Ant eyes

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c-krebs
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Ant eyes

#1 Post by c-krebs » Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:22 am

It's a common subject and one I've done several times over the years. But when you are working with a "new" ant it is hard to pass up taking a few tight shots!
(oops... just noticed I used my PS "2015" action to insert my name... but these are recent images)

20/0.40 and 50/0.50 Olympus MPLFLN objectives were used at 20X and 50X magnifications onto a Canon APS-C sensor (either 50D or T3i).

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75RR
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Re: Ant eyes

#2 Post by 75RR » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:11 am

Beautiful and striking images - note to self, must do better :)
A red ant and a black ant?
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Re: Ant eyes

#3 Post by zzffnn » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:12 pm

Great lighting and amazing photos! Thank you.

Insect eyes can be difficult to photograph, due to their lens-like reflection and tiny sizes. One has to get strong, yet evenly diffused light. Charles made it look easy, but it is not!
Selling my Canon FD 200mm F/2.8 lens

apochronaut
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Re: Ant eyes

#4 Post by apochronaut » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:19 pm

R.B. Fuller would have loved these, I'm sure. Incredibly crisp and defined. How did you light these?

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Re: Ant eyes

#5 Post by zzffnn » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:29 pm

Charles will correct me if I am wrong - I think he usually uses this rig: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3295&p=29145#p29145

Basically, side lighting with DIY LED and ping-pong ball diffusion
Selling my Canon FD 200mm F/2.8 lens

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c-krebs
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Re: Ant eyes

#6 Post by c-krebs » Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:08 pm

Thanks for the kind remarks.
apochronaut wrote:Incredibly crisp and defined. How did you light these?
Fan has it just about correct with some minor but key differences from the earlier post he referenced. With a subject like this I have two (somewhat conflicting) lighting "needs". Evenly diffused overall light works best on the eye facets. But the finely textured, reticulated head surface needs some low grazing light to show the wonderful patterns... they don't show up well in overall diffused light. The LED lights I use are not extremely large, but not "pinpoint" either. A ping-pong ball is a little too small to establish the needed "grazing" light with my lights so I use a 4" dome made from half a plastic Christmas ornament from a hobby store (lightly spray painted matte white on the inside surface). If I put one of my lights very low and right up against the dome the is results in the directional light needed for the surface pattern. Then, a second light (or two) are directed towards the dome from a greater distance, illuminating it in a more overall way. The lights can all be finely adjusted for intensity. Then it becomes a matter of adjusting them and taking test shots until the best rendition is reached.

Image

The objectives I use for something like this are LMPLFLN Olympus ( http://tinyurl.com/z8bgygd ). The 20X has a working distance of 12mm, the 50X is 10.6mm. Not huge, but very adequate for this purpose ("external" lighting). Actually the second image (50X of red ant) was made while testing a Nikon 50X objective. It has a higher NA than the Olympus, but the working distance is only 1mm. You can see that there was no problem establishing the "grazing" light, but there was not enough working distance to provide good diffuse lighting on the left side eye facets.

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Re: Ant eyes

#7 Post by einman » Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:42 pm

Very nice indeed! I have been working on a similar set-up although I have not yet achieved this level of quality. Light always seems to be the culprit.

Was there any "stacking" involved in these photos at all?

The entire image seems to be in focus.


Are these a species of Camponotus?

These are even better than some of Alex Wild's shots.

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Re: Ant eyes

#8 Post by einman » Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:43 pm

The objectives you are using exceed $2000 new each. OUCH. I will have to be content with lesser objectives LOL.

In your opinion how do these semi-apochromatic objectives compare say to a Nikon BD plan 20X or an Nikon M-plan 20X? The na does not appear to be that different although the CA would vary.

In the past I believe you favored Olympus Splanapo 160 TL objectives . Although they have the same FN and better NA, their WD is much smaller and thus makes lighting a bigger challenge. Any comments on the quality of the image using an Splanapo vs these newer objectives?
Last edited by einman on Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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c-krebs
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Re: Ant eyes

#9 Post by c-krebs » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:23 pm

einman wrote:Was there any "stacking" involved in these photos at all?
The entire image seems to be in focus.
Most definitely. Here is a single image from the 20X z-stack for the black ant.This particular "stack" took 101 images to get what I needed.
Image
einman wrote:The objectives you are using exceed $2000 new each. OUCH. I will have to be content with lesser objectives LOL.
Ebay, (and patience), is definitely your friend in this regard. These are actually pretty commonly used industrial objectives, and I've seen them go for relatively low prices (~$350-700). As always, you need to be careful... some of the used ones from Asia appear to have led tough lives.

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Re: Ant eyes

#10 Post by einman » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:29 pm

Sorry I was editing my post while you were answering.

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MicroInspector
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Re: Ant eyes

#11 Post by MicroInspector » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:32 pm

You really like to get very close up shots
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c-krebs
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Re: Ant eyes

#12 Post by c-krebs » Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:18 pm

einman wrote: In your opinion how do these semi-apochromatic objectives compare say to a Nikon BD plan 20X or an Nikon M-plan 20X? The na does not appear to be that different although the CA would vary.

