Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

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Constantine
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Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#1 Post by Constantine » Mon May 13, 2019 6:53 pm

Hellow Guys I am planing to buy this scope : https://www.amscope.com/7x-45x-simul-fo ... stand.html

And i want to buy also a camera.

I have 3 options.

No1.https://www.amazon.com/Industry-Digital ... uage=en_US

With no Adapter Or Reduction Lens. My trinocular port is 23 mm. So i need an extra 40-50 Us$ Right.


No2.https://www.amscope.com/3mp-usb2-0-micr ... ion_tabbed ---> With Adapter and Reduction Lens Correct?


No3.https://www.amscope.com/3mp-digital-mic ... ion_tabbed --> With Adapter and Reduction Lens Correct?

Which do you think? The first has 14 MP Hdmi/Usb Port Etc.
Second And Third is only USB 3 Mp but has diffrent sensors Right?

Which do you think?

Thank you For Your Time.

Hobbyst46
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Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#2 Post by Hobbyst46 » Mon May 13, 2019 7:52 pm

The microscope is seemingly offered without any illumination source. Folks often recommend Ikea Jansjo desk LED lamps for inexpensive epi-illumination. Also, the stand seemingly does not enable trans-illumination, but maybe you do not need it.

Among the cameras, the two 3MP options are somewhat over-priced in my opinion. I have seen 5MP at lower asking prices.
Also, the second camera (No 2 on your list) appears to have more features than the third one (No 3 on your list). For example, the file types.
No 3 is specified as compliant with Windows 2000 and XP. Although compatibility with many operating systems might be regarded as advantage, and Windows XP was a reliable operating system, Windows 2000 is really obsolete.

I suspect that this camera, No 3, is an old model with not up-to-date electronic hardware. Just my feeling.

A reduction lens is important, otherwise the captured image is much smaller than the viewed image.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

Constantine
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Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#3 Post by Constantine » Mon May 13, 2019 8:06 pm

Hobbyst46 wrote:The microscope is seemingly offered without any illumination source. Folks often recommend Ikea Jansjo desk LED lamps for inexpensive epi-illumination. Also, the stand seemingly does not enable trans-illumination, but maybe you do not need it.

Among the cameras, the two 3MP options are somewhat over-priced in my opinion. I have seen 5MP at lower asking prices.
Also, the second camera (No 2 on your list) appears to have more features than the third one (No 3 on your list). For example, the file types.
No 3 is specified as compliant with Windows 2000 and XP. Although compatibility with many operating systems might be regarded as advantage, and Windows XP was a reliable operating system, Windows 2000 is really obsolete.

I suspect that this camera, No 3, is an old model with not up-to-date electronic hardware. Just my feeling.

A reduction lens is important, otherwise the captured image is much smaller than the viewed image.
Can you recommend me something alternative?
Lets say a 5mp Hdmi/usb Adaptor for 23mm and reduction lens?

Thank you.

Hobbyst46
Posts: 2157
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:02 pm

Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#4 Post by Hobbyst46 » Mon May 13, 2019 8:37 pm

Constantine wrote:
Hobbyst46 wrote:The microscope is seemingly offered without any illumination source. Folks often recommend Ikea Jansjo desk LED lamps for inexpensive epi-illumination. Also, the stand seemingly does not enable trans-illumination, but maybe you do not need it.

Among the cameras, the two 3MP options are somewhat over-priced in my opinion. I have seen 5MP at lower asking prices.
Also, the second camera (No 2 on your list) appears to have more features than the third one (No 3 on your list). For example, the file types.
No 3 is specified as compliant with Windows 2000 and XP. Although compatibility with many operating systems might be regarded as advantage, and Windows XP was a reliable operating system, Windows 2000 is really obsolete.

I suspect that this camera, No 3, is an old model with not up-to-date electronic hardware. Just my feeling.

A reduction lens is important, otherwise the captured image is much smaller than the viewed image.
Can you recommend me something alternative?
Lets say a 5mp Hdmi/usb Adaptor for 23mm and reduction lens?

