what kind of adapter to use DSLR on a monocular scope?

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mes0
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what kind of adapter to use DSLR on a monocular scope?

#1 Post by mes0 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:26 pm

Hi all,

I have an olympus KHC monocular scope. I am interested in taking photos/videos and need an appropriate adapter.
The microscope has a removable eyepiece and I believe it is 23mm in size.

I have a canon t5i DSLR camera that I would like to use.

Since all the adapters I have seen are at least 100$ I want to make sure I get something that will suite my needs.

Any recommendations/considerations are greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Shopping for a nice Scope.

-Currently have monocular olympus students scope.

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gekko
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Re: what kind of adapter to use DSLR on a monocular scope?

#2 Post by gekko » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:36 pm

I think you will get better advice from others. What I would do in your shoes would be to get a good USB microscope camera (Amscope, perhaps), 3 Mpix (5 if you want to crop, or if you want to print your images larger then 4x6"). It is light (compared to a DSLR) so it will exert much less torque to the eyetube of your microscope, will allow you to scan, focus, etc. using your computer monitor (not that the T5i won't, of course), and would free your superb Canon DSLR to take pictures of visible things :) .

mes0
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Re: what kind of adapter to use DSLR on a monocular scope?

#3 Post by mes0 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:23 pm

I really don't want to use a usb camera...already have >1000 invested in my dslr which is 18megapixels...pretty sure it will blow amscope 3mp camera out of water (but again, I'm noob and don't know for sure)...

I agree the camera will be heavy on that monocular, I'll definitely have to craft something to keep the weight off the scope...
Shopping for a nice Scope.

-Currently have monocular olympus students scope.

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lorez
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Re: what kind of adapter to use DSLR on a monocular scope?

#4 Post by lorez » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:09 pm

It sounds like you have a great camera and a good microscope... with one glaring limitation. The lack of a vertical tube. If you are using a heavy camera it is imperative that it is well supported so as to eliminate vibration and not exert any pressure on the eyepiece tube. This can be done in a variety of ways, but none (in my opinion) are really the best solution. Again, my opinion, but I think putting a camera in the eyepiece tube is the worst solution. If you like the KHC it is possible that a triocular body will appear on ebay at some point.

lorez

mes0
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Re: what kind of adapter to use DSLR on a monocular scope?

#5 Post by mes0 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:33 pm

I'm watching for them... :)
Shopping for a nice Scope.

-Currently have monocular olympus students scope.

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gekko
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Re: what kind of adapter to use DSLR on a monocular scope?

#6 Post by gekko » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:45 pm

It may be worth remembering that as far as resolution is concerned. if you are not printing large prints, or posting (for whatever reason) large files, that is, if you want to post your pictures to this forum, the resolution needed is less that 2 Mpix (and you will have to reduce the umpteen Mpix file to that which can be displayed on a screen). Again, maybe I'm uttering heresy... Anyway, I would definitely follow lorez's advice about not supporting the camera with the eyetube.
On the other hand, I think the Canon will have much better dynamic range, lower noise, and far better video capabilities.
I must also apologize because I unwittingly deflected the discussion and didn't even begin to answer your question about a suitable, affordable adapter for use with the Canon DSLR. I hope someone who knows about this will address it.

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Oliver
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Re: what kind of adapter to use DSLR on a monocular scope?

#7 Post by Oliver » Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:15 pm

Hello,
I really don't want to use a usb camera...already have >1000 invested in my dslr which is 18megapixels...pretty sure it will blow amscope 3mp camera out of water (but again, I'm noob and don't know for sure)...
Yes, the quality might indeed be better, not only because of the camera resolution, but also because of the dynamic range of the camera (which is less in microscope cameras). But the adapter alone will not be enough. But: the bottleneck is still the quality of the specimen.

I have Köhler illumination, and found this to be very important in improving the image quality/contrast when using the SLR. Otherwise there is too much reflection in the tube and the quality goes down. With the microscope camera, this effect is much less, I think it might be due to the smaller sensor and the overall smaller adapter tube.

