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 Post subject: Wild Heerbrugg Makrozoom lens standalone (??) advice needed
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 7:16 pm 
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Hello everyone. In my quest to improve my photomicrographic capabilities I've been looking at used Wild photomacroscopes. For the most part they've been out of my current budget range, but I came across this oddball on an eBay search, and my lowball offer on it was accepted. It appears to be a stanalone makrozoom with the photo tube, basically an M420 without the oculars, a setup similar to a lot of industrial zoom lenses mentioned here. It is on what appears to be a motorized focus mount, of course without the controller. I am guessing that the legs must have been bolted to the bottom of a stage, and a cctv camera was directly connected to it for wafer inspection or something like that. I've never seen one configured quite like this, though I did find someone selling a couple with CCTV cameras directly attached.
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The good: the zoom mechanism turns smoothly, and I can resolve a (tiny) image through it by holding it over a surface freehand.

The bad: there is definitely something on one of the internal lenses. I am hoping it is not mold. It doesn't appear hazy anyway, so there is that.

Basically, I have three questions:

First, is it likely that it can be cleaned, or is it probably permanent mold damage? Second, how hard would it be to hook a camera up to it? And finally much less importantly, is it likely to be possible to kludge some sort of controller together for the motorized focus mount, or will that have to be replaced. My hope is that I'll be able to either buy or build a mount for it, hook a camera up and be able to get better gemological photos. Shooting through my SZ7 has worked OK but it's hard to beat the Wild scopes for reputation.

Thanks for having a look! I've learned an awful lot from the experts and enthusiasts here, and if I can end up joining the Wild nation at this kind of price point I'd be extremely happy.

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 Post subject: Re: Wild Heerbrugg Makrozoom lens standalone (??) advice nee
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 1:23 am 
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Hi Stephen, nice contraption you have there :) Hooking it up to a camera shouldn't be too difficult. Let's hope the mold (cause that is what it appears to be) isn't in the objective.

Please pull all components apart and check each one. If the dirt/mold is on a lens you can reach, apply ethanol royally and carefully rub with a cotton bud. If it is mold it is likely that the coating of that lens is ruined. See if you can replace that part or keep polishing that lens until the entire coating is gone. Gene taught me: rather no coating than damaged coating.

Share images of both sides of the components here and we'll help you hook up a camera to it. Do you have one yet?


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 Post subject: Re: Wild Heerbrugg Makrozoom lens standalone (??) advice nee
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 1:58 am 
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Thanks, that makes sense. I was a bit afraid to start taking it apart willy nilly but if it's something I can do at home I'm glad to have a go at it. Is there any particular ethanol formulation I should use (or avoid?)

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 Post subject: Re: Wild Heerbrugg Makrozoom lens standalone (??) advice nee
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 3:32 pm 
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I just use the cheap stuff from the drug store.


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 Post subject: Re: Wild Heerbrugg Makrozoom lens standalone (??) advice nee
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 6:08 pm 
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I would get the camera attached first and see if it causes any image quality problems that are noticeable. Such problems would be proportional to the area of the aperture that is blocked or scattered by the fungus or dirt.
If you take that objective apart you are likely to not be able to get it back together again or it may be clean but not properly aligned or reassembled in which case you could well lose rather than gain image quality.

You probably could drive that focusing motor with an Arduino if it's a stepper. If it's a servo it could be a little more difficult. Remove the coax illuminator but don't pitch it because it may have some pol plates or quarter wave plates in it.

How much did you give the guy. I presume this was one of the ones from el Paso Texas. I tried to reason with the guy ten years ago but at that time he thought they were worth about $1300. He had three or four of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Wild Heerbrugg Makrozoom lens standalone (??) advice nee
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 3:05 am 
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Thanks for having a look!