Thank you.
I am using a fairly inexpensive 5 MP camera, no brand name, USB 2.0, for 23, 30 and 30.5mm, and reduction lens. I can use it on either the stereoscope or the "biological: microscope. Performance is decent, enough for documentation. It cost me less than $60. Sharpness is fine at FOV center, CA is visible but acceptable.
Yet, I would recommend a better camera, because the options on my camera (e.g. white balance settings, type of image files, video speed) are not the
best. USB 2 limits the video rate at gigh resolutions. I mostly shoot stills.

I would try and choose from the Toupcam cameras, their software is very good and I believe the cameras are as well.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

Scarodactyl
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Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#5 Post by Scarodactyl » Mon May 13, 2019 8:51 pm

I don't know if this was the exact amscope head I started out on, but it looks very similar.

I was able to hook my canon rebel up to it with an eyepiece adapter, which worked but had a few issues with hotspots. That probably will be the same with any camera though. You might want to consider a dslr for the camera--a good used canon t6 is 18mp, has good live view and remote shooting with their freely availably eos utility, and should cost around 200 dollars. They are certainly bulkier and adapting one may be more expensive. Still, I think the end result is worth it. I had I think a 5mp amscope camera on my amscope head, and I wasn't very happy with its performance. It also seemed to be interpolating to fake the last bit of resolution, though that may have been a wrong setting or something.

I'd note about the similar amscope I had, overall its performance as a scope was OK, definitely not garbage but not breathtaking either. Of course it's at an attractive price point (especially for a trinocular head), so if you decide to upgrade later you won't be out as much. Don't expect much resale value, just as a heads up. I ended up almost giving mine away, including the basic gemological base it was on.

As a general, obligatory note, you might want to consider a used high-end scope instead of a new medium-end one. I didn't get really excited about stereo microscopy until I upgraded from my similar amscope to a b&l stereozoom 7. I have also found used microscope sales are kind of slow right now, and because of that you might have some luck making offers in your price range on higher-priced used equipment. As an example, here is a stereozoom 7 trinocular scope that comes with a boom stand and a fiber optic illuminator, listed as good condition (so if it comes and is not functional you can return it at their expense). Here is another. And here is a third. All three have high asks, but I suspect at least one might take a low enough offer to fit within your budget. A trinocular SZ7 will need a bit of extra adapting work, but I just put up a thread with instructions on how to adapt a dslr to it, which costs about 100 dollars. If you were to make an offer that kept within your budget you could end up way ahead.
Even if you're stuck on buying amscope, here's a used one (perhaps the same model?) for 270. https://www.ebay.com/itm/AmScope-7X-45X ... 3671821480

Sauerkraut
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Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#6 Post by Sauerkraut » Thu May 16, 2019 5:11 pm

Scarodactyl wrote:You might want to consider a dslr for the camera--a good used canon t6 is 18mp, has good live view and remote shooting with their freely availably eos utility, and should cost around 200 dollars. They are certainly bulkier and adapting one may be more expensive. Still, I think the end result is worth it. I had I think a 5mp amscope camera on my amscope head, and I wasn't very happy with its performance. It also seemed to be interpolating to fake the last bit of resolution, though that may have been a wrong setting or something.
I was in the market for a 5 mp microscope camera until you made this good point, Scarodactyl. Can I ask what software you use for stacking and etc or is that included in the EOS utilities? I couldn't readily find info on the T6 shutter type. Are there issues with shutter shake if it's mechanical?

I'm in a similar situation as Constantine - starting from scratch on a camera and with no experience on the specifics. I'd rather spend a little more up front on an imaging system than have to do it twice...or three times.

I've admittedly been a little confused about integrating a camera to the trinocular port, even after watching Oliver's excellent video on the subject, so thank you for any information.