For DSLR, you also need a photo projection ocular (photo eyepiece), which is able to create an image which fills the sensor of the camera. These oculars also compensate the lens errors of the objectives (and therefore should be of the same company). And they also make sure that the images are sharp all the way to the corner (flattening of the image). Olympus used to have the NFK series of photo oculars (Ebay: olympus NFK). For the adapter tube, Olympus has the L-series (http://www.alanwood.net/photography/oly ... ter-l.html). You have to get one which allows you to connect a T2 adapter ring for your camera. This is the system that I use, and it is mounted (due to the large weight) on a photo tube. See this post for more info: http://www.microbehunter.com/connecting ... icroscope/
This is all quite expensive. And while I have this system, I still use a 3MP microscope camera most of the time, because it is so much more convenient, no camera shake, no setup time, and because the quality is good enough.

On Amazon I found low-cost adapter solutions (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_ ... pe+adapter). The issue is, that all of these adapters need to have optics in order to project the image on the sensor. While it is possible to project the image directly to the sensor, without intermediate optics, there are a range of disadvantages to that.

If you want to do HD video, then you need to somehow connect the DSLR to the microscope, as USB cameras are not able to transfer the frames fast enough.

You might want to try to connect a mobile phone, which also produces reasonable results: http://www.skylightscope.com/

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

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mrsonchus
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Re: what kind of adapter to use DSLR on a monocular scope?

#8 Post by mrsonchus » Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:23 pm

Hmm, I definitely agree with gekko and Oliver here, I had a Canon DSLR (1200D - entry level but more than adequate) on the top of my vertical trinocular tube and in use it was a pain. I spent so much time trying to stop it vibrating away any sharpness achieved, and yes I invested in a Meiji 'projection eyepiece' to go with it - only to encounter even more complications and distractions!

The long-winded process of using it together with it's bulky presence above my 'scope made me revert back to the 2mp USB 'Toupcam' camera that I spent a lot of money to replace with the Canon and Meiji system....
The Toupcam, together with the simply-superb dedicated 'Toupview' (free) microscopy software has allowed me to take good pictures - I have (nearly) all the resolution I desire and need to enable me again to concentrate on my actual interest, botanical histology, and spend no real time trying to coax pictures out of the behemoth that was the Canon atop my 'scope.

Personal preference of course, the Canons are superb cameras at all price-levels, but I personally find them something of a mismatch when attempting photos through a 'scope...

I'me going to go as far as 5mp with a new 'Toupcam', the extra resolution will (should?) enable me to use 'areas of interest' within the camera's FOV with the preservation of more detail..
For my purposes the USB camera beat the DSLR hands-down, but I rather think this will be a minority opinion! :D :D

Good luck with your decision - my advice in a nutshell is to carefully consider what you want from your microscope and camera combination before deciding how to spend the money!
Let us know how you get on. :)
John B

mes0
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Re: what kind of adapter to use DSLR on a monocular scope?

#9 Post by mes0 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:39 pm

I'm definitely after video; both for live blood and watching water creatures.

I see there are 'new' usb 3.0 cams that are supposedly fast enough for video...

I'm guessing I'll have to spend 200+ for a trinoc head and 100+ for a suitable adapter...
I can get a 5mp omax usb 3.0 cam for <400...

still a tough call, but I am definitely appreciating all the feedback.

Thank you all.
Shopping for a nice Scope.

-Currently have monocular olympus students scope.

JimT
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Re: what kind of adapter to use DSLR on a monocular scope?

#10 Post by JimT » Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:54 pm

Mes0, I have a 3mp USB camera and a Canon DSLR. Hands down the Canon is magnitudes better than the USB camera; sensor size, resolution, manual controls, and the ability to shoot RAW.

I have a binocular scope so my approach is much like what you would need. I mount the camera on a tripod at the same level and angle as the scope, use my extension tubes (I taped a round wooden plug with a hole drilled in the center to the end of the extension tubes), and use eyepiece projection to fill the camera sensor. In other words, I remove the camera lens and shoot through the scope eyepiece. Great thing about the Canons is their remote shooting capability. You can focus, compose, and shoot with your computer.

