parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

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henryr
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parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#1 Post by henryr » Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:41 pm

HI,

I have an AO Spencer series 15 (see pics including my light source and Zeiss eyepieces) that I would like to use with a USB camera. What parts do I need and what is considered a quality brand camera? Would the slightly longer tube length of the Zeiss eyepiece require different parts to mount the camera. My goal is to take pics of mushroom specimens

Thanks,
henryr
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The QCC
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#2 Post by The QCC » Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:39 pm

If the inside diameter of the eyepiece tube is 23.2 mm, almost all USB cameras will fit directly into the eyepiece tube. No adapter is required.

Which USB camera to buy?
I suggest Touptek USB cameras.
They are slightly more expensive, but use the Aptina CMOS sensor.
Touptek oneBay

henryr
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#3 Post by henryr » Sun Aug 30, 2015 12:00 am

Thanks for the info. I went to the Touptek site and they have a huge selection. What would be a good choice and how is it used. I understand it would be inserted into one of the 23.2mm I.D. binocular tubes but how is it's image made to match what is viewed in the eyepiece in the other tube? It should be very apparent that I am totally new to the use of microscopes and cameras and all help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
henryr

The QCC
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#4 Post by The QCC » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:43 am

When the camera image and the eyepiece image is the same, I believe they are said to be par-focal.

I am probably the last person to ask about this area as I do not care. I view all microscope images on the computer display and do not use the eyepiece for viewing.

Many will disagree with me, but I believe a 10MPixel camera is the best choice. Particularly if you plan on printing any of your microscope images.
If you plan on taking movies of your specimens, I also suggest you consider buying a USB 3.0 camera.

If image quality is paramount, consider buying a used Canon DSLR body such as the 10MP Rebel XS (1000D) and a $75.00 2x camera adapter. Used Rebel XS cameras are selling for less than $120.00CDN.

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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#5 Post by zzffnn » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:23 pm

Henryr,

If you are using USB eye tube camera, all you do is:
1, focus on specimen;
2, remove one eyepiece;
3, insert USB camera in empty eye tube and start working on your computer.

Your mushroom specimens do not move. So you can also use long exposure time to gather more light by using a smartphone camera held over an eyepiece. I don't know if USB camera can do long exposure. Some adapters, like an Orion SteadyPix Pro, will allow you to do that as long as you eyepiece is fat enough (your Zeiss eyepieces may be fat enough).

There are even some external LED flash for iPhone. Those may provide enough controllable transient light for you, if you can use the mirror to reflect up the led flashlight.

henryr
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#6 Post by henryr » Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:23 pm

Thanks for all the help. By fat do you mean diameter of lens at the top of the eyepiece?

I like the Iphone idea and will try it.

I don't use a flashlight. I have an adjustable dolan-jenner light source that can create very high light output. I use a fiber optic cable with one end in the light source and the other aimed at the mirror.

I have always had to reduce the power because full power generates more light than is needed. However, as I get more involved, I may find full power will be needed with some specimens.

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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#7 Post by henryr » Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:47 pm

Just had a thought. I have a Sony Cybershot 20.4 mp camera and a small machine shop. I can easily make a precision two diameter sleeve that would accept the camera lens in one end and other end would slip into one of the 23.2mm dia. eyepiece tubes. Would that work?

The QCC
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#8 Post by The QCC » Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:42 pm

No and yes.
No it will not work because you will need the eyepiece in the tube to use the Cybershot.
Yes it will work if you mount the camera next to the eyepiece. There are commercially made adapters to do this. You may want to look at some of them and see if you can manufacture something similar.
If the Cybershot has a zoom lens that moves in and out you will have to manufacture a bracket that will accommodate the lens movement.
Something like this:
Camera adapter

Camera adapter

Camera adapter

henryr
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#9 Post by henryr » Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:03 pm

I could easily make a two piece adjustable, locking, cylindrical device. The larger diameter of the camera lens would fit into one section, allowing the zoom to be used, and the end of that section would accept a two diameter tube ending in a 23.2mm tubular section that would fit into the microscope eyepiece tube. How does that sound?

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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#10 Post by apochronaut » Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:06 pm

I see that you have both the 10X huygens eyepieces that would have been original equipment for this microscope as well as a pair of Zeiss KPL-W glasses on 12.5X. You are also using a Spencer 10X , what looks like a Japanese 40 or 43X and a Bausch & Lomb 97X.
One of the things that has to be considered , if you end up either making or using a manufactured camera adapter, with your Cybershot is that mixing eyepieces and objectives from different manufacturers can introduce optical aberrations. Usually, these are more evident to the camera than the eye.

Most standard achromat objectives, such as you have, are compatible with huygens eypieces, although I have seen cases where the correction for lateral chromatic aberration can be way off , especially when mixing certain Japanese objectives and Spencer eyepieces.

