Jump to content
Nicholas

Macro Anyone?

Recommended Posts

Nicholas

So, I have lots of micro fossils. I consider micro to be smaller than a dime. These include shark teeth, mammal teeth, small bones, shells, and other inverts. My problem is my camera doesn't do micro, I spent all day taking pictures of my collection for my catalog and for the forum and nothing to show for it. So I really need a new camera, something that takes amazing pictures of tiny things.

Any suggestions?

Also the other issue with my camera is when you turn a jaw section up to look at the surface of the teeth everything is sharp and clear with the exception of the surfaces of the teeth.

I'm rather irritated at the moment over this so any helpful ideas would be great. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Auspex

You might try shooting through a loupe or hand lens to get closer.

Strong lighting is needed for good results, including good depth of field and accurate autofocus. You can fine-tune the focus by holding the shutter button half-way down to pre-focus, then move the camera in/out to get what you want into focus and then finish depressing the shutter. Be still on follow-through; digitals have a shutter lag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tracer

most of the brand-name 10 or 12 megapixel compact cameras being sold now would take macros that'd you'd be ok with, if your lighting's good and you don't shake the camera. and some of those cameras have gotten pretty cheap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lordpiney

you can download picassa, and crop the pics. that is how i used to do it before i got a better camera.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nicholas

I ended up borrowing a family members camera, I went from a 4 to a 6 mega pixel and the difference was definitely noticeable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
grampa dino

I was going to ask what type of camera you have?

Look at the photo whats ya macallit on this forum

there is some good info there.

I used Picassa and found it took over anything graphic on my puter :beerhat: :coldb: :pic:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ashcraft

Buy a DSLR. I know they are expensive, but you will not regret it. I know you have mentioned grad school, I have used mine to great effect for my thesis defense. Then you can get a good macro lens and you'll be able to take pictures of fleas on a gnats butt. I like canon, and use a 28-75 2.8 tamron lens for most of my pics, it's not a macro lens, but it does better then decent. Macro is on my short list to buy. New, lower end, like Rebel xsi (don't think cheap, think non-professional but serious amature) with a good piece of glass, around $1000, yes, lots of money, but YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.

Brent Ashcraft

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tracer

it is possible to do some modest improvement of pics with software when it comes to slightly out-of-focus stuff. i use a function called "unsharp mask" for that in the gimp. but there's no substitute for a good lens doing it right in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harry Pristis

That small stuff can get you to the point of grinding your teeth I know, 'Nicholas'.

No one has yet mentioned the obvious, so I will: Close-up photography is much easier with a tripod. Photographing micro-fossils REQUIRES a tripod.

Perhaps I'm overstating it, but not by much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pleecan

I have been imaging microphotography for more than a decade.

One potential configuration:

To properly image microfossil ..... You need to get a stereo binocular microscope (zoom type) mounted on boom stand with 0.5X barlow to increase the field of view. Get a photo-adapter to plug into the ocular, remote cable release, a good light source as a recommendation. I shoot at one megapixel= photographic with my 4 megapixel Nikon. Pixels are overblown marketing tool ....PL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nicholas

Appreciate the tips guys.

Harry, I soon learned that a tripod was an essential! I was JUST getting the camera focused and then a little wiggle from my hand threw it off... it was a nightmare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
grampa dino

First win the 649

and THEN TO H#LL WITH with ALL

LIKE i SAID WHAT TYPE OF CAMERA ???

WITH OUT KNOWING THAT ALL i CAN DO

IS HAVE ANOTHER BOTTLE OF WINE

RAN OUT OF BEER lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nicholas

Right now I'm getting the best results with a Samsung s639 6 megapix.

My other one is a Kodak not sure of the brand, 4 megapix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Acryzona

Hi Nicholas,

In my opinion, both of your cameras are more than adequete for photographing meso and microfossils. I agree with Pleecan that it is much easier to photograph the small stuff with a binocular microscope and an adapter between the camera and the scope and of course plenty of light. I picked up a binocular scope on a nice boom stand for $200 on Ebay during the holidays. Depending on the setup, you may or may not need a tripod. I use a Nikon Coolpix 4500 with a 10x eyepiece that it threaded so it screws directly onto the 4500. My stage is lit with fiber optic light (again from Ebay!)

