My Microscope Build

What equipment do you use? Post pictures and descriptions of your microscope(s) here!
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dale carter
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:56 pm

My Microscope Build

#1 Post by dale carter » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:37 pm

Hi, basically I have built my own setup to customize the observing and capturing to suit my needs. I have separated the light source from the microscope to allow more space for a more flexible light source as well as to prevent heat travelling up the microscope and causing evaporation on the slide. The light source is a 7W, 4000k LED light source. In front of the light source is a polarizer that can turn in 360 degrees as required to provide polarized light thru normal light. The microscope has a 45 degree prism on the bottom that allows the light from the light source to be reflected vertically through the microscope objective. This 45 degree prism is slightly offset to give a 3D perspective to the specimen that is being observed (called oblique illumination) which I personally prefer (see example file from a specimen found in some pond water, please note that the detail is very poor due to resizing and taking this from a frame in a video that I took today to add as an example). I am using mostly Nikon objectives with some Amscope Plan objectives when required. The eye pieces are Olympus. I built a switch to shift the prism so that all the light can go to the Canon 200D camera and not be shared with the eye pieces. The frame of the microscope is Brunel. Also built an Analyzer for the Polarizer with a lever for pushing in and out. To the side you can see a motor with a tube and a super magnet on the end. The fine focuser also has a super magnet, this makes coupling easy for doing stack photography rather than wasting time with gears that just cause unnecessary vibration, it is simple and it works well. This setup may look simple but I have spent many hours playing with lenses, lights and optics to get this far, but it truly is a satisfying hobby.
Attachments
using a Canon 200D to photograph pond life
using a Canon 200D to photograph pond life
capturing_photographs.jpg (107.07 KiB) Viewed 1296 times
example from a frame from a video
example from a frame from a video
example.jpg (48.83 KiB) Viewed 1306 times
Microscope Base
Microscope Base
microscope_not_in_use.jpg (147.45 KiB) Viewed 1306 times
Microscope Build
Microscope Build
microscope_parts_description.jpg (159.43 KiB) Viewed 1306 times

Element 56
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Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:48 pm
Location: Lancaster County, PA

Re: My Microscope Build

#2 Post by Element 56 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:34 pm

Very nicely outfitted instrument! I have no doubt that it took a lot of time to get it set up and working the way you wanted it to. Well done!
Kirby

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75RR
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Re: My Microscope Build

#3 Post by 75RR » Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:12 pm

A most inventive upgrade. Looks like you have had a lot of fun. Well done!
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)

hans
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Location: Southern California

Re: My Microscope Build

#4 Post by hans » Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:42 pm

Looks nicely modular too -- like it would easy to reposition the light source and stepper motor on the base if you ever decided to change microscopes.

microb
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Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:39 am

Re: My Microscope Build

#5 Post by microb » Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:54 pm

dale carter wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:37 pm
Hi, basically I have built my own setup to customize the observing and capturing to suit my needs.
Cool. But what tools and things should one have in that drawer? And what's in the hollow space left and right of the drawer? These are the important things... :D

MicroBob
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Location: Northern Germany

Re: My Microscope Build

#6 Post by MicroBob » Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:14 pm

Hi,
nice setup!
Instead of the prism you could use a beam splitter and combine LED and flash.
Have you already used the arduino for stacking? Does it release the camera too?

Bob

microb
Posts: 397
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:39 am

Re: My Microscope Build

#7 Post by microb » Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:22 pm

MicroBob wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:14 pm
Hi,
nice setup!
Instead of the prism you could use a beam splitter and combine LED and flash.
Have you already used the arduino for stacking? Does it release the camera too?

Bob
Someone has been posting the lamp and flash combo. Why have a flash though? If the lamp is set to the right intensity and CCD sensor is giving good data, isn't that a reproducible way to make images? Is there some iso setting that works better -- but then normally that would mean less light not more like a flash. SO I must be missing something here.

dale carter
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:56 pm

Re: My Microscope Build

#8 Post by dale carter » Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:42 pm

microb wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:54 pm
dale carter wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:37 pm
Hi, basically I have built my own setup to customize the observing and capturing to suit my needs.
Cool. But what tools and things should one have in that drawer? And what's in the hollow space left and right of the drawer? These are the important things... :D
Yes, all my tools and other objectives, they are important as you can see... :lol:
the wiring is all in the hidden spaces. :shock:
Attachments
drawer.jpg
drawer.jpg (109.31 KiB) Viewed 1237 times

dale carter
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:56 pm

Re: My Microscope Build

#9 Post by dale carter » Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:53 pm

microb wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:22 pm
MicroBob wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:14 pm
Hi,
nice setup!
Instead of the prism you could use a beam splitter and combine LED and flash.
Have you already used the arduino for stacking? Does it release the camera too?

Bob
Someone has been posting the lamp and flash combo. Why have a flash though? If the lamp is set to the right intensity and CCD sensor is giving good data, isn't that a reproducible way to make images? Is there some iso setting that works better -- but then normally that would mean less light not more like a flash. SO I must be missing something here.

Yes, good idea! I did design it so that the prism could rotate 180 degrees for a second LED light source but I always wondered if it was possible to rather trigger a flash through the polarizer when required while leaving the observation light active.

Attached a stacked photograph of a jumping spider (horribly reduced in size), it does release the camera and move the stepper motor. I pass a "space" key press to the Canon live view, that triggers the camera. This is done using the Arduino.
Attachments
Jumping Spider
Jumping Spider
jumping spider.jpg (86.94 KiB) Viewed 1231 times

MicroBob
Posts: 2215
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:11 am
Location: Northern Germany

Re: My Microscope Build

#10 Post by MicroBob » Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:02 pm

Absolutely amazing photo! :D

Charles
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: My Microscope Build

#11 Post by Charles » Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:45 pm

Very nice microscope setup and photos!

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