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Diptera.info :: General Diptera forums :: Methodology
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Stacked macro photograph of a fruit fly
Ecooper
#1 Print Post
Posted on 22-12-2012 16:02
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Posts: 45
Joined: 09.08.12

Almost exactly a month ago I posted a photo of a sow bug (order Isopoda) on my blog that I created from a stack of 57 separate images. But I was really unsatisfied with the photo and decided it was time to invest in more equipment. I ordered a 4X microscope objective off Ebay and started building a precision focusing rail out of a Zeiss Microscope Focus Arm.

The focusing rail is now functional. The trickiest thing was figuring out how to provide soft, even lighting to a tiny specimen positioned only 14mm from the front of the lens while simultaneously avoiding lens flare. I also needed to find a suitably photogenic subject. Given that it was snowing on the day I took the photo below, a trip to the garden to look for tiny insects wasn’t an option!

I had an epiphany yesterday morning while eating a small tub of yogurt and a banana. I finished the yogurt and realized that it was made from thin white plastic and was the perfect size and shape to fit over both the microscope lens and a specimen. All I had to do was to cut a hole in the bottom to insert the subject. Meanwhile a couple of fruit flies started to buzz around my banana...”aha” I thought, “my specimens have arrived!”

Below is one of the photos resulting from a meeting of yogurt container and fruit fly.

farm9.staticflickr.com/8358/8295162512_8a264086d4_z.jpg
fruitfly 1 edit copyright ernie cooper 2012_filtered by ernie.cooper, on Flickr

Below is a lateral view of the lens (covered by a paper lens shade) and fruit fly specimen on the tip of a sewing needle. I removed the outer barrel of the lens and added the shade to reduce the chance of lens flare.

farm9.staticflickr.com/8079/8295201290_a597e2bfb1_z.jpg
bellows and lens shade_filtered by ernie.cooper, on Flickr

Below is a lateral view of focussing rail built from a Carl Zeiss Jena Laboval 4 Microscope Focus Arm (on its back). An Olympus e-volt 620 camera is mounted on a vintage Olympus OM System auto bellows. The lens, a Cnscope 4X plan achromatic microscope objective is concealed by the yogurt container flash diffuser.

farm9.staticflickr.com/8075/8295201922_f187c877df_z.jpg
bellows and yogurt container_filtered by ernie.cooper, on Flickr

I assume that the fly was D. Melanogaster but I’m not an entomologist. If anyone can confirm the identification I’d appreciate it.

Cheers,
EC
www.macrocritters.wordpress.com
 
ChrisR
#2 Print Post
Posted on 22-12-2012 17:45
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Location: Reading, England
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Very nice indeed - a great choice of background and perfect lighting! Smile Those CnScope lenses really are superb value for money Smile
Manager of the UK Species Inventory in the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity at the Natural History Museum, London.
 
http://tachinidae.org.uk
Ecooper
#3 Print Post
Posted on 22-12-2012 21:13
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ChrisR wrote:
Very nice indeed - a great choice of background and perfect lighting! Smile Those CnScope lenses really are superb value for money Smile


Thank you! You are right about the value of Cnscope lenses...this one cost me $20 (Canadian) and that included free shipping! Amazing!

Cheers,
EC
www.macrocritters.wordpress.com
 
ChrisR
#4 Print Post
Posted on 23-12-2012 10:55
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I have tested my CNScope against some much more expensive Nikon objectives and the difference really is very marginal indeed. They are a great introduction to using microscope objectives for stacking.
Manager of the UK Species Inventory in the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity at the Natural History Museum, London.
 
http://tachinidae.org.uk
Ecooper
#5 Print Post
Posted on 24-12-2012 05:35
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Joined: 09.08.12

ChrisR wrote:
I have tested my CNScope against some much more expensive Nikon objectives and the difference really is very marginal indeed. They are a great introduction to using microscope objectives for stacking.


The objective I used for the photo above was the Cnscope 4X plan. Which lenses have you used for photostacking? I was considering trying their 10X metallurgical, although the working distance is only 3.5mm.

EC
 
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