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MaxP
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Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:28 pm

Discuss

#1 Post by MaxP » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:32 pm

Hi!

Since some of the folks here like film photomicrography, and/or are familiar with it, here is a question, hopefully not too dumb or too philosophical. I believe, produced sharp images.
Those cameras had mechanical shutters (leaf or focal plane), internal mirrors, and nothing to "smooth" shutter release except for the cable release.

Moreover, those cameras were rigidly fitted onto the microscope, not "floating" above the eyepiece and supported by a separate frame.
In general, film cameras can produce very sharp images, I think about the same quality as 20MP digital cameras or better (under static, well illuminated conditions).
Dedicated 35mm microscope film cameras of the past, say from Zeiss or Olympus, were quality cameras.

So, how comes that nowadays, there is such concern about shutter- and mirror-induced vibrations ? is it because we Moderns try to visually zoom in, enlarge the image (by means of software or our eyes), and demand much more sharpness than microscopists in the past ?

Thanks.

PeteM
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Re: Discuss

#2 Post by PeteM » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:52 pm

Back in the 35mm film days, most of the major manufacturers had dedicated 35mm photo attachments with dedicated cameras or integral shutters. The Nikon, for example, had a special low vibration shutter. Other cameras weren't of the SLR type, with a big curtain shutter, but with relatively quiet shutters that worked more like an iris.

apochronaut
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Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 12:15 am

Re: Discuss

#3 Post by apochronaut » Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:41 pm

Large format cameras were also used , 4 X 5 and larger. Often, the camera or film holder would be on a separate dedicated stand, side by side with the microscope and trinocular head and critically aligned over the trinocular tube but not attached to it.

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

Re: Discuss

#4 Post by Hobbyst46 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:04 pm

MaxP wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:32 pm
...here is a question, hopefully not too dumb or too philosophical. I believe, produced sharp images.
Those cameras had mechanical shutters (leaf or focal plane), internal mirrors, and nothing to "smooth" shutter release except for the cable release.
So, how comes that nowadays, there is such concern about shutter- and mirror-induced vibrations ? is it because we Moderns try to visually zoom in, enlarge the image (by means of software or our eyes), and demand much more sharpness than microscopists in the past ?
IMHO this is a very good question, and the answer you suggest is reasonable. Indeed the old Zeiss brochures from the 1950's show a rigid connection of the camera on top of the photo tube. The Olympus system research microscope of the 1970's carried a rigidly mounted 35mm camera as well. And, as explained by PeteM, those cameras were not SLR's, and were extremely quiet.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

gastrotrichman
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Location: Oregon, USA

Re: Discuss

#5 Post by gastrotrichman » Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:07 pm

In the late 1950s I used a Spencer monocular scope and an Exa SLR (the much cheaper little brother of the Exakta SLR) to make photomicrographs. The camera attached to the scope with a hinged adapter, which was rigid when the camera was "in battery" for photos. For eyeball-direct viewing, the hinge allowed the upper part of the adapter to be swung aside without removing the adapter from the scope. I minimized vibration by using a cable release and the bulb setting on the camera. After centering, focusing etc., I turned off the light source, opened the shutter with a cable release using the camera's "bulb" setting, then turned the light source on to start the exposure, and then off to end the exposure. The cable release could be locked in the "bulb" position with a thumb screw for longer exposures. Exposure times were in seconds, not fractions of seconds. I estimated appropriate exposure times and did a lot of bracketing. I used Plus-X or Tri-X black-and-white film, and processed the film and prints myself. Most images were worthless, but every once in a while I'd get a good one … I particularly remember images of a paramecium (alive, but compressed to imobility by the coverslip) that showed star vacuoles, etc. I've no interest in abandoning my current digital system and returning to film, but I have fond memories of using my first serious microscope and SLR camera.
gastrotrichman

Nikon Microphot
Leitz Orthoplan
Wild M8
Bausch & Lomb MicroZoom

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