Because ostracods are much smaller than shark teeth, I need to use a 2x supplemental lens which reduces my depth of focus. I try to make up for that by taking a series of photos, each at slighty different focuses (foci?)and then using CombineZ (free software available online) which takes the stack of photos and creates one composite image. I'm still a novice on using the software but I've posted a gallery on the Forum.

Please post some your photos. I like to see them and learn how other people photograph the small stuff. Photomicrography is the only way I can share my collection with other people. :)

Acryzona

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Auspex

...taking a series of photos, each at slighty different focuses (foci?)and then using CombineZ (free software available online) which takes the stack of photos and creates one composite image...

I will have to look into this; "layering" of images holds a lot of promise!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Acryzona

I will have to look into this; "layering" of images holds a lot of promise!

Auspex, just google "Combinez" it's the first link.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pleecan

Acryzona: I also am currently using Nikon Coolpix 4500 also as the prefered camera over digital SLR. PL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ashcraft

I will have to look into this; "layering" of images holds a lot of promise!

You can also do it with Photoshop-elements, although it isn't free.

Brent Ashcraft

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeD

I will have to look into this; "layering" of images holds a lot of promise!

I know a guy that does that with trilobites and such. He has pretty good results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pleecan

Software interpolation of realities (image stacking) not as good as getting the proper optics for the application with increase depth of view. PL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Placoderms

I have to say I've seen some stunning photo's after they were ran through a software stacker. My fiends have special hardware to hold the camera and they pay for the software. Once I get some of my stuff done I will post the results...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Taxman56

Go Old School with a decent digital camera if you have a lens mount on it. You can buy used 2x, 3x, 10x screw on lenses and put them on your digital camera. Camera stores that sell used stuff probably sell these for a few bucks.

I used some 3x lens on my older Olympus and got some great shots of bees and ants and some flowers. Depth of field is limited but when you get what you want in focus, WOW.

I couldn't find the bee's but I had some flowers done with a 2x lens

None of these pictures were photoshoped or cropped

post-2447-12639637025248_thumb.jpg

post-2447-12639637495784_thumb.jpg

post-2447-12639637728234_thumb.jpg

Edited by Taxman56

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Foram-Mike

Dear Nicholas,

as a microfossil-hunter (objects commonly below 1mm) I use an eye-piece camera on a 3-tube-microscope with 5 Megapixel, shoot single images with different areas of sharpness and stack them with the software "Helicon Focus". The SF allows manual work to correct errors of automated stacking.

As to my knowledge the definition of microfossils is "not visible to the naked eye", which at my age :) may be interpreted as objects below 1mm or 1000µm. Small parts of bigger fossils are no microfossils. Wikipedia says: Microfossils are fossils generally not larger than four millimeters, and commonly smaller than one millimeter, the study of which requires the use of light or electron microscopy.

The shot of a recent 1,3mm sized foraminifera "Peneroplis" illustrates the outcome of my way to do it - not perfect, but a good, well priced result at a reasonable time of 30 Minutes. 30-50µm sized structures of the test are still recognizable.

Cheers

Michael

post-1517-12644981067941_thumb.jpg

Edited by Foram-Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pleecan

Very nice work Michael. I am not familiar with a 3" tube microscope...What sort of effective magnification are you able to acheive with your setup?( is this a compound microscope rather than disecting scope?)The camera eyepiece is usually 10X magnification... what is the objective lens magnification? Thanks.

PL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
grampa dino

Dear Nicholas,

as a microfossil-hunter (objects commonly below 1mm) I use an eye-piece camera on a 3-tube-microscope with 5 Megapixel, shoot single images with different areas of sharpness and stack them with the software "Helicon Focus". The SF allows manual work to correct errors of automated stacking.

As to my knowledge the definition of microfossils is "not visible to the naked eye", which at my age :) may be interpreted as objects below 1mm or 1000µm. Small parts of bigger fossils are no microfossils. Wikipedia says: Microfossils are fossils generally not larger than four millimeters, and commonly smaller than one millimeter, the study of which requires the use of light or electron microscopy.

The shot of a recent 1,3mm sized foraminifera "Peneroplis" illustrates the outcome of my way to do it - not perfect, but a good, well priced result at a reasonable time of 30 Minutes. 30-50µm sized structures of the test are still recognizable.

Cheers

Michael

Some time ago I asked the question what is a Macro fossil and what is a Micro fossil, with no reply.

I found out the answer to the question on my own. thanks for your answer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×