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 Post subject: Re: dino-lite digital microscopes?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:56 pm 
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Stay at ISO100 on your camera. Introduction of too much noise and artifacts. Use in Av mode, aperture priority for now, move to M, manual, as you learn. Use the Timer function for the shots. Aperture/f-stop of like f/5.6 or even f/8 if yours allows. Use metering mode of center weighted average and try spot as, well, not sure which will be better on yours.

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 Post subject: Re: dino-lite digital microscopes?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:06 pm 
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cascaillou wrote:
I finally succeeded in getting a full screen view on the camera screen, thanks to the camera zoom. I still have to understand the so many settings of the camera, and set it right to get clear pictures (all were blurry). How do I get sharp details, is that linked to F number?

settings were ISO=3200 (maximum), F=4 (I could use 3.5 but that means less zoom thus no full screen view), speed=2seconds. Does that seem about right?

also I can't find the way to set focus to infinity


The ISO is awfully high. May be a problem. I try not to exceed 100 ISO.

Do not use digital zoom. If you do, use"precision zoom". Your other zoom setting will deteriorate, distort your images.

You may need a more powerful light source. If you are using transmission lighting, you can place a lens between your stage and subject to focus/intensify what is available. Dual fiber optic light pipes with a 150W light source are some things to place on your "wish list"!

I looked at your laboradite pic above on image shack. That is a pretty decent shot! Your camera settings were reasonable, with the ISO at, I think, 500 (high). That info, and the result, hints at a basic illumination shortfall.

Your results will probably be better if you accept a little vignetting and crop out your subject.

Just thoughts, but I have had to do a lot of tinkering with settings which vary with each separate 'scope (too many) that I play with.

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 Post subject: Re: dino-lite digital microscopes?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:30 pm 
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I agree that you should not go above ISO100 or 200. Set the camera for that speed and set your zoom and aperture and let the camera set the shutter speed. (ie. Aperture priority)

In your initial shots the center two thirds of shot are very sharp and the outer third is a bit softer.
This is very typical for inexpensive scope optics. So if you can zoom in far enough to spread the good part of the image over the corners of your image sensor chip that is probably your best setting.

And as John says you may need to "shed more light on the subject" either with fiber optics or flash or both.

I would not recommend closing the the camera aperture down because that is part of what is causing your vignetting problem. It will not increase your depth of field either. Both depth of field and resolution are determined at the scope objective front element. All it will do is vignette and increase your exposure time.

I did not realize that many point and shoots had a recessed from the front entrance pupil because I have been using a Nikon Coolpix this way for like ten years with never a vignetting problem. But some of those high zoom ratio lenses are very long and the entrance pupil it buried too deep in the snoot to catch the whole exit pupil of the scope.


I had previously thought any point and shoot camera could shoot through a scope. That may not be the case anymore. My coolpix is only three or four to one zoom.

Make sure you do your zooming with the lens not digital zoom which causes pixelation.


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 Post subject: Re: dino-lite digital microscopes?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:37 pm 
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What my cam can do:

I've tried three different modes: 'auto', 'manual', and 'program' (and also something called 'ISO mode' with high sensitivity)

('program' mode = you can set many parameters including ISO ans focus to infinity, but you cannot set aperture and speed which are automatic)

which mode should I preferably use?

Both in 'program' mode and in 'manual' mode I can set:
-focus: to infinity
-iso: automatic, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, or 3200

Only in 'manual' mode I can set aperture (this is f right?) and speed:

f: 3.5 or 8, 4 or 9, 4.4 or 10 (depending on the zoom level)
To get a full screen view on my camera screen, I need to use zoom to x5.6 which only allows f=4 or f=9

speed:
30", 25", 20", 15", 13", 10", 8", 7", 5", 4", 3", 2.5", 2", 1.6", 1.3", 1", 1.3, 1.6, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 80, 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000

If i go for program mode which iso should I set?

If I go for manual mode, which iso, speed and f# should I use?


Quote:
f/5.6 or even f/8 if yours allows

G4Lab told me to set f# to the lowest available, but now you tell me to set it high, I'm getting confused.

Quote:
Use in Av mode, aperture priority for now

is that what my camera has under the name 'program' mode?

