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New Amber Photography Setup


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holdinghistory

A while back I had posted asking about amber photography. Well, after a lot of research, and some expensive upgrades, I finally figured out a good setup. I am using a Cannon Rebel, with a 200mm lens, a few adapters, and infinity objective lens. The whole setup is mounted to an automated stacking rail and connected to my computer. I will usually take 100-250 photos per inclusion, and then stack them with a stacking software (Zerene Stacker). The end result depends a lot on the quality of the inclusion itself, as well as the clarity and shape of the amber piece, and the position of the inclusion inside it. But with a good piece of amber, I am extremely pleased with the results.Setup.thumb.jpg.a9c1c5feeef895d04a97f338497379d0.jpgCamera.thumb.jpg.c2ad3fc1d79094b0719368d9d0417b32.jpg

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holdinghistory

Some neat inclusions. First up, a midge with water droplets on the wings.

 

BM524.thumb.jpg.1e211c060c115846262a64e9b5849bb5.jpg

 

Not the easiest one to photograph, but it is a spider attacking a fly.

 

AA1-9.thumb.jpg.31aa304b5bfbcfa6b4ea0dac8ff345cc.jpg

 

Last one, a seed with spider web strands attached to it.

 

Webbing.thumb.jpg.2407bd035dc906025e186bfe942c1500.jpg

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Darktooth

Absolutely stunning pics!

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Outstanding! I do not understand the lens/attachment set-up. Please provide more information on those components; as well as camera settings (assuming you do not deem them proprietary).  

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Wow. I have to say that I’m almost wanting to buy the pictures as opposed to the fossils! These are phenomenal.

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DevonianDigger

Great... Now I have to buy even more gear...:doh!:

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Tidgy's Dad

Utterly incredible photos! :)

Thanks for sharing, really so beautiful. 

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holdinghistory
2 hours ago, Kane said:

Wow. I have to say that I’m almost wanting to buy the pictures as opposed to the fossils! These are phenomenal.

Maybe I should start making posters then :D.

 

3 hours ago, snolly50 said:

Outstanding! I do not understand the lens/attachment set-up. Please provide more information on those components; as well as camera settings (assuming you do not deem them proprietary).  

It will vary a little bit depending on the lens and camera you are using. Basically, you need an adapter for the lens to the camera, and for the microscope objective to the lens. Camera settings are for me just trial and error, finding what works. Depends on the light you are using and the overall setup. The lighting is most important, since a well lit piece is relatively easy to adjust the settings for. 

 

3 hours ago, DevonianDigger said:

Great... Now I have to buy even more gear...:doh!:

I hear you, seems like there is no end to the gizmos and gadgets that come in handy! Between photography and prep.... The lenses and adapters are not too bad for cost (I have several different ones that I use depending on the piece, maybe a couple hundred bucks total), but the software and rail gets pricey.

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11 minutes ago, holdinghistory said:

It will vary a little bit depending on the lens and camera you are using. Basically, you need an adapter for the lens to the camera, and for the microscope objective to the lens. Camera settings are for me just trial and error, finding what works. Depends on the light you are using and the overall setup. The lighting is most important, since a well lit piece is relatively easy to adjust the settings for. 

Thanks, I was unaware of the existence of microscope objective to camera lens adapters. I was able to quickly find more info after your prompt. Thanks again, great images.

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  • 2 weeks later...

All I can say is WOW! Amazing photos! Thank you for sharing your process and the photos themselves.

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  • 1 year later...

Looks like you have found a solution to Amber photos. I have been using a Canon 50D mounted on a Velbon Super Mag  Slider. For objectives I use a Zhongyi

20mm Super Macro (4x). For larger bugs I use a Amscope SP A2 (2x) microscope objective with a 130mm tube. I do stacking with Helicon and manually stepping the

Super Mag. Not quite as good as your stepper, but with practice and patience I can get decent pix. I think you have seen some of pix on online (rose_1949_9 Dixon).

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Bob Saunders

I'm not clear but did you drill a hole in a lens cap and attache a microscope objective lens? And what power objective. I have extras for vintage microscopes. 

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holdinghistory

No, there is a lens adapter made specific for objectives so that it screws in. I use anything from a 1x to a 10x, but most of them are with a 4x.

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  • 6 months later...
Barrelcactusaddict

I'm completely new to macro photography, and I need some way of photographing my amber inclusions. I've tried various digital microscopes, but they don't give me the results I want; I know nothing about professional photography, much less how to work anything like a Nikon D7500. It's very discouraging to not be able to find something simple that works well and is affordable.

 

I'm on a tight budget, and I'm looking for a setup that is very simple to use: can anyone recommend something like this that's hopefully under $750??

 

Thank you!

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Barrelcactusaddict
On 5/1/2018 at 5:28 PM, holdinghistory said:

A while back I had posted asking about amber photography. Well, after a lot of research, and some expensive upgrades, I finally figured out a good setup. I am using a Cannon Rebel, with a 200mm lens, a few adapters, and infinity objective lens. The whole setup is mounted to an automated stacking rail and connected to my computer. I will usually take 100-250 photos per inclusion, and then stack them with a stacking software (Zerene Stacker). The end result depends a lot on the quality of the inclusion itself, as well as the clarity and shape of the amber piece, and the position of the inclusion inside it. But with a good piece of amber, I am extremely pleased with the results.Setup.thumb.jpg.a9c1c5feeef895d04a97f338497379d0.jpgCamera.thumb.jpg.c2ad3fc1d79094b0719368d9d0417b32.jpg

Can I ask what the specific adapters are that you use to attach to the 200mm lens? I'm hoping to soon purchase an RMS adapter(s) for the same type of setup for use w/ a Canon EOS Rebel T1i with 60mm and 55-250mm EF-S lenses. What would I need to attach to the EF-S lenses?

 

Also, would a manual rail work well instead of an automatic one?

 

Thank you!

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holdinghistory

Afraid I don't remember what the adapters were anymore, just some generic stuff off online if I recall. A manual rail definitely can work. It is a bit less precise though, and takes a lot more work. The automatic one paid off for me since I photograph so many amber pieces, but I would imagine that a manual rail could definitely work as a hobby.

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Barrelcactusaddict

That's okay, thanks for letting me know. I imagine I could possibly drill a .8" hole in the end of a lens cap, but I'm not sure that would be precise or sturdy enough to hold an objective lens. Guess I'll just have to do more searching around. ;)

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  • 2 months later...
Barrelcactusaddict

Hi!

 

I recently purchased a Canon Rebel T1i and a EF-S 60mm f/2.8 macro lens; I have some adapters on the way (one for the lens and the other to mount directly to the camera body), and I was curious if I should use a finite or infinite objective with the 60mm lens (and if an infinite objective would work with mounting directly to the camera body).

 

Or, should I just buy a different lens? I just now read an article from "extreme-macro.co.uk" that stated that a macro lens isn't as good a choice for this approach as is a telephoto lens, and I'm a little concerned and confused.

 

I'm uncertain what type of objective would work with my 60mm lens, and I was hoping you may be able to advise me. I just want to be sure before of these few things before I invest in a new microscope objective.

 

Thank you so much!

 

Sincerely,

Kaegen

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