Introductory microscope and with digital adapter?

Everything relating to microscopy hardware: Objectives, eyepieces, lamps and more.
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findmesomethinggross
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 8:31 pm

Introductory microscope and with digital adapter?

#1 Post by findmesomethinggross » Tue May 19, 2020 8:41 pm

I was planning on buying a simple microscope at home, and I saw the recommendation for the National Optical SS110. Is there a digital camera that I can mount on that which will capture decent quality video (at least 1080p?) via USB-3 or USB-C?

dtsh
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Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 6:06 pm

Re: Introductory microscope and with digital adapter?

#2 Post by dtsh » Tue May 19, 2020 9:58 pm

findmesomethinggross wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:41 pm
I was planning on buying a simple microscope at home, and I saw the recommendation for the National Optical SS110. Is there a digital camera that I can mount on that which will capture decent quality video (at least 1080p?) via USB-3 or USB-C?
It depends on your expectations, there are some very inexpensive cellphone to microscope adapters that one can get. They're not the "best" solution, but they are very effective and can produce nice images. It's all a question about what's good enough for you; for me a cellphone works pretty well, but I keep playing around with other methods, partly because I like to tinker.

DonSchaeffer
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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Introductory microscope and with digital adapter?

#3 Post by DonSchaeffer » Wed May 20, 2020 5:03 pm

The limitations of image quality is going to be at the microscope and the ability to control the light, not at the camera end. I have a simple Omax eyepiece camera (you have to be able to remove the eyepiece o the microscope and replace it with the camera). I'm very happy with it (I use it to view the microscope on my computer monitor rater than the eyepiece). The cost of similar cameras start at about $100. I think the eyepiece camera is the best solution.

findmesomethinggross
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Re: Introductory microscope and with digital adapter?

#4 Post by findmesomethinggross » Sat May 23, 2020 6:56 pm

But if you remove the eyepiece, then don't you lose 10x?

DonSchaeffer
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Re: Introductory microscope and with digital adapter?

#5 Post by DonSchaeffer » Sat May 23, 2020 7:29 pm

No you don't magnification. The eyepiece is a reduction lens. When you use an eyepiece camera with no reduction lens, you actually get a higher magnification. I did some measurements: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9302

Scarodactyl
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Re: Introductory microscope and with digital adapter?

#6 Post by Scarodactyl » Sat May 23, 2020 11:50 pm

That isn't exactly accurate Don--the reason your retina gets a wider field of view than the camera is that the (effectively 23mmish) lens of your eye reduces the image after the eyepiece enlarges it and focuses it to infinity.
Optically speaking the camera isn't getting a higher magnification, but a smaller field of view (which is one reason that it's better to quote FoV with a picture when possible, though it can be a hassle). It's not ideal in general, since you're getting a small fraction of the light (thus a dimmer image) and your resolution per imagesize on the sensor is lower than you're getting to your eye. Hence reducing adapters which smush the image down to better fit the sensor.

DonSchaeffer
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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Introductory microscope and with digital adapter?

#7 Post by DonSchaeffer » Sun May 24, 2020 5:18 pm

Thanks. I sort of suspected this. However, I am frustrated by just looking. I want to document. Looking through the lens is much more tiring as well. Someday. I may just invest in a better camera.

The eyepiece is not a magnifying lens but a reduction lens. You can see this when you just look through the eyepiece. The objective does all the work of projecting the enlarged image. Isn't that true?

DonSchaeffer
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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Introductory microscope and with digital adapter?

#8 Post by DonSchaeffer » Mon May 25, 2020 12:37 pm

I admit I don't know how the microscope works. I looked at my eyepiece a second time and it definitely is a powerful convex magnifying lens with a very short focal length. I just know when I use the camera, I don't lose magnification.

Tom Jones
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Re: Introductory microscope and with digital adapter?

#9 Post by Tom Jones » Wed May 27, 2020 4:32 am

Actually, using that microscope, I think your best bet is to use your cell phone.

It's much easier than it sounds. They can certainly shoot 1080p and probably shoot 4k video if you would like. They can also be wired to an external monitor as well. You'll get to see on your screen everything your eyepiece sees, take very nice video and stills, and you probably already own the cell phone so all you need is the adapter to hold it in place. You can easily make an adapter yourself. Stills you can shoot nicely hand-held with a little practice. Video will take something to hold the camera in place. I've used cell phones on everything from student microscopes, to antiques, to research microscopes, all with good success. And generally much higher resolution than an eyepiece camera.

Here is a Micscape article I wrote a while back on using your cell phone camera for high quality still and video photomicrography:

http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/art ... omicro.pdf

With a little luck it will answer all of your questions about cell phone photomicrography.

As for how a microscope works, here's a very nice tutorial by Peter Evennett I wish I'd see when I was first starting out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60_jgZtyR6U

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