camera newbie questions

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njitgrad
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camera newbie questions

#1 Post by njitgrad » Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:32 pm

Last night my son and I attached his new AmScope MD500 camera to his AmScope M150C and I have some questions on what we observed.

1) The first thing I noticed was the White Balance (which was in the auto setting) was way off (too cool of a white). Being an amateur photographer I deduced this right off the bat. We used the AmScope software to manually adjust the WB to a more natural color (a warmer white). Did this occur because the M150C uses LED lighting?

2) How do I know what magnification factor of the camera is? They eyepieces that came with the M150C are 10X and 25X and the objectives are 4X, 10X and 40X. Can you change the magnification factor of the camera without changing the objective?

3) On the M150C stage, there is a rotary dial that permits different amounts of light into to stage area. What is this used for? Each setting did not look all that different from all of the others.

4) I created a TEXT BOX on one of the snapshots so that I could "label" the snapshot before printing. I typed in "Paramecium" and changed the default font/color and increased the font size from 16 to 48 so it would fill a blank area of the snapshot nicely. When I tried to print preview (and eventually print) the image the text appeared garbage-like until I decreased the font size back to 16.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

p3aul
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Re: camera newbie questions

#2 Post by p3aul » Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:41 pm

I think I can answer 3 of the questions.
[1] Did this occur because the M150C uses LED lighting?

Yes. Halogen lighting would produce a warmer color closer to orange.

[2] The mag power is 10X like you are viewing through a 10X EP

[3] That rotary dial is a cheaper alternative to an iris, found in Amscopes more expensive scopes. It lets various amounts of light from the illumination source pass through the specimen. It does this by rotating either smaller or larger holes into the path of the light source. In their more expensive scopes this is replaced by an iris, which being a camera buff, I know you are familiar with.

I hope this helps.
Paul
Paul Microscope: Amscope T400b Camera: Amscope MU300
Telescope: Orion xt6 classic Dob, Zhumell z10 classic Dob

njitgrad
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Re: camera newbie questions

#3 Post by njitgrad » Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:35 pm

p3aul wrote:In their more expensive scopes this is replaced by an iris, which being a camera buff, I know you are familiar with.
I'm assuming you're referring to aperture which would vary the DOF?

njitgrad
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Re: camera newbie questions

#4 Post by njitgrad » Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:43 pm

I Finally figured out how to get my text printed out. I had to enter "the text" onto my preview screen and then export it as a JPEG (rather than by creating a snapshot and then adding the text to the screenshot).

Below is the first image I captured (Paramecium at 10X). Is this the best quality I should expect for a 5MP camera? The aquamarine color should more closely resemble a forest green color (when observed with without the camera) but I don't know how to adjust detailed color settings. The magenta colors should also be closer to plain red. The color adjustment settings are very limited unless I use Lightroom or Photoshop to manually correct them

Image

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gekko
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Re: camera newbie questions

#5 Post by gekko » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:05 pm

To my eyes, this looks pretty good. The protozoans look nice and sharp. The colors may not be exact, but I think they are more than good enough. It may help if you take manual white balance (sometimes called custom WB) from a clear part of the slide (I find that to be the best way). I think you will get even better results from the slide you will be preparing yourself or from temporary wet mounts. I think an excellent start!

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Oliver
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Re: camera newbie questions

#6 Post by Oliver » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:18 pm

Is this the best quality I should expect for a 5MP camera?
5MP is plenty for most cases. I have 3MP and this is also fine, if I do not crop. The bottleneck is often not the camera resolution, but the resolution of the microscope optics and the quality of the specimen. For more resolution, I recommend that you increase the magnification and then stitch the images together. This is what I usually do.

To check the maximum useful camera resolution, try to take a picture at 5MP and then in photoshop resize it to eg 3MP and then back to 5MP. This will result in an information loss. You can then compare the original 5MP image with the new 5MP image. If you, for example, do not see a difference in detail, then you know that 3MP would have been enough and that the specimen was limiting. For resolution tests, diatoms are often used. I think that the paramecia look great. Because I post process my images anyway, the colors never look "natural" anyway. In microscopy, in particular, the point is also image detail and therefore I often tolerate unnatural colors if the image generally looks fine. But I guess that your question was more related to the camera capturing the colors as they appear through the eyepiece.

If you do an auto white balance, then the software might try to orient itself to either the brightest color on the image (which is assumed to be white, even if it is not). Maybe the software allows for calibration, where you can define what white is. In the case of halogen bulbs, the color even changes with light intensity, this is something that LEDs do not do.

