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Found 22 results

  1. Hi Everyone, I'm in search of an affordable handheld digital microscope. Does anyone have any suggestions? The "Zoomy 2.0 handheld digital microscope" had been suggested to me by a local fossil hunter who takes all of his pictures for presentation purposes using the small egg-shaped device. https://www.learningresources.com/product/zoomy--8482-+2.0+handheld+digital+microscope+-+blue.do?sortby=ourPicks&refType=&from=Search&ecList=6&ecCategory= Thanks!
  2. Here is another neat little gadget I thought I would share: A digital microscope / camera video camera that is powered by your computer USB. It has built in dimmable LED lights as well as camera. Images are captured via software that comes with it. Image quality is not as good as the camera on my trinocular scope, or quite frankly my cell phone when taking pictures through the scope, but it has its uses. It's relatively cheap at about $100.00. And if you are a teacher with a "powerpoint projector", you can put items under the scope and project them on the big screen in real time for your class. Also great for close-up photos for the Fossil ID forum . Here is the scope Here are some pictures taken with it: Mississippian Actinopterygii tooth (approximately 1 mm in length) Daphnia Tiny Snail
  3. Some focus stacking Experiments

    Greetings all, Now that we have a stationary camera on our new trinocuar stereo microscope, I tried some focus stacks, something I had never been able to do on fossils before! (I do it at work for geological specimens) I used Picolay - a free ware that works very well right out of the gate. you can get it here: http://www.picolay.de/ So here are some initial results. First, a tall spired gastropod that is about 2mm in size. I had 6 levels of focus from background to tip of the spire. First a single normal shot like I wold have had to settle for in the olden days: and now after a 6 step stack: Here is an Aviculopectin rim from the Fort Apache Limestone found recently, a very large and difficult piece to normally photograph. First the single frame: Now a 9 layer stack: I can get used to this! Comments?
  4. I'm ready to take the next step in preparation and start using a microscope. What is your method for using it for prepping? Do you use it outside the sandblasting cabinet, and set it up so it looks through the cabinet's glass? Or no cabinet? If that is the case, how do you protect the microscope optics from the abrasive? Also, any recommendations for a starter microscope? $300 or less... Thanks!
  5. Microfossil photography

    Hey everyone, I am wondering if anyone knows a professional microscope that can be used to photograph microfossils. I need to make pictures of fossils such as bonefish teeth, ptychotrygon teeth, etc, that are 2-3 mm big. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks for any help.
  6. Barlow lens

    I have a trinocular boom-arm stereo "dissecting scope" from USA Scopes (SMT-3412 SM), and the working distance is terrible. I want to buy a barlow (reduction lens) to increase working distance. My understanding is that they are attached to the existing objective lens rather than replacing the objective lens. I wrote USA Scopes, and they said they have a 0.5x auxiliary lens, but the thread diameter is the same as the objective lens (where it screws into the scope) and not the same as the "distal" threads on the objective lens. Is my understanding of the Barlow lens correct? I.e. the Barlow should be attached to the objective rather than a replacement of the objective? @Ptychodus04?
  7. The photos presented here are thin sections of a single chamber of an Ammonite. I recently obtained some broken fossil pieces from "Rocks and Gems Canada " for the purpose of slicing them and making thin sections for viewing through a microscope. The first samples are from a Chambered Ammonite. The area of interest is the filling in the chambers. If I am lucky there will be crystal formation, but most of the time it is just fill. This is a web presentation of the photos below The first two photos are the whole Ammonite as I received it. Photo one is a camera snapshot. Photo two is a stereo microscope composite of the Ammonite. The following photos are 1) Polarized light, 2) Polarized light with a Dark Field filter in place. Photos three and four are a single cell of the Ammonite showing what looks like crystal formations. Photos five and six a 4mm segment of the chamber edge. Photos seven and eight show a 1mm segment of a chamber edge.
  8. I wish to send my friend in the mail some specimens out of the acid bath of some super tiny gastropods that are like fly specks - so tiny that you need a microscope to see them. How should I do this so he can find them when they arrive? Im hoping for something from the hardware store, or locally.