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75RR
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Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#7 Post by 75RR » Thu May 16, 2019 5:39 pm

Sauerkraut wrote:I've admittedly been a little confused about integrating a camera to the trinocular port, even after watching Oliver's excellent video on the subject, so thank you for any information.
These are links to some articles that Charles Krebs has kindly written to help people set up their cameras.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=882
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)

Scarodactyl
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Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#8 Post by Scarodactyl » Thu May 16, 2019 6:12 pm

I use helicon for stacking, though there are lots of good options availabke (zerene being another very popular option).
Canon cameras have EFCD (electronic first curtain shutter) when they're in live view mode which cuts vibration issues significantly, which is one reason they're often recommended for microscopy (eg https://www.martinmicroscope.com/eos-details/ )
Adapting a camera is going to vary depending on what microscope you have. On some it is trivial with a few standard adapters and a common prokective (like the nikon smz-10), others take rarer parts or a bit more creativity (b&l sz7, olympus szh), others still are basically one part provided by the manufacturer (navitar). Amscope probably sells a specific adapter for this, though I am not sure what the quality is like in their adapter optics.

Sauerkraut
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Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#9 Post by Sauerkraut » Fri May 17, 2019 2:40 pm

Thank you 75RR and Scarodactyl. This info helps a lot.

Bradscopegems
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Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#10 Post by Bradscopegems » Thu May 30, 2019 4:51 pm

chipsizes.jpg
chipsizes.jpg (27.87 KiB) Viewed 4239 times
Altair 183M on Optiphot.jpg
Altair 183M on Optiphot.jpg (478.1 KiB) Viewed 4239 times
I have no commercial connection with them, but strongly recommend that anyone looking for a
microscope camera should investigate the 183M and 183C monochrome and colour cameras sold by
Altair Astro. For high sensitivity and low noise the cameras sold to well-funded science labs are now usually backthinned CMOS type. With their own software, these 'scientific CMOS' cameras cost many thousands of dollars. I have discovered that the astronomical community consists of a large number of
so-called amateurs who do superb work but have modest means, and Altair supplies them with cheaper but very high quality backthinned CMOS cameras with free software, all of which are USB connected.
I mention the 183M and 183C because they are 20 Mp CS mount cameras which need only a 5mm spacer ring ( which Altair supply) to fit on a standard microscope c-mount. They might be a little more expensive than a used DSLR but they are vibration-free ( even with fan cooling) and the software is very powerful, allowing live dust subtraction, use of an out-of-focus image to correct image shading caused by DIC optics or incorrect illumination. And unlike some DSLRs they generate live video without any distracting data display. It is remarkable how many imaging problems that bother us in microscopy have already been solved in the astronomy field. For example, the problem of cameras being primarily silicon detectors and giving poor images with the unfocussed 800 nm infra-red light which is not extinguished properly by polaroid filters is well known to the astro guys and Altair supply a range of IR filters specially for this problem.
I am attaching a couple of images. One shows my Altair mono camera on a Nikon Optiphot B, which has a trinoc that rotates, allowing total removal of the prism from the camera path: ideal for photography. The Nikon has DIC optics. The other is a diagram I drew for teaching, which shows the information content in pixels (assuming Nyquist sampling without information loss) in a typical microscope eyepiece field ( the circle) compared with various camera chip sizes. It is clear that 20 Mp is really necessary if you do not want to end up sampling only a tiny postage stamp in the middle of your microscope field, or else losing most of the detail.
I spent many years as a biological researcher trying to collect information with old video-standard cameras ( shown by the tiny green rectangle in the diagram). 3 to 5 Mp is certainly better and now available cheaply in many USB cameras, but I use it only for video. For public demonstrations, these 20Mp cameras with live video that can be zoomed and panned by software to show regions of interest has been a terrific boon to me.

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75RR
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Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#11 Post by 75RR » Thu May 30, 2019 5:04 pm

Can you post some sample photos you have taken with this setup?