Quote:
Do not use digital zoom. If you do, use"precision zoom"

if I do not zoom with the camera, I can't get a full screen view on my cam field.
But maybe that's not what you're making reference to, in advanced cam settings I can also set some zoom settings: either 'intelligent' or 'precision' or 'deactivated'


Last edited by cascaillou on Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: dino-lite digital microscopes?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:54 pm 
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Set your camera to manual. Focus at infinity. You don't actually care too much about ISO.
(if you don't like the ISO pump more light onto it.) The aperture has to be open as far as it will go. The number is irrelevant because it changes with the zoom focal length. (A five millimeter opening is f/4 at 20mm focal length and f/20 at 100 mm focal length. Same diameter)

It is the zooming that is moving the camera lens entrance pupil to where it is able to overlap the microscope exit pupil which is what you need to have happen.

The effective f numbers when magnifications start getting high, in the microscope range, become numbers that most people who have handled cameras never see on a lens.
The highest f number I think I have seen on a camera lens is commonly f/32 or maybe f/45.

When you do photomocrography the EFFECTIVE f numbers are easily f/200 and f/300.
Don't worry about what the camera reports.

The zoom feature I believe that John is trying to distinguish is between optical zooming with the cameras zoom lens versus zooming in by enlarging the pixels in software which is not the feature you want to activate. (although if you do use up all the microscope objective's resolution using that feature could help control file size. Google the term binning to see what I am talking about. The resolution on chip should be twice the resolution of the entire optical train. Any higher pixel density than that just makes the files bigger for no reason. This is something to look into AFTER you get your initial problems beaten into submission. But I think your camera MAY have enough pixels that you MIGHT benefit from binning.)


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 Post subject: Re: dino-lite digital microscopes?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:10 pm 
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in manual mode everything is automatic and I can't set anything (I can't set focus to infinity, and I can't set F#)
in program mode I can set iso and focus to infinity but I can't set f#
in manual mode I can set iso, focus to infinity, speed and F#

also, what is aperture priority mode? (I can't find anything like that in my cam settings, and actually, I'm not sure my camera feature any priority mode)

I've also found an 'autofocus' setting in my camera, which can be set either to 'punctual' or 'controlled' is that of any importance (by default, it is setted to 'punctual')?


Last edited by cascaillou on Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: dino-lite digital microscopes?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:13 pm 
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OOPS! Zoom - use intelligent/smart zoom. Do NOT use precision zoom. Do not exceed 10x zoom (optical zoom limit on your camera).

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 Post subject: Re: dino-lite digital microscopes?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:27 pm 
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The focus for certain needs to be set to infinity. You need to have the aperture open (smallest number) as far as possible though you said it works better at f/4 than at 3.5
This result is specific to your camera and is more important than the more general advice we are trying to give you , not being precisely familiar with your camera.

Again I don't think the ISO setting matters as long as it is kept in one of the lowest two or three settings. (ie 100 or 200) When you set it fast (higher) than that the signal to noise ratio starts becoming less good.

We don't much care about the shutter speed. Or the focal length (zoom setting) which should be set where ever it will work right with your eyepiece.

15x and 20x oculars usually have LESS eye relief than 10x so are unlikely to improve this situation even though they do make more magnification. They probably won't work at all with this camera.

I am not sure what the two autofocus settings mean. Sounds like the speed at which it can focus. But the focus is supposed to be locked at infinity. The camera should not be focusing at all.

Aperture priority mode is usually one of a cameras program modes. It allows YOU to set the aperture and then the camera tries to pick a matching shutter speed. For when you wish to control depth of field and don't care about catching athletic motion(like to get the pretty girl in focus but the jerk who is leering at her in the background will be out of focus). For shooting the big soccer match you would choose shutter priority. You pick that fast shutter speed(to freeze the moving ball and kickers leg) and the camera picks the correct aperture. :lol: :lol:


Last edited by G4Lab on Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: dino-lite digital microscopes?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:36 pm 
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Handbook for your camera: http://www.docs.sony.com/release/DSCH3_handbook.pdf . My eyes are too bad to peruse it, but I did notice that the index is hyperlinked to pages. I did not see right off that your camera provides "priority modes''.

Rules of thumb: The lower the ISO, the better. The faster the shutter speed the better. Set focus to infinity for micro work. The aperture settings recommendations are covered very well by Gene and swishman.

GENE, you are correct about what I was trying to say (as per usual).

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Last edited by Ux4 on Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: dino-lite digital microscopes?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:36 pm 
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so I have to go for 'manual' mode as this is the only mode that allows me to set f#.
I'll set it to 4 (not that 3.5 is bad, but 3.5 is associated with insufficient zoom to get a full screen view on my cam)

I'll set focus to infinity.

I'll set ISO to 100 or maybe 200 or maybe automatic (but I noted that under 800 image is rather dark on my cam screen)

I've already taken a few pics with such settings, and I noticed that speed was important (too slow gives so much light that the pic is all white, too fast gives too little and the pic is all black), I still have to find the right speed (if you could suggest me a speed range within my camera abilities, that would be helpful).