  9. Bought a used microscope for prep work. What is the best way to develop hand eye coordination when looking through the microscope? is it just a matter of practice or is there a method to getting used to it? It is really awkward!!!!!
  10. Micro fossil picture book

    Can anyone suggest a good reference with lots of pictures about micro sized fossils? I would like to try and determine if the shapes are fossils of animal or vegetable matter. I make thin section slides of stones (less than 50mm in dia,) and occasionally see shapes that I think might be fossils. The shapes are small, generally less than 3mm in length and width. This is a sample of what I have found in local stones.
  11. A Suggestion for Making Thin Sections for Bryozoan Slides Free download
  12. Just cleaning storage and found 2 digital microscopes for trade. I would like to broaden my knowledge and will consider any fossil or extant material, or other items related to nature. Please PM me your offers #1: It works very well, the focus ring is smooth, so focusing is easy and takes little time. However, it's resolution is not ideal, at just 640x480 pixels, or 0.3MP. The closer you put the lens to an object, the bigger the magnification will be. Lift the microscope higher and the magnification will be lower, and you will be able to fit more things in the picture. If you let it touch the table, the field of view is about 12.5mm. This is almost the highest magnification, but if you fit something inside the cone to place your microfossil on, it will get even closer to the lens, so the field of view will be smaller and the magnification will be higher. For example, here is a picture taken by the microscope of a 2mm foram, with the foram on the table and the cone touching the table: And here is the same foram elevated inside the cone:
  13. Finding Micro-fossils

    I'm handy with a microscope; I have a nice low power stereo dissecting scope & 4-5 other microscopes plus a variety of hand lenses, hand held field microscope. I can do well enough with rock & mineral identification and not too bad with fossils. However, I'm not sure of what I'm looking when examining samples under the scope. Could use some guidance. Kim
  14. Hello all! It's rather hard for me right now to take good photos of fossils, especially when it comes to close-ups or specific small details. That is, because I have an old iPhone 5... I'm not really willing to get a new phone anytime soon, therefore I am looking for a lens or small microscope I can attach to my phone in order to make detailed photos of small fossils. I've made a bit of research, but it didn't prove itself to be very useful. That's why I am asking your help: what do you think is the best lens/microscope I could buy (for a cheap price, no more than 20 euros/dollars)? Or, what do you use to make your photos? Thanks already, Max
  15. Hey everyone, a recent post here inspired me to create a cheap digital microscope for photographing/analyzing small fossils based on this tutorial by Yoshinok on instructables.com - http://www.instructables.com/id/10-Smartphone-to-digital-microscope-conversion/. I made a few modifications to his design, mostly size adjustments and such, but either way it is important to note that I do not take any credit for the design and instructions that I am posting here, I am only doing it to show how I did it and how it can be used for paleontology purposes. All credit goes to Yoshinok on the above link. The device can magnify at 175x or higher depending on the number of lenses used. It allows you to use a smartphone to take pictures or videos of very tiny objects. Using two lenses, you can actually see individual cells (and their internal structure) of plants. First off, as an idea of what this device looks like, here is a photo of the final product, without the smartphone. The entire device is about 6 inches wide and 4 inches across, and weighs very little. Here is an image of fossilized shark cartilage (or is it? lets find out!) found in the Cretaceous of North Mississippi. The structure is very difficult to see with the naked eye. Shark cartilage is usually identified by the pattern of the cartilage, which can only really be seen at high magnification. Good thing we have a digital microscope! Here is the cartilage magnified at 175x. The prismatic shape of each piece (for lack of a better word) of the cartilage indicates that this is indeed shark cartilage. Now to the fun part, the equipment and parts you need to construct this beautiful machine. The original author of this design said you could make it for $10. Sure you can, if you buy stuff at the right stores and use cheap materials, but I found that using all stainless metals (which are a good idea to have) and buying from Lowe's, it was closer to $20 total (minus the smartphone and equipment used to make it). DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for any type of harm inflicted on someone making this device. The maker of this device claims full responsibility for any harm they do to themselves, others, or any inanimate and/or animate object within this universe. Equipment needed: - Some kind of saw, I used a scroll saw, but a jigsaw would work fine, or even a hand saw if you're careful. - Some kind of drill, I highly recommend a drill press as it is much easier to get straight holes with one, but a hand drill will work too if you do it right. - 5/16 inch and 11/64 inch