I have never posted a photo of my set up but I bet you could find better examples than mine on the Net.

At any rate, works for me. Good luck :)

JimT

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gekko
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Re: what kind of adapter to use DSLR on a monocular scope?

#11 Post by gekko » Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:01 am

mes0 wrote:I'm definitely after video; both for live blood and watching water creatures.

I see there are 'new' usb 3.0 cams that are supposedly fast enough for video...

I'm guessing I'll have to spend 200+ for a trinoc head and 100+ for a suitable adapter...
I can get a 5mp omax usb 3.0 cam for <400...

still a tough call, but I am definitely appreciating all the feedback.

Thank you all.
If you decide to go with the USB camera, remember to ascertain what video resolution and frame rates the USB 3 camera supports, and also make sure that your computer supports the USB 3 speed.

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mrsonchus
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Re: what kind of adapter to use DSLR on a monocular scope?

#12 Post by mrsonchus » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:52 am

Hi, well, the requirement for (decent) video swings it back to a DSLR for me, the USB cameras are pretty rubbish at video - USB3 would be the only way to go, and at this time comes at a heavy price, before you start to consider your computer's ability to use it. With your requirements in mind my own choice would be to forget USB - too many uncertainties and too high a price when compared with the DSLR...
My 2p worth - forget USB for video - it's pretty dire and will very likely disappoint..
:)
John B

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Crater Eddie
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Re: what kind of adapter to use DSLR on a monocular scope?

#13 Post by Crater Eddie » Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:09 pm

You can't beat the USB cameras for convenience and ease of use.
However, the two AmScope USB cameras that I have experience with are just mediocre as far as image quality goes.
CE
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Re: what kind of adapter to use DSLR on a monocular scope?

#14 Post by mrsonchus » Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:17 pm

Crater Eddie wrote:You can't beat the USB cameras for convenience and ease of use.
However, the two AmScope USB cameras that I have experience with are just mediocre as far as image quality goes.
CE
That's it in a nutshell Eddie! :)
John B

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Re: what kind of adapter to use DSLR on a monocular scope?

#15 Post by gekko » Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:33 pm

mrsonchus wrote:
Crater Eddie wrote:You can't beat the USB cameras for convenience and ease of use.
However, the two AmScope USB cameras that I have experience with are just mediocre as far as image quality goes.
CE
That's it in a nutshell Eddie! :)
I think I agree (although I've never used one). In addition, some excellent images posted here from people who use USB cameras (I now can think of two members, John B and seb Vasselle), show that at least some of the USB cameras (2 and 3 Mpix) are capable of giving superb results (but I guess they need to be properly adjusted). The two disadvantages that I think may steer one away from USB are (1) not very suitable for HD video as far as I understand, and (2) the difficulty of determining whether the optics supplied with the camera are suitable for the microscope objectives (as far as I know, all "old" finite tube-length microscopes, except the Nikon CF system, require proper compensating eyepieces or projection lenses (especially for the higher NA objectives), but I don't know what the situation is with newer Chinese microscopes or with newer infinite-tube length microscopes of any manufacture-- perhaps someone would tell us).

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Re: what kind of adapter to use DSLR on a monocular scope?

#16 Post by The QCC » Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:28 pm

Mes0:

The Canon T5i is fully supported for remote live view shooting with the Canon EOS Utilities software.
If the outside diameter of the monocular tube is 25mm you can buy a Canon adapter on eBay for less than $30.00 that will use your existing eyepiece until you can purchase a projection lens. Not entirely necessary in my opinion for average use.

If the inside diameter of the monocular tube is 23.2 mm, for $75.00 on eBay you can buy a Canon camera adapter with 2x relay lens.

Both of the above options with the camera should not put undue downward pressure on the focus mechanism of the microscope.

I use a Canon XS with the OMAX 2x adapter on a monocular microscope with no problems.
Well, I sometime mess up the slide.

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