Those particular Zeiss eyepieces though, if they were with compatible objectives would be a better choice as camera friendly eyepieces. The designation on them KPL, stands for plan compensating( kompensating, in German) . This means that they have corrections built in, to give a flatter field. Part of this is accomplished in compatible Zeiss objectives and part in the eyepiece. When used however, with other objectives, those corrections usually introduce unneeded corrections , or over corrections, which can cause aberrations around the periphery of the field and give an image has only a central portion worthy of being photographed..

You might want to check on this. It's been a while since I used those type of Zeiss optics but I recall some correction mis-matches.

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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#11 Post by The QCC » Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:35 pm

Henryr
Henryr wrote:tube ending in a 23.2mm tubular section that would fit into the microscope eyepiece tube.
When using the Cybershot, you must also use one of the eyepieces as suggested by apochronaut.
apochronaut wrote:Those particular Zeiss eyepieces though, if they were with compatible objectives would be a better choice as camera friendly eyepieces.
So your adapter must clamp around the eyepiece tube, not in it.

henryr
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#12 Post by henryr » Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:52 pm

The black section of the Zeiss eyepieces are long enough for attachment of an adapter tube. Will the Zeiss 12.5X eyepieces work as well as the original AO 5X eyepieces?

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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#13 Post by apochronaut » Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:13 pm

I didn't realize they were 5X. Hard to tell them apart from the side. The 5X has a very small exit pupil and will give you a small central image of the entire microscope field as a circle, covering only about 1/4 of the total sensor area. You will probably have to completely zoom the camera out to 135mm or whatever it can do, to get a rectangular image, or crop it after the fact.

The 12.5X KPL-W has a much larger exit pupil. It will also give you a round image on your sensor but it will be much bigger. Backing off the camera a little away from the eyepiece will likely give you, a little more and the microscope field will just about cover the sensor, top to bottom, leaving some space side to side. Zooming a little or alternately cropping will get you a reasonable rectangular image, if that's what you want.

You'll have to check the proviso above, regarding the suitability of those objectives with the Zeiss oculars.

henryr
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#14 Post by henryr » Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:08 pm

Seems like the easiest solution is getting a few Zeiss objectives. Don't think I would need a 10X but probably a 40X and 97X oil. Does that make sense?

The QCC
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#15 Post by The QCC » Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:10 pm

Henryr:
Your adapter must fit/clamp onto the tube, not the eyepiece itself. The eyepiece must be fully inserted into the tube.
These two photos show what I mean and did.
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henryr
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#16 Post by henryr » Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:23 pm

It seems I have two options.

One is to buy a Touptek type USB camera, which slides into an empty microscope eyepiece tube, which would allow me to use the objectives I now have.

The other is to make an adapter to allow use of my Cybershot camera and buy Zeiss objectives that will work with my Zeiss Klp 12.5X eyepieces.

I guess I will do some searching to find the approach that is the most economical.

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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#17 Post by apochronaut » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:29 pm

Have you used the Zeiss eyepieces much with that objective complement? Who made the 4mm ( approx. 40X) one?

The QCC
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#18 Post by The QCC » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:41 pm

Henryr:
Apochronaut was describing the ideal match between objectives and eyepieces.

Try looking through your oculars and objectives. See if you can actually notice any difference.
You can purchase an adapter for your Sony Cybershot for considerably less money than an objective or USB camera.

henryr
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#19 Post by henryr » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:14 am

The 97X oil is spring loaded, works very smoothly and is marked 1.8mm 1.25 TN2398 Bausch and Lomb Rochester NY.

The 40/0.65 is marked 755924 Japan Micropere.

The 10X is marked 16MM-N.A.0.25 Spencer Lens Co. Buffalo, NY.

Thanks for the suggestion regarding comparing the eyepiece and objective combinations to see if there is a noticeable difference. I can put the Zeiss 12.5X in one tube and the AO 5X in the other.

However, would that be a useful comparison considering the large difference in eyepiece magnification?

Three aspects I liked about the Cybershot are, it's 20.4mp rating, I already own it and, I can easily make an adapter.

Many of the USB cameras I found were rated at 5mp and a few rated up to 14mp, which I imagine cost a bit more.

What would be good Zeiss objectives for use with the Zeiss eyepieces?

Once I know the appropriate types I can check ebay to see if a Zeiss 40X and a 97X oil would be less costly than a good 5mp USB camera.

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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#20 Post by apochronaut » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:10 am

It might not that useful to compare the 5X Spencer eyepieces and the Zeiss eyepieces side by side. Such differences as overall magnification and apparent field size are dominant differences, so have a tendency to overwhelm the other differences in performance you would be looking for in the Zeiss eyepieces.