Perhaps from an 8 Form Diatom Test Slide for comparison.
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)

Hobbyst46
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Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#12 Post by Hobbyst46 » Thu May 30, 2019 7:10 pm

Bradscopegems wrote:...
Just a side note, not to contradict anything : A key feature in astro camera is sensitivity, the ability to catch extremely low-light images. this is often not the case in microscopy, except in fluorescence microscopy.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

Bradscopegems
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Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#13 Post by Bradscopegems » Thu May 30, 2019 8:38 pm

Dear Hobbyst46,
As you say, high sensitivity is essential for most fluorescence microscopy, which is the most valuable form for biomedical research at present because it allows chemical specificity in staining, but there are other reasons for needing high sensitivity. Many events in the microscopic world happen in the millisecond range, such as the contraction of the stalk of Vorticella or the explosive release of fungal spores. High speed filming requires a high sensitivity camera, or you are obliged to use lethally high light intensities. Also, DIC microscopy depends on the use of a polarizing interference system with the polarizer and analyzer almost crossed, with tremendous attentuation of the light. Particularly for DIC, you need not only high sensitivity but also a huge dynamic range, corresponding to much more than the old digital standard of 8 bits ( only 256 grey levels distinguishable). The dynamic range is the saturation intensity divided by the minimum detectable increment ( which is equivalent to the sensitivity). If you use a low-sensitivity camera with a standard dynamic range and try to get a good DIC image of a really faint specimen by just manipulating the contrast and brightness, you may find so much noise that you cannot even detect the specimen. But with a good camera you can see structures such as individual microtubules which are totally invisible to the naked eye in the microscope eyepiece. And then there is bioluminescence..... probably the most important form of communication in the ocean.....maybe the new tool for microbehunters! The recent Nobel prizes for improved optical microscopy depend on capturing really faint emissions from individual fluorescent molecules with a sufficiently low noise level to work out where the source must have been. The underlying maths is common to the bio and astro worlds.

Scarodactyl
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Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#14 Post by Scarodactyl » Thu May 30, 2019 8:51 pm

Sounds like a very cool camera system, but it costs over a thousand dollars [edit:I may have been looking at the wrong version]. Seems a bargain if you have a specific need for that high sensitivity and the budget for it, but I'm not sure it's going to be five times more useful than a good used dslr to most hobbyists.
Last edited by Scarodactyl on Fri May 31, 2019 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

Bradscopegems
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Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#15 Post by Bradscopegems » Thu May 30, 2019 9:09 pm

Pleurosigma detail.jpg
Pleurosigma detail.jpg (252.42 KiB) Viewed 4209 times
Pleurosigma reduced.jpeg
Pleurosigma reduced.jpeg (243.21 KiB) Viewed 4209 times
Dear 75RR,
Will do, though the very small digital size limit of the images that can be accepted in this forum will take some time to circumvent:
I will have to show whole images and also enlarged details..... Here is a taster: an image of a diatom strew that I happened to have at hand...

Hobbyst46
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Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#16 Post by Hobbyst46 » Thu May 30, 2019 9:16 pm

Bradscopegems wrote:Dear Hobbyst46,
As you say, high sensitivity is essential for most fluorescence microscopy, which is the most valuable form for biomedical research at present because it allows chemical specificity in staining, but there are other reasons for needing high sensitivity. Many events in the microscopic world happen in the millisecond range, such as the contraction of the stalk of Vorticella or the explosive release of fungal spores. High speed filming requires a high sensitivity camera, or you are obliged to use lethally high light intensities. Also, DIC microscopy depends on the use of a polarizing interference system with the polarizer and analyzer almost crossed, with tremendous attentuation of the light. Particularly for DIC, you need not only high sensitivity but also a huge dynamic range, corresponding to much more than the old digital standard of 8 bits ( only 256 grey levels distinguishable). The dynamic range is the saturation intensity divided by the minimum detectable increment ( which is equivalent to the sensitivity). If you use a low-sensitivity camera with a standard dynamic range and try to get a good DIC image of a really faint specimen by just manipulating the contrast and brightness, you may find so much noise that you cannot even detect the specimen. But with a good camera you can see structures such as individual microtubules which are totally invisible to the naked eye in the microscope eyepiece. And then there is bioluminescence..... probably the most important form of communication in the ocean.....maybe the new tool for microbehunters! The recent Nobel prizes for improved optical microscopy depend on capturing really faint emissions from individual fluorescent molecules with a sufficiently low noise level to work out where the source must have been. The underlying maths is common to the bio and astro worlds.
Accepted, my appology. I was really thinking of less ambitious challenges for the home microscopist than millisecond events or individual molecules.

