Newbie with Olympus BH2 and a camera

Everything relating to microscopy hardware: Objectives, eyepieces, lamps and more.
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lucasnw
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2021 11:45 pm

Newbie with Olympus BH2 and a camera

#1 Post by lucasnw » Sat Jun 12, 2021 12:32 am

Hi folks, happy to participate in this forum and thanks in advance for any ideas.

I recently scored a frankenstien Olympus BH2 microscope at auction that was probably used for wafer inspection in microchip manufacturing. After playing with it for a while, I'm now hooked and really want to use it for microphotography. On a hobby budget :D

It has the following hardware:
  • 4 NeoSPlan IC objectives (10,20,50,100)
    BH2-UMA illuminator with both brightfield and darkfield cubes, no other filters.
    Motorized 4 place nose (unsure of manufacturer, it doesn't look like anything OEM)
    Main microscope body looks sort of like a BH2 but not exactly
    Huge (almost 1 foot of travel!) X-Y stage with a vacuum wafer chuck
    Motorized Z stage
    BH2-HLSH halogen lamphouse
    Tilting binocular head
    WK10x 20L eyepieces
So far I've tried two different ways to get pictures:
  • Removing the binocular head altogether and using a homemade 3D-printed adapter (tried various lengths) for the BH2-UMA's circular dovetail to attach an APS-C Canon DSLR. The picture quality is subpar, but I've also not flocked the tube.
    Removing an eyepiece and using a homemade 3D-printed Canon-to-eyepiece adapter. The picture quality here was terrible with tons of chromatic abberation.
Is it a reasonable approach to not use a binocular or trinocular head and just mount a camera? Do I need a lens between the illuminator and the camera, or something else? Alan Wood's site talks about using trinocular heads with an OM adapter or using an eyepiece adapter, but not about removing the head.

Or should I just give up on the DSLR and use an eyepiece camera?

Any input welcome!

Scarodactyl
Posts: 1418
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: Newbie with Olympus BH2 and a camera

#2 Post by Scarodactyl » Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:19 am

Post some pictures and we can probably nail down the model. Olympus did a few different setups for this stuff.
The eyepieces on this system provide essential optical corrections, so you need one involved. Olympus made photo eyepieces for this which sit in the head's trinocular port (or a standalone photo attachment) and project an image upwards onto your camera sensor. They made a 2.5x which gives an image sized well for full frame and a 1.67x for aps-c, but the 1.67 is uncommon and extremely expensive. If you want to DIY it you could also use a viewing eyepiece and get the image it produces focused onto your camera sensor with a 40mm pancake lens focused to infinity.

Hobbyst46
Posts: 3455
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:02 pm

Re: Newbie with Olympus BH2 and a camera

#3 Post by Hobbyst46 » Sat Jun 12, 2021 8:37 am

Scarodactyl wrote:
Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:19 am
Post some pictures and we can probably nail down the model. Olympus did a few different setups for this stuff.
The eyepieces on this system provide essential optical corrections, so you need one involved. Olympus made photo eyepieces for this which sit in the head's trinocular port (or a standalone photo attachment) and project an image upwards onto your camera sensor. They made a 2.5x which gives an image sized well for full frame and a 1.67x for aps-c, but the 1.67 is uncommon and extremely expensive. If you want to DIY it you could also use a viewing eyepiece and get the image it produces focused onto your camera sensor with a 40mm pancake lens focused to infinity.
From the Alan Wood site, the NeoSPlan objectives mentioned above are infinity corrected and the illuminator includes a tube lens. Would such a setup need the NFK photo-eyepiece ?
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

Scarodactyl
Posts: 1418
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: Newbie with Olympus BH2 and a camera

#4 Post by Scarodactyl » Sat Jun 12, 2021 4:18 pm

Yup, they still need the eyepiece corrections.

lucasnw
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2021 11:45 pm

Re: Newbie with Olympus BH2 and a camera

#5 Post by lucasnw » Tue Jun 15, 2021 7:31 pm

This is awesome info. It sounds like what I need to do is:

1- Remove the microscope head or buy a trinoc head, ~$250
2- Buy a NFK 2.5 lens, ~$100
2- Buy a full frame camera body that supports Live View, $300
3- Design and 3D print a tube with a dovetail to physically put them together with the correct spacing.

(Optimistic cheapskate ebay pricing)

Here's some pics of the microscope for any ID help, thanks!
This setup seems slightly wrong in that the BH2-UMA illuminator does not sit quite flush/square to the microscope frame, I had to shim it because it bumped into part of that shiny chrome carousel. The whole shebang came as a "microscope parts lot" :D :D .

https://ibb.co/XVzfTHm
https://ibb.co/7nJtrwB
https://ibb.co/KxdsZvK

dtsh
Posts: 407
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 6:06 pm

Re: Newbie with Olympus BH2 and a camera

#6 Post by dtsh » Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:22 am

lucasnw wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 7:31 pm
This is awesome info. It sounds like what I need to do is:

1- Remove the microscope head or buy a trinoc head, ~$250
2- Buy a NFK 2.5 lens, ~$100
2- Buy a full frame camera body that supports Live View, $300
3- Design and 3D print a tube with a dovetail to physically put them together with the correct spacing.

(Optimistic cheapskate ebay pricing)

Here's some pics of the microscope for any ID help, thanks!
This setup seems slightly wrong in that the BH2-UMA illuminator does not sit quite flush/square to the microscope frame, I had to shim it because it bumped into part of that shiny chrome carousel. The whole shebang came as a "microscope parts lot" :D :D .

https://ibb.co/XVzfTHm
https://ibb.co/7nJtrwB
https://ibb.co/KxdsZvK
I don't know if the BH2 has a telan lens or not (easier if not, but still doable), but if you have a 3D printer, one can create a head that's just a photo tube to connect to the camera. I did so on an AO10 which does have a telan lens (taken from a parts head) and it worked as expected. You give up the ability of viewing through the eyepiece unless you have a dial viewing head like I did, but if you expect to connect the camera to a display it might not matter. I mention it in case "cheapskate" is a requirement. Sub-optimal, but could get you going for a lot less.

lucasnw
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2021 11:45 pm

Re: Newbie with Olympus BH2 and a camera

#7 Post by lucasnw » Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:51 pm

Just removing the head would really be ideal. I tried doing that (no lens, just a tube with a circular dovetail on one end and Canon EF-S on the other). Here's a pic of a cranefly leg in water between a slide and cover:
https://ibb.co/pbwFkYj

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