Oliver.
Image Oliver Kim - http://www.microbehunter.com - Microscopes: Olympus CH40 - Olympus CH-A - Breukhoven BMS student microscope - Euromex stereo - uSCOPE MXII

p3aul
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Re: camera newbie questions

#7 Post by p3aul » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:28 pm

I'm assuming you're referring to aperture which would vary the DOF?
I suppose it does, to a degree, but the opinion here is that the objectives control the DOF, higher power objectives, have less, lower power have more. The diaphragm at the condenser controls the contrast.
Paul Microscope: Amscope T400b Camera: Amscope MU300
Telescope: Orion xt6 classic Dob, Zhumell z10 classic Dob

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Crater Eddie
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Re: camera newbie questions

#8 Post by Crater Eddie » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:07 pm

I have to ask which software package you are using to control the camera? Amscope has different packages they use for different cameras, they each work a little differently.
They are:

ISCapture
ToupView
AMscope (which seems to be a re-branded slightly modified version of ToupView)

There might be others, these are the ones I have used.
CE
Olympus BH-2 / BHTU with Olympus E-P1 MFT camera mounted
LOMO BIOLAM L-2-2
LOMO POLAM L-213 / BIOLAM L-211 hybrid
LOMO Multiscope (Biolam)

p3aul
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Re: camera newbie questions

#9 Post by p3aul » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:03 am

How did you get different flavors(colors) of paramecium? All I have every seen are transparent and grayish.
Paul Microscope: Amscope T400b Camera: Amscope MU300
Telescope: Orion xt6 classic Dob, Zhumell z10 classic Dob

njitgrad
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Re: camera newbie questions

#10 Post by njitgrad » Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:20 pm

p3aul wrote:
I'm assuming you're referring to aperture which would vary the DOF?
I suppose it does, to a degree, but the opinion here is that the objectives control the DOF, higher power objectives, have less, lower power have more. The diaphragm at the condenser controls the contrast.
Then I'm still not understanding the purpose of the diaphragm. Can you elaborate? Sorry, I am a complete noob....my profession is software engineering. Can you suggest an experiment where I would be able to notice the different settings?

p3aul
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Re: camera newbie questions

#11 Post by p3aul » Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:28 am

You could try this. Your diaphragm has a series of hole in it instead of an iris with metal leaves that can make one hole larger or smaller. I don't know how many holes your diaphragm has, but put it near the middle hole. focus the scope on your specimen. Now move the diaphragm to each smaller hole in turn. You should see a change in contrast as the holes get smaller, also the image will darken somewhat. You can increase the illumination, but at some point the contrast will be optimum. I'm not entirely sure I'm correct on this. Some of you guys with more experience help me out.
Paul Microscope: Amscope T400b Camera: Amscope MU300
Telescope: Orion xt6 classic Dob, Zhumell z10 classic Dob

njitgrad
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Re: camera newbie questions

#12 Post by njitgrad » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:51 pm

p3aul wrote:You could try this. Your diaphragm has a series of hole in it instead of an iris with metal leaves that can make one hole larger or smaller. I don't know how many holes your diaphragm has, but put it near the middle hole. focus the scope on your specimen. Now move the diaphragm to each smaller hole in turn. You should see a change in contrast as the holes get smaller, also the image will darken somewhat. You can increase the illumination, but at some point the contrast will be optimum. I'm not entirely sure I'm correct on this. Some of you guys with more experience help me out.
I tried that and see very little change. Almost seems like a useless feature. There must be a practical purpose to it else it would have not been included as a component.

p3aul
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Re: camera newbie questions

#13 Post by p3aul » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:42 am

Well They all have a diaphragm of some sort! With my scope I get changes in contrast by opening and closing the iris. While I am sure the monocular scope your son has is a good scope(most Amscopes are) To get some real benefits you need a more expensive scope. I would suggest one with an abbe condenser that has a real iris diaphragm and a filter holder beneath. With the filter holder it opens your world to dry darkfield illumination and Rheinberg Illumination. If you are familiar with RI, google it. There are some some fascinating results with light "staining" the specimens. These filters are available on Ebay for around $35US. Really, the possibilities are endless with a little better scope. I guess this hobby is a little like a fisherman who sits and dreams of bigger and better boats! Every time I see someone mention something here I find myself thinking "I want that!"

I can give you one tip though. On this forum, because of the software constraints,I find the "Search" feature almost useless! Instead, in your browser, Type in microbehunter/forum/ "your search word(s)" Most of the time when I type in my keywords in the forum Search box I get something like "Your search words were too common so Search ignored them! This is a nifty trick i learned somewhere else.
Paul
Paul Microscope: Amscope T400b Camera: Amscope MU300
Telescope: Orion xt6 classic Dob, Zhumell z10 classic Dob

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gekko
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Re: camera newbie questions

#14 Post by gekko » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:39 am

Paul, I think you are right about the diaphragm (holes, in this case), and, having used a microscope with the holes, I agree with njitgrad that they are often not very effective, unlike the iris of an Abbe condenser.
njitgrad, the holes are supposed to adjust the aperture of the condenser (in your microscope, this would be the small lens in the stage), and so have an effect on contrast, resolution, and depth of field (not field of view).

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