drill bits - sandpaper, I used a Dremel tool with a sander attachment. hand sanders will work fine but will take more time. - Safety glasses and gloves - these are a must. Safety is your number one priority! These should be worn at all times. Parts needed: - 1x Piece of wood, at least 2 inches wider and 2 inches longer than your smartphone's length and width. Thickness should be at least a half inch for strength. - 3x 5/16 inch carriage bolts at least 3 inches long. - 9x 5/16 inch nuts - 5x 5/16 inch flat washers (not the tightening ones). - 2x 5/16 inch wing nuts - 1x piece of plexiglass/acrylic, Width must be at least as wide as our piece of wood, and at least as long as your piece of wood, plus 3 inches. Thickness should be about 1/8 inch. For example: if your wood is 6 inches long and 4 inches wide, your plexiglass should be 8 inches long and 5 inches wide. - 1x laser pointer (the super cheap kind, mine was like $2). The laser pointer has the lens you need in it. If you want 375x magnification, get two laser pointers. - 1x LED light. This is OPTIONAL. It is only needed for looking at translucent materials, like leaves. Most fossils are opaque so it is useless in that scenario. NOTE: If you don't have the equipment needed to build this, or just simply don't feel like it, I would be happy to buy the materials and make one for you if you trade a fossil for it. I like teeth, especially Cretaceous teeth of dinosaurs . Just PM me about it and we will go from there, but I highly advise making your own, simply because it is fun and educational! Here are my parts that I used: STEP 1: Get the lens out of the laser pointer. - Remove the cap from the tip of the laser pointer like shown. The lens is in the black plastic cap. This can vary between different laser pointers Here is the lens - Now take the acrylic you bought and use a pen to outline the dimensions of your wood base on the acrylic, and then cut it on the lines. Note: Acrylic breaks very easy, and often splinters, so go slow and be careful. - Next, mark three holes with a pen - two on the front corners and one on the back middle side of the wood base. Use the 5/16 inch drill bit to drill holes on the points you marked all the way through the wood. - Using the holes you just drilled a guides, mark the same holes on the piece of acrylic you already cut and drill it out all the way through. - Outline your specimen slide with the pen with the width of your already cut acrylic, and length about 1.5 inches. Then cut this piece out. - Drill two holes on each side of the specimen slide, at the same locations of the holes you drilled on front side of the already cut acrylic. - Drill a hole in the front of the main acrylic piece (the side with the two holes) using an 11/64 inch drill bit. Push the lens into this hole. It will be a tight fit, and needs to be, but if it doesn't go in at all, try widening the hole in tiny increments using the drill bit until the lens just barely fits in the hole. DO NOT use glue to hold it in, you risk getting it on the lens and ruining it if you do. - Push the carriage bolts though the holes at the bottom of the wood base you drilled out, as shown. - Place a washer on all three carriage bolts, and then a nut on each bolt. Tighten the nuts down. See image below. - Place a wing nut upside down on each of the front two carriage bolts, and then a washer on top of each of these. Slide the specimen slide down the carriage bolt on top of the washers. - Now add a nut on each carriage bolt, slide the main acrylic piece onto the bolts, and tighten it down with another nut on each carriage bolt. The final product should look like this from the front. NOTE: For higher magnification, put another lens on top of the first one (may require thicker acrylic). You are ready to take microscopic pictures now! To use the device, put an object on the specimen slide directly underneath the lens, and align your smartphone's camera with the lens. To focus the microscope, adjust the height of the specimen slide using the wing nuts until you see the image clearly. This distance is called the focal point, and isa characteristic of the lens. My focal point was at a distance of about 1 cm, so the slide should be pretty close to the lens. If anyone has any questions or suggestions, please let me know! Also, here is a shark tooth under the microscope
  16. When the wheels of industry grind to a halt, one looks for ways to occupy their time while on the clock. I was recently trained on using a scanning electron microscope, but I felt like I needed more practice . I've been wanting to see how some of my fossils might look at high magnification, soooooooooo...... First, I tried an Engonoceras serpentinum (the one on the right) that I recently found in the Waco Research Pit. Under the microscope, it looks like this... I also checked out a pyritized ammonite that my wife found. Under the microscope, it looked like this... This was fun, but it got me thinking. The more highly damaged, pyritized ammonite seems to have a different crystal structure than the better preserved Engonoceras. Could it be that one is pyrite and the other marcasite? Or has the more damaged specimen simply oxidized from pyrite to a different mineral form? Or are the crystals simply more tightly packed on the Engonoceras and therefore I'm just unable to tell that the minerals have the same general shape? Thanks for enduring my stream of consciousness...
