Stereo Triocular or Binocular

Everything relating to microscopy hardware: Objectives, eyepieces, lamps and more.
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Dave S
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Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#1 Post by Dave S » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:09 am

I am considering adding a Stereo Microscope to compliment my high power Triocular Compound Microscope.

For imaging purposes, do I need to buy a more expensive Triocular model, or can you get by with a binocular model, by substituting one eyepiece with a camera.

I would plan to use my EOS 4000d DSLR, as I do with with the Trioc Compound scope.
Brunel SP100 (with 4x, 10x, 40x,60x, and 100x (oil) plan objectives), and Canon EOS 4000d Camera (microscopy use only)

adriantdf
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#2 Post by adriantdf » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:50 am

Isn't de DSLR too heavy to be mounted in the place of the eyepiece?

Dave S
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#3 Post by Dave S » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:19 am

My Full Frame EOS 5d MklV most certainly would be, but I bought a lightweight EOS 4000d (APS-C) specifically for use with my triocular compound microscope, so maybe it might be a possibility with a stereo scope. I'll interested in what the guys here are using, if they have a stereo scope.
Brunel SP100 (with 4x, 10x, 40x,60x, and 100x (oil) plan objectives), and Canon EOS 4000d Camera (microscopy use only)

jfiresto
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#4 Post by jfiresto » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:56 pm

The head of a microscope sales and service company warned me that the weight of the camera on an eyepiece tube was not good for it. I have no idea how much truth is in that.

I eventually snarfed a 1970s-era photo tube off ebay, to make the microscope trinocular, along with a mating 1X (optics-free) c-mount for a 1 inch video tube, video camera. I substituted a modern, micro four thirds camera and a bread-and-butter thread adapter, and that was that. You guys adding DSLRs have much more adventure!
-John

Dave S
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#5 Post by Dave S » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:05 pm

Hmm!!, I think it wise to opt for a Trioc John. I have to say, that I have only ever seen pictures of Smart Phones attached to the eyepiece tube on a stereo scope.

So having made that decision, the next consideration is, a stereo scope with fixed magnification, or one of the zoom variety.

As a photographer, I am aware that a zoom lens will always, to some degree, be inferior to a fixed focal length lens, although my pro spec zoom lenses are pretty damn good.
Brunel SP100 (with 4x, 10x, 40x,60x, and 100x (oil) plan objectives), and Canon EOS 4000d Camera (microscopy use only)

Scarodactyl
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#6 Post by Scarodactyl » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:13 pm

A trinoc port is definitely nicer, even though the initial setup can be a pain.
Fixed may theoretically be better, but they have so little demand vs zoom that they tend to be relegated to the bottom end lines, especially in modern scopes, so I am not sure how much better they would be in practice. The only barrel mag changer I know of from thr big four is the Leica M50 (descendant of the Wild M3c), which I imagine is quite good though not cheap. Its predecessor, th e MS5 can sometimes be found inexpensively on the used market but I assume that isn't on your radar.
I have tried a few Chinese stereos, some are quite decent, others less so. My general thoughts are the ones made to look like a Meiji or an Olympus 4030 are usually not great (I've tried one meiji lookalike that seemed ok). One of the nikon lookalikes I tried briefly was good (sold as the unitron z730 but available from many resellers https://www.microscopesolutions.com/pro ... lain-stand).
Any idea of your budget for this?

jfiresto
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#7 Post by jfiresto » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:16 pm

A possible advantage to consider, and it may be of no significance, is that with a zoom microscope, you could make the subject fill more of the camera's pixels. This may prove noticeable if the camera has less resolution than the objective.

The decent stereo microscopes that are available to you, however, may decide whether you go zoom or fixed. Many (most?) of the nice ones are zoom [someone beat me to that].

