Medium Format Upgrade

Here you can discuss everything related to taking light micrographs and videos.
Post Reply
Message
Author
Bryan
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:31 pm

Medium Format Upgrade

#1 Post by Bryan » Wed May 01, 2019 6:04 pm

As some of you may be aware from my past posts I like to shoot film. My current setup is a Leitz SM Microscope with a MIKAS camera adapter on a trinocular head. With the MIKAS adapter I can use leica thread mount cameras and, with adapters, just about any other 35mm camera. I wanted to upgrade to medium format (120 film) to get larger negatives to work with. To overcome focusing issues it would have to be an SLR type camera. Using what I had on hand I attached a Leica tread mount extension tube to a body cap that goes on my Bronica ETRSi. The Bronica ETRSi gives me a negative that's 6cm by 4.5 cm. The camera is plastic so it doesn't add too much weight but before I put anything heavier on there I'll need to figure out a way to support it. This is the setup:
ImageLeitz SM Microscope with Zenza Bronica ETRSi by Bryan Chernick, on Flickr

Here are a few shots on black and white film:
Earwig leg, 3.5X Objective and a 10X Periplan eyepiece for a total magnification of 35X.
ImageEarwig Leg by Bryan Chernick, on Flickr

Tracheil Tube of Silk Worm, 10X Objective and a 10X Periplan eyepiece for a total magnification of 100X.
ImageTracheil Tube of Silk Worm by Bryan Chernick, on Flickr

Mosquito head, 3.5X Objective and a 10X Periplan eyepiece for a total magnification of 35X.
ImageMosquito Head by Bryan Chernick, on Flickr

Copepod Cyclops, 3.5X Objective and a 10X Periplan eyepiece for a total magnification of 35X.
ImageCopepod Cyclops by Bryan Chernick, on Flickr

The next step will be large format with a 4X5 camera. I have the camera and a few parts and pieces to get started.

MicroBob
Posts: 2400
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:11 am
Location: Northern Germany

Re: Medium Format Upgrade

#2 Post by MicroBob » Wed May 01, 2019 6:40 pm

Hi Bryan,
your images look very good - sharp and contrasty. How do you digitize the film images?

In normal photography I startet late with digital, my first digital Camera was a Pentax K110d DSLR in 2007. Up til then I frequently carried a medium format camera with B/W film along my 35mm film SLR. For B/W I liked medium format much more than 35mm - creamy grey tones and lots of resolution. Better 6x9 folders gave great images when tuned well. :D

Bob

Bryan
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:31 pm

Re: Medium Format Upgrade

#3 Post by Bryan » Wed May 01, 2019 7:13 pm

MicroBob wrote:Hi Bryan,
your images look very good - sharp and contrasty. How do you digitize the film images?

In normal photography I startet late with digital, my first digital Camera was a Pentax K110d DSLR in 2007. Up til then I frequently carried a medium format camera with B/W film along my 35mm film SLR. For B/W I liked medium format much more than 35mm - creamy grey tones and lots of resolution. Better 6x9 folders gave great images when tuned well. :D

Bob
Thanks Bob, I use a digital camera to digitize them. I modified an old enlarger, I mount the camera where the lens of the enlarger would go looking back into the enlarger. I then use it to photograph the negative in the negative holder. I would have preferred to do this in 6X9 but I don't happen to have a 6X9 SLR camera lying around at the moment. I have a few 6X9 rangefinders but they would be more difficult to attach to the microscope.

MicroBob
Posts: 2400
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:11 am
Location: Northern Germany

Re: Medium Format Upgrade

#4 Post by MicroBob » Wed May 01, 2019 8:15 pm

For micro photography there were made leaf shutters and film magazines, I might even have one somewhere. The leaf shutter emits little shuttershock compared to a medium format slr. When camera and eyepieces are set up parfocal there is no need for a focus confirmation on the camera. I'm sure that such a setup was available for your microscope too. There is little demand so it won't be very expensive. Have you found a way to manage the influence of the shutter shock on image quality? I was very astonished to find that the shutter shock of my Sony NEX 5 dslm camera had a strong negative influence on the image quality.
I always liked the older film cameras with their fine workmanship but never really liked film itself and also didn't really enjoy dark room work. What I really liked was the resolution in the prints - not just barely enough but as much as possible! But I never tried to get a film camera going on a microscope.
Just recently I got an example of the first electronical controlled automatic film camera, the Zeiss Photomicroscope I. :lol:

Bob

Bryan
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:31 pm

Re: Medium Format Upgrade

#5 Post by Bryan » Wed May 01, 2019 8:36 pm

The shutter shock on my Bronica would shake the whole house. Actually I'm not using the lens on the Bronica which has a leaf shutter built into it. What gives the biggest shock is the mirror flipping out of the way. Most of the shots I do are long exposure, that way I can close down the diaphragm as much as possible to get a better depth of field. I plugged the microscope light into a darkroom timer. After focusing the shot I make sure the room is as dark as possible then I move the mirror and then time the shot with the darkroom timer, that way I don't get any shake. The Bronica has a lever to move the mirror just so you can avoid shake. With that much stacked on top of my microscope it wouldn't take much to get it shaking and swaying. The MIKAS adapter has a leaf shutter built in but with the darkroom timer but I don't use it, I set it to "T" and leave it open. with the darkroom timer I can time shots down to 1/10 of a second but I'm usually doing 15 to 60 seconds. It's a more modern darkroom timer, with an older mechanical one you would only be able to get down to about 1 second.

MicroBob
Posts: 2400
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:11 am
Location: Northern Germany

Re: Medium Format Upgrade

#6 Post by MicroBob » Thu May 02, 2019 8:45 am

That sounds like a good shake control method!
When I was using the Sony NEX 5 with its hard shutter shock I made a little box with a NE 555 timer IC to control the LED light in a similar way. Today I use a Nikon 1J5 with has no shutter at all. It is the first camera ever where I switched on the "shutter sound" feature! 8-)
Really astonishing - a camera with no mechanical reaction to the button press.

Post Reply