  17. Hi, I am trying to purchase a microscope which will allow the study of small foraminifera (around 100 micron in size). I've just received an Amscope, 3.5x-180x dissecting zoom stereo microscope and, after trying it out, I have the feeling this is not the winner. I can only use it at maximum power (180x) and this magnification is....ok but not enough. The image at this magnification is not very sharp either. It would be a struggle to identify my smallest specimens. Taking photos of them is almost an impossible task (I don't have a trilocular, I am just trying to take photos with a camera, through the eye piece). Could you please help and recommend what would be best to use for 100 micron size fossil? And I need to see them well enough to identify small morphology details. I am considering returning this and ordering a 3.5x-225x, which seems to be the highest magnification for a stereo microscope you can get from Amscope. That could probably do the job but still not make me extremely happy. Any ideas where I could find more powerful stereo microscopes which don't cost a fortune? Is it worth considering getting a compound microscope from Amscope? These have magnification ranges between 40x and 2000x but...are they the tools to use for foraminifera? I've only used stereo microscopes in university so far, nobody seemed to use compound ones for foraminifera. Also, any ideas if these things are any good: http://www.amscope.com/stereo-microscopes/500x-2mp-digital-usb-zoom-8-led-3d-microscope.html ? Sorry to throw so many questions at you. Any help would be much appreciated. Regards, Angela
  18. Can anyone give me suggestions as far as what to look for in a microscope for prep work? I have a 1950's Bausch and Lomb but the working distance is too short and I can't see how I can attach a Barlow lens to it as there are no threads on the bottom lens.
  19. Cheap Usb Microsope Testing

    I think, that many fossil collectors already experienced problem, that some interresting details on fossils are too small for naked eye. Standard microscope can be usefull, but its not very comfortable and if you want even to take some pictures (and you often want), it is very hard to use. Over 1 year ago I have found, that there exists something like USB microscope. Good information is, that they are being sold at eBay for quite a good prices. I have been waiting for over one year and finally decided to buy one. It costs me about 25 USD with free shipping, so I think that nearly anyone can afford to buy it. Yes, that sounds like an advertisement, but now I will continue with interresting things, as it has come today into my hands and I have finally tried it. Here are my results... My microscope is officially offering 50x - 500x magnifying. For now I dont know how to test whether it is 500, or 400, but its not very important for me. What is important - if you are not working with microfossils, dont care to buy 500x or more, if 200x will be cheaper. Zooming and focusing are controlled with only one controller and I have found, that usually, you are only allowed to focus at about 50x and 500x zoom. Everything what is in between is quite hard to use, but if anyone has a good tip, give it please. Using smaller zoom, for example 20x would be usefull, but it is not possible and using 500x is quite problematic for "standard" fossils. In all pictures I will put there, I have used about 50x, or 500x zoom (except the picture of microscope naturally). Microscope with Oxycerites cf. orbis for size comparison (max. diameter is about 11cm) Grid 0.1x0.1 mm at 50x Same grid at 500x 1 cent (EUR) at 50x same coin at 500x Oxynoticeras oxynotum. Diameter of ammonite is 15 mm. This is last suture before phragmocone, diameter in this place should be about 9 mm and whorl width about 4 or 5 mm. Part of dirt on miocene gastropod Turritella fragilis at 500x. I have tried to find that piece of nacre with naked eye, but failed. Hecticoceratid ammonite at 50x. Nice to see, that protoconch is preserved. Ammonite is about 4 mm big. Same ammonite at 500x Something for vertebrate fans - seration on outer side of Carcharodontosaurus tooth at 50x Same serations at 500x Trilobite Changaspis elongata at 50x. Total length is about 8 mm. When taking picture, it has been seen better than now, but it is still very good I think, as presevation is not the best. At 500x, I have found there is a tiny crystal on it. It should be about 0.1 mm tall. Wing of french tertiary insect from Provence. Length of wing is about 6 mm. If anyone has any tips, or want me to try something, let me know. I have not edited pictures to make them looks better. I have only changed format from bmp to jpg, resized them (microscope has camera of 2MP, but its more than it can use) and lowered quality (but this is hard to see on pictures) to be able to upload them there.