I would have been delighted with a particular version of a five-step, fixed magnification Wild model, but only one has appeared on ebay over the years – and I was still asleep. I ended up with a Wild zoom model, the M7S, which lives up to its advertising, as their stereo for low power photomacrography.
-John

MicroBob
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#8 Post by MicroBob » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:51 pm

Hi Dave,
a stereo microscope is very useful to have, no question. For photography most stereo microscopes are just so-so. The numerical aperture is barely high enough for observation use. Reson for this is that a stereo microscope offers a big free working distance ans this would make huge optics necessary to allow a higher n.a..
So if you want a stereo microscope for observation and preparation and the occasional documentary picture you will be satisfied. If you want to do high quality low magnificarion photography you would have to choose different equipment. Do you already have an idea what you want to do with the stereo microscope?

Bob

Dave S
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#9 Post by Dave S » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:07 pm

Yes Bob, it would basically be an extension of my macro photography, into the realm of 'extreme macro.

I would use the same APS-C DSLR that I use with the compound microscope.

I know to avoid twin objective Greenough design, as apparently this is not ideal for photography, and the CMO design which uses a single objective is better suited to the job,

BTW, I do have excellent macro lens that I use with my full frame 5d MklV, but 'extreme macro' is a step beyond it.

It would be interesting to see if anyone here has some Stereo MIcroscope taken images.
Brunel SP100 (with 4x, 10x, 40x,60x, and 100x (oil) plan objectives), and Canon EOS 4000d Camera (microscopy use only)

Scarodactyl
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#10 Post by Scarodactyl » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:31 pm

It's conve tional wisdom that stereo microscopes aren't good for high quality photography, but that hasn't proven true in the gem world. While other tools in the same niche (like photomacroscopes) have higher resolution and other advantages some guys like Nathan Renfro and John Koivula routinely take print-quality photos on their Nikon smz-10s (at least good enough for printing in a book).
They absolutely have limitations but with decent equipment you can get good enough results (especially for web resolutions!)
Edit: for examples, here is Nathan Renfro's instagram. Yeah, not high resolution so a lot of sins can be covered up, but nevertheless. The DIC photos are on a Zeiss compound but the others are on his SMZ-10.
https://instagram.com/microworldofgems? ... ztoy84w9rr

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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#11 Post by Dave S » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:44 pm

Thanks for that info 'scaro'.
Brunel SP100 (with 4x, 10x, 40x,60x, and 100x (oil) plan objectives), and Canon EOS 4000d Camera (microscopy use only)

jfiresto
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#12 Post by jfiresto » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:59 pm

Dave S wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:07 pm
... I know to avoid twin objective Greenough design, as apparently his is not ideal for photography, and the CMO design which uses a single objective is better suited to the job....
As Bob wrote, all stereo microscopes are less suitable for photography: their twin optical paths would make the microscopes huge if they offered high resolutions. With Greenough, you tend to get even less resolution; with CMO you get marked, lateral chromatic aberration. It is a bit of pick your poison.

There are some modern, higher resolution Greenough designs. I would find it helpful to know what you will use the microscope for, the qualities you need or expect (including new or used), and how much time and money you might invest in getting one. It would reduce the great number of possibilities to something more tractable.
-John

Scarodactyl
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#13 Post by Scarodactyl » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:08 pm

The amount of CA on CMOs will vary, of course. Both greenough and cmo (/parallel) do both come in apo flavors, but buying one new is not typically affordable.

jfiresto
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#14 Post by jfiresto » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:16 pm

Perhaps a helpful tidbit. In photographic units, the largest effective aperture of the Wild CMO microscopes I muck with, is around f7.
-John

MicroBob
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#15 Post by MicroBob » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:22 pm

Hi Dave,
in this case I would look into the alternative: A low power objective for your compound microscope. I have a Leitz Plan 1,6:1 that is very nice and used below 100€. For 3D-objects stacking becomes important and here a fine focus is a big advantage.

As far as I know there are stereo microscopes today with an n.a. up to 0,65 - but for the price of them you could buy a new car or two.

