is a lot more sensible.

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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#26 Post by 75RR » Sun May 26, 2019 8:37 am

I think you will find it works well. The photo tube has 10mm adjustment which combines well with the spacers.
Note: To achieve parfocality do so before raising the eyepiece. Then simply raise by the required amount to give you the field of view you require.
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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#27 Post by MicroBob » Sun May 26, 2019 9:36 am

Wes wrote: This hobby is the ultimate time and money sink but its worth it (not according to everyone in my household though :lol: )
Hi Wes, isn't this the definition of a proper hobby: "Maximum effort for minimal practical value"? :lol:


Bob

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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#28 Post by Wes » Sun May 26, 2019 5:43 pm

Haha great definition, I never thought about it like that but it makes perfect sense.

I have two microscopes so far, a monocular Zeiss Junior with a mirror and the Phomi described here (two ends of the spectrum in a way). I would love to own an inverted as well as a stereo microscope. Space would be a limiting factor unfortunately.

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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#29 Post by ImperatorRex » Sun May 26, 2019 7:06 pm

Hi Wes,
a Zeiss Inverted IM35 (or if you like the build in camera an Zeiss ICM405) and a Zeiss Stemi III (or IV) would fit very well to your other Zeiss inventory :-)
Jochen

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Re: My Zeiss Photomicroscope III

#30 Post by Wes » Tue May 28, 2019 5:49 am

Hi Jochen,

Out of curiosity what would be a normal price range for a Stemi? I consider getting a stereoscope when my budget recovers from the DIC expenditure.

Wes

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