  20. Digital Imager For Microscopes

    So I have been playing around with taking pictures through my microscopes over the last year or so and so far I have not bee terribly impressed by the quality of the images. I purchased a Celestron 2MP digital imager (http://www.amazon.com/Celestron-Digital-Microscope-Imager-44421/dp/B003DVP7CE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385480943&sr=8-1&keywords=digital+imager) which was quite cheap ($35) last year and the picture quality is pretty poor, which is about what I expect for 2MP. I have a DSLR camera and a mount that I have used, but I have an older DSLR without live view which makes focusing and otherwise seeing whats going on very difficult. I like being able to hook the microscope imager up to my laptop and see exactly what I am doing as I take pictures and video, or just use it as a more comfortable way to view whats going on under the scope. I want something higher quality, but the price for digital imagers over the 2MP range jumps up substantially and I want to know if anyone has used them and can speak to the quality. The one I am specifically looking at is a 5MP unit from Amscope (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005N9ZJOU/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=2LCNHN559KS87&coliid=I25GSNC3PICTTK). I just want to make sure I am not having quality issues from something else, as I look at the sample pictures from the Celestron adverts and they look a lot sharper than the ones I have taken (which might just be typically over optimistic advertising). I have also noticed when using my DSLR setup that the depth of field is incredibly shallow so only a small slice of the fossil is in focus. Is there anything that can be done about this other than using stacking software? I have included some photos from my Celestron unit to give an idea of the quality I am currently dealing with.
  21. Hello I am looking at purchasing a stereoscope, of which I know very little about! I have narrowed it down to these two models, and would like some feedback on which one would be better for viewing / working on fossils. The big difference between the two is 3.5 - 90x zoom vs 2.0 - 90x zoom. ( from what I can tell) These are Omax brand, probably similar in quality to Amscope. ( I would have chosen Amscope, but seems that there are no distributors in Canada, so costs mount with customs / freight, etc) Also wondering which lighting is best - fluorescent or LED. These are LED, but fluorescent is less expensive. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Regards. The two that I have chosen. http://www.microscopenet.com/35x90x-boom-stand-microscope-30mp-camera144-lig ht-p-9190.html http://www.microscopenet.com/30mp-digital-camera-stereo-zoom-microscope-2x90x144-light-p-9263.html
  22. I need advice how to choose the appropriate LED ring light for a B&L Stereozoom 4 microscope. Looking online, I see that ring lights range from 25 LEDs through 56 LEDs through 144 LEDs. Obviously more light is ususally better when working with scopes but as I'm trying to maintain some semblence of a budget, I'm in the 56 LED range. I got an offer for a 40 LED ring light ($1/LED) but don't know if 40 is sufficient (and helps my budget!) or I should get a 56. I'm using this scope at lower magnifications (< 20x), prepping Green River fish and looking for mesofossils and larger microfossils. What do people suggest and what size of ringlights do people use? Thanks!