Bob

jfiresto
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#16 Post by jfiresto » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:04 pm

MicroBob wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:22 pm
... As far as I know there are stereo microscopes today with an n.a. up to 0,65 - but for the price of them you could buy a new car or two....
Yes, I have been thinking of simple and realistically affordable, achromatic stereo microscopes. I should have written that and emphasized it is a matter of degrees.
-John

MicroBob
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#17 Post by MicroBob » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:09 pm

It is also nice to have a halfway portable stereo microscope as it tends to be used in different places. I mostly use an Olympus SZ ? 1960s model with the nuclear reactor hood. It offers a zoom from 7x to 40x, offers good image quality and is very practical in use. For finer work I have a Leitz Großfeld-Stereomikroskop, ancient looking black beast with objectives up to 10x or 11x. I think the n.a. of the 10x is 0,12. This is still handy but has less free workuíng distance and is more suitable for flat objects that fit on the stage.
For removing splinters out of family member's feet I wouldn't like to carry a big modern high power stero microscope down in the dining room. :shock:

Bob

Dave S
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#18 Post by Dave S » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:20 pm

Hmm!!, you guys have got me thinking now, and that imaging through a stereo microscope might be a bit disappointing to me as serious amateur photographer :?

I was only thinking of spending around £500 on a scope (new of course ;) ), so perhaps getting low power plan objective for the main scope, say 2.5x would a sensible option, albeit with the 10x oculars, that would be 25x, which might be too much for an insect :?:

Here's an example of my macro images, albeit very heavily cropped from the full frame image, so a lot of pixels/resolution were discarded.

ImageHylemya by Dave, on Flickr
Brunel SP100 (with 4x, 10x, 40x,60x, and 100x (oil) plan objectives), and Canon EOS 4000d Camera (microscopy use only)

viktor j nilsson
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#19 Post by viktor j nilsson » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:44 pm

I think that the best solution for you would be to use microscope objectives directly on a bellows. The resolution and image quality is way better than a stereo microscope. Stereo microscopes really aren't suited for photography.

Here's a good intro:
https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/ ... hp?t=12147

Since you insist on buying new, a very capable and affordable first objective would be to be the good cheap Chinese 4x achromat tested by Robert O'Toole (see below), and the Nikon "finite conjugate 10x" from Edmunds optics. There aren't really any affordable options for 20x, especially new. And stacking gets more tricky at 20x and above. But 10x is very manageable.

See here about the $17 no-name 4x:
https://www.closeuphotography.com/seven ... -objective

And here about the €89 Nikon 10x:
https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/ ... php?t=9393

https://www.edmundoptics.com/p/10x-niko ... ive/16598/

You will need a way to move the camera in small increments. Either manually on the microscope, or by moving the camera (or subject) using a micrometer-driven linear stage. Or do it automatically with a motorized linear rail such as the Stackshot, Mjkzz or Wemacro.

I've had good success doing direct projection on the sensor by removing the binocular head from the microscope and replacing it with a bellows + camera. But there are no ready-made adapters for this, you would need to build something yourself.

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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#20 Post by Dave S » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:11 pm

Well, there is some 'thinking material' there Viktor, thank you.

I do have a 4x plan/160 objective on the SP100 scope, and yes I could mount that on bellows, or an extension tube, but then I have to consider how to mount, and illuminate the specimen. Also, how to mount, and focus the camera. I guess I could do this by moving the specimen in closer, or further away, but are talking very small, and precise movement. It sounds like an awful lot of 'faffing about' to me.

Camera, specimen, and illumination, all set to go on a microscope is a much easier option.

I get the 'message' from you guys, that Stereo Scope is not the way to go, from a photography point of view, and so I think I will drop that idea.

So, maybe I will just leave the area between macro photography, and that achieved with a compound microscope, as 'uncharted territory'

That said, I might look at getting a 2x plan objective, and see what vistas it open up. The lowest power objective in the microscope is a 4x.