I can try adapting a camera to it first, but I'm pretty sure that it's going to be a problem--it isn't a total diffuse haziness like some truly roached scopes I have seen but there are a couple of opaque spots that show up even in the tiny image of the carpet I resolved above. Still, I suppose it would be a good idea to have a sense of how bad it really is. I've had a go at adapting a camera to my ao 580 with partial success, but I'm not quite sure how to go about it with this setup. Does it need any sort of optics in the adapter to hook up a modern dslr (like a canon EOS)? Or would it make more sense to just put on a camera with a different sensor size? I have seen a few for sale on eBay and the like but wanted to ask someone knowledgeable before buying any more parts.
I wouldn't want to take it apart if it's going to screw up the alignment. Would that apply to taking the base components apart (things like the weird splitter they put on the end) or just to dissassembling the actual objective? I kind of assume from how components are stacked on these scopes that the individual components come apart relatively easily, but I haven't tried anything yet.
As a side-note, is the coaxial illuminator likely to cause issues with the imaging, or missing some key components? I can think of instances where coaxial illumination might be at least tangentially useful, though I haven't tried it out.
Yes, it did come in from El Paso so likely the same guy. I guess he's had a change of heart in the intervening years because I got it for $150. I figured at that price it was worth having a go at.

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 Post subject: Re: Wild Heerbrugg Makrozoom lens standalone (??) advice nee
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 5:54 pm 
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Yeah I would have given $150 for it. It is worth that for the camera adaptation and mount(possibly).
You do need to take it partially apart. You certainly can remove the front illuminator which may turn out useful.
I bought a similar objective once and still have the coax illuminator but have never used it for anything.
What you need to do is see where the focal plain of the camera adapter is. It probably has a C mount on it and if so you just need to determine the size of the image circle and put a sensor of the right size there. Probably and Olympus mirrorless which can out resolve any objective.

You can take it off the illuminator , the camera adaptor, and the focuser with likely no problem. I was recommending that you not take the objective apart if you can avoid it. I know Tim has done it a couple of times but it is best to avoid that kind of thing. They have jigging and experts and clean rooms where those were made. And even where AmScopes are made.


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 Post subject: Re: Wild Heerbrugg Makrozoom lens standalone (??) advice nee
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 4:53 pm 
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Thanks for your advice G4lab! I just got in my c-mount to m42 adapter and another adjustable m42-m42 extender, which with the m42-canon adapter I already had meant I could finally put a camera on the makrozoom for a basic assessment.
Image
Actually taking a picture was a bit difficult for two reasons: it doesn't have a mount so I had to hold it by hand (and it is heavy!) and the attachment at the front leaves almost no working distance, so getting it lit and in focus at the same time were a hassle. But I finally got a shot of a piece of paper (click for full view):
Image
Given the apparent mold and unstable hands I think it's actually not bad! I was surprised it actually fully fills the canon sensor too despite the c-mount connector. I think the shadows around the edge are probably a real feature and not a defect in the lens, given my poor lighting setup and shadows from the attachment.
I guess the next step is figuring out how to remove the unneeded attachments, and then getting some sort of focus mount set up. From there, deciding if it needs further cleaning.

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 Post subject: Re: Wild Heerbrugg Makrozoom lens standalone (??) advice nee
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 5:06 pm 
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You need to mount that on a Polaroid MP3 or MP4 macro stand which are strong enough to hold it. Your image looks fine for a starter.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lot-of-2-Polar ... SwPN9a7-Mu

Get that illuminator off the front. The front of the makrozoom has a bayonet mount so probably if you turn it one third of a turn it will slip off. It may have one or more locking screws to prevent it from turning.


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 Post subject: Re: Wild Heerbrugg Makrozoom lens standalone (??) advice nee
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:23 pm 
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It's been a while since I gave an update on this--I've sort of been stalled on it (aside from removing the illuminator and playing around with it a bit) because of the difficulty of fitting it to a base and my own uncertainty about completely dissassembling the mount to find the problematic optics, and since I also got a (mostly) complete m420 on a good deal I've been focused on that as well. But from having had to remove the makrozoom objective on the M420 to access the focus rack I realized that I could also easily remove the objective from this setup without having to disassemble anything else, hoping to find the optical issue and see how hard it's going to be to deal with. So I unscrewed the single hex screw to have a look:
Image
Image
I found the problem! It's pretty bad, looking like a combination of mold(?) and delamination, BUT it's entirely restricted to the 'head'/photo tube. The objective appears to be perfectly clean.
Image
I have a feeling that the head won't be fixable, so I have been thinking about whether I might be able to fit another head onto it. I remember a very old thread either on microbehunters or on photomacrography where someone had linked to an even older eBay auction for a macroscope which had a makrozoom objective fitted to a different Leica head. I am not sure how well that would work or which ones would be compatible though. I measured the dovetail on the objective while it was apart and it is about 52mm in diameter.
If it's not one thing it's another. I sent off my pinion gear on the m420 last week, so hopefully I'll have at least one of these up and running in the near future.