Here is the way I would compare them.

The Spencer eyepieces are very well corrected for average achromats, so should give a good sharp image to within about 20-25% of the edge of the field, with all three objectives. Beyond that , you will notice that you need to adjust the focus a little to get details towards and at the edge of the field into focus. There will be some small amounts of chromatic aberration around certain objects in the field, usually of a pinkish tinge, sometimes blueish. This should not increase towards the edge of the field, with any of the objectives appreciably. If there is a noticeable difference with the 40X or the Bausch & Lomb 97X, then they are not perfectly matched to the eyepieces.

Now, install the Zeiss eyepieces. You should see a much broader apparent field but all of the factors mentioned above should be very close to the performance of the 5X eyepieces. It is conceivable that the field could be a little flatter. Look especially for increased distortion and chroma as the edge of the field is approached and if you notice that , it will be worse in photography and shows the incompatibility of the eyepieces.

If the Zeiss eyepieces do give a good image, with no appreciable extra distortion, then the next thing would be to take a few trial images through your camera by either hand holding it or mounting it on a tripod and bringing it to the correct distance over the eyepiece. Do the same with a 5X eyepiece and compare them.

If the Zeiss eyepieces do give and a good photographic image then you can proceed to make or acquire a camera adapter.

If the Zeiss eyepieces give an acceptable visual image but a poor photographic one( make sure it is the eyepieces, not some other factor ), and the 5X eyepieces demonstrate as well that the 3 different objectives are quite uniform in their corrections, then I would buy a specialized photo eyepiece , designed specifically for those type of objectives and tube length, make or buy your adapter to fit it and use it for my photography and the two eyepiece pairs for visual use. There is one currently available on ebay at a very low price. I will send you a link by p.m. just in case someone else decides to scoop it. They are not that easy to find, when you need one and it is properly corrected for your microscope

If the Zeiss eyepieces do not give an acceptable visual image, they won't give an acceptable photo image either. You have 2 options, then.

Buy a pair of AO cat. # 146 eyepieces and sell the Zeiss eyepieces on ebay. The advantage to this is that the AO cat.# 146 eyepieces will be compatible with the existing objectives, give as big or bigger a field as the Zeiss( which I think are 18mm....could be wrong on that) and they work quite well for afocal photography. You will probably get as much for the Zeiss as you paid for the AO , so your net loss will be close to zero. AO cat.# 146 eyepieces are usually fairly cheap, like this http://www.ebay.com/itm/American-Optica ... 2a5191d92d

Other option is to buy a set of Zeiss plan objectives to match the Zeiss eyepieces. Your existing achromats could be sold too but not for very much. You might get 50.00 for the lot of them. The Zeiss objectives will probably cost you about 50.00 or more per objective, 10, 40 and 100. You must buy plan objectives, otherwise you are defeating the purpose and you will be no better off. Here is an example of what you are looking for here http://www.ebay.com/itm/Zeiss-Plan-40X- ... 1c5894f176. More modern objectives marked with an infinity symbol or that say primo on them are not suitable. They must be Zeiss plan 160/.17 objectives. Most often they about 1/2 black and 1/2 chrome.

good luck.

henryr
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#21 Post by henryr » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:09 pm

Thanks for all the info. I'm now thinking that eliminating the need of an eyepiece, and using a good USB camera that slides into the scope tube, may be a good option.

How would the image, from a good 5mp camera with no eyepiece, compare to an image from the 20.4mp Cybershot looking through an eyepiece?

I'm guessing that maybe there is some advantage to not using an eyepiece, since many of the USB cameras just slide into the scope tube, and only use an objective. Am I missing something?

The QCC
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#22 Post by The QCC » Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:39 pm

Henryr:

I did an experiment today with my Canon SX50 HD.
I believe your Cybershot is also a 50x optical zoom camera.
I could not get the Canon SX50 zoom lens to come anywhere close to being useful.
I believe your Cybershot would have the same problems and not be a useful microscope camera.
Either buy a dedicated USB camera or a used Canon DSLR with Live View and adapter.

henryr
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#23 Post by henryr » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:04 pm

It's a Sony HX50 Ultra Compact Camera with 30x digital Optical Zoom with a Exmor R® CMOS Sensor and Hi-Speed USB (USB 2.0) interface.

I'm surprised it's lack of usability wasn't mentioned in any of the earlier posts.