Thew stereo scope seemed to be the logical way forward, but thanks to you guys, I now know that its not suited to imaging, so money saved :)
Brunel SP100 (with 4x, 10x, 40x,60x, and 100x (oil) plan objectives), and Canon EOS 4000d Camera (microscopy use only)

Hobbyst46
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#21 Post by Hobbyst46 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:25 pm

I have recently tested an unbranded 4X0.1 Plan from China against a Plan Nikon CF 4X0.1. The latter was visually better, from the aspect of flatness, not only chromatic corrections. The two objectives were tested on a 160mm Zeiss microscope, with a compensating Zeiss eyepiece, so the test is not absolutely accurate. The unbranded was very much cheaper than the Nikon. Yet, for high quality photos, I think I would try a Nikon (or Olympus perhaps, on a Chinese stand).
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

Dave S
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#22 Post by Dave S » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:57 pm

What I really need is an LM Macroscope :D

Given what you guys say, which is supported by several technical articles that I have now read, I am perplexed as to why there are so many new triocular stereo microscopes for sale, if they are photographicaly inferior. Are they just used for 'rough and ready' snapshots, or aimed at less than fussy photographers. :?
Brunel SP100 (with 4x, 10x, 40x,60x, and 100x (oil) plan objectives), and Canon EOS 4000d Camera (microscopy use only)

Scarodactyl
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#23 Post by Scarodactyl » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:08 am

A lot of them will be equipped with low resolution microscope cameras and used for documentation or video rather than the type of higher end photography where pixels will be peeped. If you really just want it for photos then yeah, don't go for a stereo. Their strength is in observation with photography as a sideline, especially if you aren't getting a research grade unit.

I don't know exactly what the lm macroscopes are or how they're set up. They do look kind of neat, but I have never seen a review.

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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#24 Post by PeteM » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:04 am

Lots of trinocular microscopes are used for electronic repair, soldering, etc. - or sometimes other hobby, crafts, or repair work. The user wants lots of working distance to get in a soldering iron and likely an air cleaner. By putting a cheap camera on the trinocular head they can use a large viewing screen - easier to read things like part numbers or see small traces -- while unsoldering/soldering. And being able to see things on a screen rather than glued to eyepieces, often more comfortable to have both hands free to manipulate the work (circuit board, watch, etc.) As also suggested, good for routine documentation.

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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#25 Post by Dave S » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:13 am

Thank you 'one and all' for your valued input, it has been much appreciated.

Prior to starting this 'thread' I had e-mailed Brunel microscopes,from whom I had purchased the SP100 compound micrscope, to ask about a particular stereo microscope in their range. Just as I did here, I explained what I wanted to use it for.

I have just received a nice reply from the Technical Director, Helen Murray, who related what you guys have been saying. In short, she advised me not to buy one, for my intended use. She could of course just answered my questions, and sold me one, but she was honest enough to advise me not. Nice to see that sort of honesty from a company.

Helen gave me a couple of 'links' to a T2 to Metallurgical RMS Objective adapters, and some examples.

I do have this device, which I made up some years ago for macro photography, albeit rarely used, as pretty much all of my macro work has been on live subjects in the 'real world'.

Basically a macro slide rail, bought on ebay, and some aluminium box section, sprayed black.
DSC00559.jpg
DSC00559.jpg (166.03 KiB) Viewed 1065 times
Brunel SP100 (with 4x, 10x, 40x,60x, and 100x (oil) plan objectives), and Canon EOS 4000d Camera (microscopy use only)

Dave S
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Re: Stereo Triocular or Binocular

#26 Post by Dave S » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:21 pm

A bit of DiY today, re-configuring my horizontal macro slide rail, into a vertical one, with a base for specimen placement.

I can focus my 1:1 macro lens as close as 120mm from the subject, and if as suggested I get a long working distance microscope objective, such as a Metallurgical one, I can have a go at 'extreme macro'. :)

Three pictures, 1) the slide rail setup as was, 2) re-configured for vertical use, with a base plate, and 3) with the EOS 5d MklV, and Sigma EX105 f/2.8 macro lens attached.

With a microscope objective, I will likely use the EOS 4000d, that I use with microscope.

DSC00559.jpg
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macro-1_comp.jpg
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macro-2_comp.jpg
macro-2_comp.jpg (71.93 KiB) Viewed 1039 times
Brunel SP100 (with 4x, 10x, 40x,60x, and 100x (oil) plan objectives), and Canon EOS 4000d Camera (microscopy use only)

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