At last, with such settings, I get rather blurry images (no sharpness in the details, despite I use timer so to avoid vibrations)

Maybe because I use zoom x5.6 and that's too much? (however, under 5.6 the image doesn't fill the all cam screen)


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 Post subject: Re: dino-lite digital microscopes?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:46 pm 
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I suggest you call your boss or teachers and tell them you will be absent for about three days. Then go over to http://www.photomacrography.net/forums and jump in there.

You will immediately figure out who the above quotation came from. You will also learn a whole lot and its an EXTREMELY interesting and wonderful forum. My OTHER favorite internet place.

One thing you will find there is repeated threads about tricks for getting more and more light onto the subjects. They use flashes and fiber optics. When you are shooting at effective f/300 you have to have a lot of light. These things are all dictated by physics and there is no way around them. There are also twenty bazillion threads about every possible way to take pictures in the macro and micro range. There are also threads about how to avoid vibration when those big f numbers require a ten or twenty second exposure.

I guess it is possible that your particular camera just is not terribly compatible with shooting through a microscope ocular. If the entrance pupil is too far back there is nothing that can be done to remedy it if you make all the settings that should push it in the right direction. Point and shoots do not have this function (ie shooting through a microscope or telescope) as part of their design criteria.

The price of eyepiece cameras higher than 2.0 mega pixels has come down some. You might be better off just buying one of those. Coolpixes can be had used for reasonable prices and are known to work well. Even ones later than ROMs and my 4500 which are getting pretty old (4 mp) fashioned now. Some of the newer ones have adapters from Nikon for the purpose of sticking them on microscopes. Nikon does not want to miss a sales opportunity and they ARE in the microscope business. But I can't recommend a particular model simply because I have not kept up to date on the subject.


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 Post subject: Re: dino-lite digital microscopes?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:29 pm 
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here are my last trials:

1)with camera zoom at x5.4

Image

2)same with with no camera zoom:

Image

here's the same pic (which was taken with no camera zooming), enlarged through windows pic editing tools):

Image

and now enlarged again to show the same area than in first pic:
Image

clearly, zooming doesn't help with readability, moreover it greatly reduces the size of the stone area covered in the picture. I think I won't zoom anymore.

ps: nice forum G4Lab


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 Post subject: Re: dino-lite digital microscopes?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:42 pm 
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some more, with better work on the light so to reveal blue labradorescence in the pics:

Image

Image

I took like 30pics, with different settings (including focus to infinity and smallest f#) but these two were the sharpest ones (these two were made through auto mode and macro on, not that bad after all, and much easier).
No camera zoom in the first pic, zoom in the second pic (both pics were enlarged through windows pic editing tools). Scope magnification is 30X (with 10X oculars)

The main difficulty is still to focus the scope on a specific inclusion (it's difficult to know for sure what the camera is seeing when you take a pic). For instance, in the first pic I tried to focus on the tiny crystals which are aligned in a row, but clearly that is a a fail.

interestingly, I compared these last pics to the ones I had made when I had no digiscope adapter (just holding the cam right against the scope ocular with my hands, auto mode and macro on, 45x scope magnification with 15x oculars):
http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/5123/dsc01993c.jpg
http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/2034/dsc01997jt.jpg
Surprisingly, these were not that bad in comparison, despite slightly more blurry (due to my hands shaking a bit I guess)


Last edited by cascaillou on Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:06 pm, edited 17 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: dino-lite digital microscopes?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:45 pm 
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Using a higher aperture was not for dof G4. The point if increasing it is that wide open apertures cause distortion and lack of sharpness. By stopping down 1-2 stops you greatly increase the sharpness of the image with most any camera lens.

I would turn off digital zoom if you already haven't.

Your Sony seems to work opposite of all my cameras, lol. Zoom should eliminate your vignetting. My Canon does this sometimes though, initially upon zoom everything is good, but once press shutter half way for shot it vignettes everything and like zoom is lost. Something camera is doing on its own even in manual for me. Why I seldom use it for the scope actually.

My Sony S750 I simply focus in using lcd on camera, I use zoom to eliminate vignetting, then allow the AF on the camera to finish focus, and shoot. It has no real manual settings aside from ISO.

My Panasonic LZ2 finally died on me after like 10yrs of heavy use, lol. :(. Looking to replace it with an LX3 or LX5 anyways.

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 Post subject: Re: dino-lite digital microscopes?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:20 pm 
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cascaillou...VERY nice! Keep tinkering.

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