In the past I believe you favored Olympus Splanapo 160 TL objectives . Although they have the same FN and better NA, their WD is much smaller and thus makes lighting a bigger challenge. Any comments on the quality of the image using an Splanapo vs these newer objectives?
These LMPLFLN objectives and the Olympus S Plan Apo 160 TL objectives are two completely different "animals". I still use the S Plan Apos on my "biological" scope (an Olympus BHS). But these are all designed to be used with cover slips and (as you mentioned) have extremely small working distances. They are really not suited (except perhaps the 4X) for opaque subject like pictured here. There is simply no room to establish attractive external lighting, and their high NA means you should adhere to cover slip requirements.

These newer (infinity) M Plan Olympus fluorites are used for similar subject matter where I had previously used the longer working distance versions of 210mm finite Nikon CF M Plan achromats. The resolution is pretty much directly related to aperture, so similar magnifications and NA's will exhibit similar resolutions. By selecting the proper versions (there were many in the Nikon CF 210mm finites) the working distances were very similar. But there is a very clear difference in color correction. The Olympus fluorites ("semi-apos") are clearly better in this regard. When I used the Nikon Achromats regularly it was really not all that difficult to clean up any egregious chromatic aberration in post-processing, but naturally it does take some time (and sometimes perhaps more skill than I could muster). I very rarely need to do any chromatic aberration correction when using these Olympus objectives. They are not quite as highly color corrected as the Mitutoyo M Plan Apos I use on occasion, but close enough... much closer to the apos than the achromats. In practice about the only time I notice a difference is when working with bright metallic surfaces with lots of specular highlights and bright edges. (The Mitutoyos still have a longer working distance up to about 50X).

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Re: Ant eyes

#13 Post by rnabholz » Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:25 pm

Whatever tools happen to be in the toolbox, it still take a master to produce images like you do.

Outstanding work, thanks for posting here.

Rod

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Re: Ant eyes

#14 Post by billbillt » Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:38 pm

I don't think it would be possible to do any better than this...Wonderful work!...

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Re: Ant eyes

#15 Post by vasselle » Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:57 pm

Bonjour
Tout simplement magnifique.
Merci pour le partage,et faite nous toujours rêver avec vos superbes images que j'adore.
Cordialement seb
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Re: Ant eyes

#16 Post by JimT » Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:26 pm

Very well done and thanks for the images of your set up.

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Re: Ant eyes

#17 Post by gekko » Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:07 pm

I think Rod said it well.

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Re: Ant eyes

#18 Post by zzffnn » Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:47 pm

Charles,
I found your comments very educational, especially the lighting part. Thank you!
Selling my Canon FD 200mm F/2.8 lens

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MicroInspector
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Re: Ant eyes

#19 Post by MicroInspector » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:00 pm

No fair he used a 67000$ electron microscope.
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Re: Ant eyes

#20 Post by billben74 » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:39 pm

Fantastic to have your amazing photos and knowledge on board.

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Re: Ant eyes

#21 Post by einman » Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:37 am

c-krebs wrote:
einman wrote: In your opinion how do these semi-apochromatic objectives compare say to a Nikon BD plan 20X or an Nikon M-plan 20X? The na does not appear to be that different although the CA would vary.

In the past I believe you favored Olympus Splanapo 160 TL objectives . Although they have the same FN and better NA, their WD is much smaller and thus makes lighting a bigger challenge. Any comments on the quality of the image using an Splanapo vs these newer objectives?
These LMPLFLN objectives and the Olympus S Plan Apo 160 TL objectives are two completely different "animals". I still use the S Plan Apos on my "biological" scope (an Olympus BHS). But these are all designed to be used with cover slips and (as you mentioned) have extremely small working distances. They are really not suited (except perhaps the 4X) for opaque subject like pictured here. There is simply no room to establish attractive external lighting, and their high NA means you should adhere to cover slip requirements.

These newer (infinity) M Plan Olympus fluorites are used for similar subject matter where I had previously used the longer working distance versions of 210mm finite Nikon CF M Plan achromats. The resolution is pretty much directly related to aperture, so similar magnifications and NA's will exhibit similar resolutions. By selecting the proper versions (there were many in the Nikon CF 210mm finites) the working distances were very similar. But there is a very clear difference in color correction. The Olympus fluorites ("semi-apos") are clearly better in this regard. When I used the Nikon Achromats regularly it was really not all that difficult to clean up any egregious chromatic aberration in post-processing, but naturally it does take some time (and sometimes perhaps more skill than I could muster). I very rarely need to do any chromatic aberration correction when using these Olympus objectives. They are not quite as highly color corrected as the Mitutoyo M Plan Apos I use on occasion, but close enough... much closer to the apos than the achromats. In practice about the only time I notice a difference is when working with bright metallic surfaces with lots of specular highlights and bright edges. (The Mitutoyos still have a longer working distance up to about 50X).

Thanks! Yes I realize only the SplanApo 4X does not require a coverslip. That is the one I have used in the "biological" line. Actually I just sold it on E-bay today. I generally use either BD plan or M plan Nikons the 210 mm versions as I can not afford the higher priced objectives.

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Re: Ant eyes

#22 Post by GhostScope » Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:50 am

Thank you for dropping by Charles. I have known and admired your images for years, but still could not help saying "WOW!!!" :shock: :shock: :shock: every time seeing another one from yours!!!
:)

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Re: Ant eyes

#23 Post by Johann » Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:52 am

Amazing photos and detail. Very impressive.
Thanks for sharing and thanks for explaining the lighting technique - I tried it the weekend using a table tennis ball - and it works really well :)
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