As a side-note, another one of these setups has come up for sale on eBay recently. It's interesting they don't seem to come up in anything I've read about Wild's photomacroscopes--it seems a bit hard to believe they were made by a third party, though I suppose it's possible, especially given the lack of branding on them.

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 Post subject: Re: Wild Heerbrugg Makrozoom lens standalone (??) advice nee
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:34 pm 
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Great, so the important bit is clean. Now onto: finding the sweet spot for that camera of yours. You don't need the 'head' you have now. All you have to do is figure out how to attach the camera to the objective at a distance that pleases you vignetting-wise.


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 Post subject: Re: Wild Heerbrugg Makrozoom lens standalone (??) advice nee
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:00 pm 
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ah, that's interesting. My understanding of how optics work is fairly remedial--does that mean it's essentially a finite objective, so it doesn't need a tube lens to resolve an image? I had thought, because there seems to be the option of putting a coaxial illuminator between the objective and head, that it was probably infinity corrected, but I guess they could have had some optics in there as well to compensate for the change in distance? If possible I'd love to put a trinocular head on it so it can act more like a full m420, but I am still trying to figure out what kind would be appropriate.
This is the link to the old auction for the cobbled-together m420 equivalent using a Leica head: https://www.ebay.com/itm/LEICA-M420-M40 ... 2a1a510d5c
That said, from what I am reading it looks like leica compound heads have a tube lens that corrects for abberations in their objectives, which I think would have bad effects on a makrozoom lens.
Also maybe of interest is that the parts chart for Leica's successors, the z6 and z16, include a part to mount the objectives on the m420 head. That might imply the compatibility would go both ways, so a head that works with the z6/z16 would work with the makrozoom. Weirdly, the heads for the z6/z16 look identical to and have the same reference number as the heads on their mz series stereo microscopes, which I wouldn't have expected to be compatible with a non-stereo objective.

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 Post subject: Re: Wild Heerbrugg Makrozoom lens standalone (??) advice nee
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:30 pm 
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Stephen Challener wrote:
ah, that's interesting. My understanding of how optics work is fairly remedial--does that mean it's essentially a finite objective, so it doesn't need a tube lens to resolve an image? I had thought, because there seems to be the option of putting a coaxial illuminator between the objective and head, that it was probably infinity corrected, but I guess they could have had some optics in there as well to compensate for the change in distance?


You can try a simple test to see if your objective lens unit is transmitting light to a focal point (finite objective or infinity objective with tube lens), or if the light is transmitted as parallel rays (infinity objective without the tube lens). You know the approximate working distance (i.e., distance between lens and object). So position an object... newspaper print or whatever... at the working distance in front of the lens unit. Use a bright light source, like a fiber optic to illuminate it. Then hold an index card on the other side of the lens unit, moving it away from the unit. If at some height, the bright spot of light on the card resolves into a small image, well... there's your focal point. If the bright spot just slowly keeps getting bigger and bigger, then the light is coming out as parallel rays and you'll need a tube lens to focus the image.

You are correct that a tube lens is always proprietary, meant to correct aberrations from a certain product range of objective lenses.


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 Post subject: Re: Wild Heerbrugg Makrozoom lens standalone (??) advice nee
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:13 pm 
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Just tried it with a makrozoom objective and an old canon crop frame - there's a focal point @ ~4 inches away from the lens. If you can fix yourself up with a male dovetail fitting the objective going into a tube or bellows that can slide in and out a little (and can be fixed at the desired length) you're in business.

Here's the bellows for cheap:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-Macro-Ex ... =R40&rt=nc

then this ring to create a female m42 thread:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/M42-lens-to-Ca ... m570.l1313

and then you need a 'friendly machinist' that can take a bit of aluminium tubing, lathe the dovetail end and the male m42 thread. Leave some space in that last bit so you can clear the rail of the bellows and attach the entire thing to a breadboard. Will be a neat setup.

With the aid of a RMS to EF adapter ring that setup will be able to take any rms thread compound microscope objective:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/RMS-female-thr ... m570.l1313

Which will make it an even neater setup :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Wild Heerbrugg Makrozoom lens standalone (??) advice nee
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:21 pm 
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One thing you do want to check is whether the focal point remains constant when you zoom.


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