Thanks for the post! I now see that the Altair color camera costs around 500 BP. Not THAT expensive.
I wonder what happens with aberrations correction, if I install it on my 160mm optics ancient microscope. Can you use it afocally - on top of a corrective eyepiece ?
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

Bradscopegems
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Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#17 Post by Bradscopegems » Thu May 30, 2019 11:07 pm

Dear Hobbyst46,
You are right to worry about chromatic aberrations. To minimise this danger, I place the 183M so that the camera chip is in the
intermediate image plane, and avoid the presence of any eyepiece, mag changer or other glassware. When I use a 100x objective, N.A. 1.4 oil immersion, the resolution in object space ( given by 0.61 x wavelength / 1.4 ) is 0.15 um. In image space it is 100x this, i.e. 15 um. But since the pixel size in the 183M camera is only 2.4 um, the camera samples the image at several times the Nyquist limit and therefore captures all the information over an area of 1 inch diagonal ( i.e. most of the field of a 10x eyepiece). There is in this situation no need for extra magnification, because the camera pixels are so small.
If you are using an old-style microscope such as a 1950s Zeiss or Olympus S-Plan where the colour correction of the objective is incomplete and a special eyepiece is required, you are going to have to use the recommended optics of that period: probably a focussing eyepiece and camera interface.

Hobbyst46
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Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#18 Post by Hobbyst46 » Fri May 31, 2019 6:09 am

Bradscopegems wrote:Dear Hobbyst46,
You are right to worry about chromatic aberrations. To minimise this danger, I place the 183M so that the camera chip is in the
intermediate image plane, and avoid the presence of any eyepiece, mag changer or other glassware. When I use a 100x objective, N.A. 1.4 oil immersion, the resolution in object space ( given by 0.61 x wavelength / 1.4 ) is 0.15 um. In image space it is 100x this, i.e. 15 um. But since the pixel size in the 183M camera is only 2.4 um, the camera samples the image at several times the Nyquist limit and therefore captures all the information over an area of 1 inch diagonal ( i.e. most of the field of a 10x eyepiece). There is in this situation no need for extra magnification, because the camera pixels are so small.
If you are using an old-style microscope such as a 1950s Zeiss or Olympus S-Plan where the colour correction of the objective is incomplete and a special eyepiece is required, you are going to have to use the recommended optics of that period: probably a focussing eyepiece and camera interface.
Thanks for your answer.
A resolution of 0.15um for an NA=1.4 according to the Abbe formula means that the wavelength is 344nm. Were the diatom photos taken with 344nm UV light ?
The two conditions for using the Altair 183C, namely (a) sensor in intermediate image plane and (b) infinity corrected (or Nikon CFI) objectives are not met by my scope.
On the other hand, a much cheaper eyepiece camera does work, not badly, see viewtopic.php?t=7145.
So maybe the Altair 183C will perform as well, even better.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

Bradscopegems
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Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#19 Post by Bradscopegems » Fri May 31, 2019 10:30 am

Dear Hobbyst46,
You are right. I was using white light, so taking the wavelength as 500nm, the resolution would have been 0.2um, not 0.15. I remember also that I was using
a 60x objective, so the resolution in image space would be 12 um, or 5 pixel widths: just above Nyquist.
The Nikon Optiphot with the swing-out head removing the prism from the camera path altogether, and with the internally chromatically corrected 160mm objectives was a superb
microscope. Pity the fine focus depended on a tacky black nylon gear. I am about to try the substitute metal gear that is being offered on eBay by a german entrepreneur engineer, since I have two stands with faulty fine focus.

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75RR
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Re: Microscope Camera Recomendatio,

#20 Post by 75RR » Fri May 31, 2019 10:53 am

Bradscopegems wrote: The Nikon Optiphot with the swing-out head removing the prism from the camera path altogether, and with the internally chromatically corrected 160mm objectives was a superb
microscope. Pity the fine focus depended on a tacky black nylon gear. I am about to try the substitute metal gear that is being offered on eBay by a german entrepreneur engineer, since I have two stands with faulty fine focus.
Now that sounds like an interesting link + future review
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)

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