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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#24 Post by apochronaut » Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:04 pm

The idea is to utilize a lens or lens system, to send a fully corrected flat image to the sensor of the camera, whether it is a U.S.B. camera or point and shoot still camera. Your still camera, if it is used as a microscope camera, needs an eyepiece that produces a corrected flat image, so as not to increase the distortions that the camera lens is going to have in it intrinsically. A 30X optical zoom lens on a 400.00 camera is not going to produce a well corrected image at any setting, although it is probably best at 35mm or whatever it's short base setting is. You are going to need an eyepiece( tubelens) to help it along.
Bypassing the eyepiece and going direct from the objective to the sensor, means that the objective must be capable of producing a well corrected flat image. Standard achromats, are not. The option of going to the Zeiss plan objectives , due to the fact that they need corrective KPL eyepieces means that the Zeiss plan objectives aren't going to work well direct to U.S.B. camera either. The camera will pick up whatever it is given but most CCD cameras can be fitted to a photo eyepiece. Some come with a photo eyepiece. Having that photo eyepiece properly tuned to the objectives , is of primary importance, otherwise considerable cropping will be required to eliminate problems in the corners. Obviously, the more one invests in the camera, the more the software will be capable of rectifying problems in the image capture.

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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#25 Post by The QCC » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:08 pm

Henryr wrote:Sony HX50 Ultra Compact Camera with 30x digital Optical Zoom
Not everyone has or knows about your camera. I did a search and found out it had a long optical zoom lens so I tried my camera with a long optical zoom lens.
The Canon with a 50x optical zoom flat out would not work as a microscope camera.
Thus my suggestion to buy a USB microscope camera or my preference a used Canon DSLR with Live View.
For example:
Canon XS body for $119.00
Canon adapter, $24.00

You will be hard pressed to find a 10MP USB camera with an APS-C sensor for $150.00.

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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#26 Post by apochronaut » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:08 pm

QCC's suggestion, to go for a digital camera body, is probably the best option, in lieu of your point and shoot camera not being able to get a decent image when in it's wide angle setting. I would test that out first. The degree of optical zoom, should not affect the cameras ability to capture an image, however it may affect it's close focus and restrict it from focusing. Lenses with extreme optical zooms, are made for that feature and sacrifices have to be made in terms of other aspects of a lenses performance. Point and shoot cameras can also be a hassle , if they do not have a focus override because the auto-focus doesn't know what you are looking at. However, if you go to a camera without a lens, and pick up the image directly from the objectives, there will still be curvature of field, because those types of objectives have that quality, so using a corrective eyepiece or telon lens may give you a flatter photographed image.

The other thing is, many cameras, especially DSLR's on relatively light bodied microscopes, when physically coupled, can induce considerable vibration, making photographs at higher magnifications very difficult. Every vibration is magnified , the same amount as the image is magnified. This is one advantage small point and shoot cameras have for coupled afocal photography. If you can do a tripod mount, or make a remote mount, where there is no physical coupling to the microscope, it would alleviate that problem. Alternately, you could go for a mirrorless camera, such as this http://www.ebay.com/itm/Samsung-NX-NX10 ... 2ee4fe7da9, which offers better performance than an older DSLR, for about the same price.

henryr
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#27 Post by henryr » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:33 am

I appreciate all the suggestions. However I would rather not buy another hand held camera. I already have two smart phones, the Sony and a Nikon F2AS film camera. What components, combined with a good USB camera, will get good digital images from my scope?

I also probably got the wrong impression that all I needed were a USB camera and an appropriate objective. I also interpreted one of the posts as implying I need to get Zeiss Plan objectives to use my Zeiss Klp eyepieces and just needed a camera.

I'm now interpreting, subsequent, various posts as implying, the Zeiss components won't be that good and that I need a specific type objective and eyepiece and, possibly another correction eyepiece in front a USB camera.

I'm sure you all can tell I'm a complete novice and any help to get me to a good photo system for my scope will be greatly appreciated. My budget is in the slightly+ (or -) $500 range.

The QCC
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#28 Post by The QCC » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:47 am

Henryr:
Any decent 5MP or larger USB 2.0 camera will work with all of your objectives.
No other adapters are needed. The camera will come with software to view on your computer display.
If after buying a camera and viewing images through your favourite objectives you feel you want better image quality, then you can buy better objectives and camera.

I am in the process of posting an eyepiece and projection lens comparison in the Microscope and optics thread. You may find it interesting.
I do not use s USB camera.

henryr
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#29 Post by henryr » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:00 am

Are you saying I can just buy a USB camera and don't need an eyepiece? You also mention eyepiece and projection lens. What is a projection lens and were does it go in the image producing system?

Thanks,
henryr

The QCC
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Re: parts to mount a camera on a ao spencer series 15

#30 Post by The QCC » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:32 am

A USB camera plugs directly into the eyepiece tube replacing the eyepiece.
USB cameras typically have a 10x magnification factor.

Look at my post in Microscopes and optics thread
I use both eyepieces and projection lens with a DSLR body.

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