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Lomo multiscope and photography

 
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Hoca



Joined: 16 Jan 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 2:20 pm    Post subject: Lomo multiscope and photography Reply with quote

It took me long to decide which microscope to buy, I wanted phase contrast, a new scope, and in the range of under 1,500$. Either it is a chinese scope or a LOMO multiscope on that price range. The configurations for the LOMO were interesting, since it offers for 1,076$ a phase contrast through opticplanet.net.

I haven't bought the microscope yet, I need few advice first, I wanted to use it also for photography and have not much money to spend on expensive cameras. I already have a good quality camera, but don't want to waste that one plugged on the scope.

I wanted a camera on the 200$ price range that could be mounted on the Lomo multiscope TMH4-PH pretty easily without having to spend hundreds of dollars on adaptors etc. I want it to be fixed solidly on it, to minimize vibrations to the maximum.

The only camera on that price range I found that has some sort of thread that could be used I found was the Canon a510, I could use a filter adapter to hold the camera on the scope.

Now, the question, is which of the three configuration would be best? The Video, Photo or Eyepiece option?

Thanks.
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Ken Ramos
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Joined: 04 May 2004
Posts: 4809
Location: Western North Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm...you haven't bought the scope yet. There are a lot of good scopes out there and I am not knocking the Chinese mass produced models but since you are willing to spend a little over a $1000, you may want to consider the Zeiss Axiostar off the top. It sells for around $1300 at the most. However for photography you are going to have to add a trinocular head which is going to run you about $600 more not counting the camera.

However regardless of your choice in scopes you are going to spend money getting set up. Not trying to discourage you but just to give you a heads up. If you are really interested in doing microphotography you may not mind the cost to much but there are much simpler and cheaper ways to go just to test the waters and to see where you stand in your interests.

Might I suggest this post as a starting point where another member is considering going into microscopy. You may find it helpful. Click Here

Now that, that is out of the way. I would like to welcome you to our community. It is always good to see new members joining in. Very Happy We have a great group of folks here both on the Macro and Micro side of the house and they are always ready to share their experiences and advice on a host of things from cameras and lenses to buying microscopes. Also these folks have a wealth of technical expertiese that they are willing to share. Very Happy

Once again, as for the selection of your new scope, I hope the link will give you some idea(s) as to what you want to do. If you have anymore questions please by all means feel free to ask. I hope some of our other members may be able to help you along also. Second, third, and fourth opinions, maybe more, are always good to have. Very Happy
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Reposts of my images within the galleries are welcome, as are constructive critical critiques.
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Hoca



Joined: 16 Jan 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply.

I have already checked for the Axiostar, the trinocular is a must for me, which will mean that I have to spend near 2000 $, and this without the phase contrast. And if I want that too, I will probably have to add another 1000 $.

The LOMO I am considering (multiscope TMH4-PH) comes with the phase contrast and trinocular head for 1176 $, which is about 1/3 of the price of the Axiostar with trinocular and phase contrast. There are other upgrades available for it if ever I want them, like the darkfield, or even water immersion objectives.

My main problem here, is that the scope comes with three different trinocular options, Video, Photo or Eyepiece and I don't know which one to choose. I probably will need a lens there as a relay, I have read on the link you provided that you have used an eyepieces for that. Would that mean that the Eyepiece solution is better for what I want to do? Also, do those trinoculars come with the third ocular lensless, which means that the picture I will take will be magnified depending on the Zoom of the camera X the objective? Also, if I configurate it this way, without a relay lens, will I have aberations (spherical etc.) because oculars correct such aberrations, if they do?

I thought I could use a quickcam, removing all the lens and using an eyepieces as lens. But 640X480 is low for still image, and will I have no problem by removing the lens, which I guess contain the infrared filter?

I know I am asking many questions, but I want to be prepared before buying.
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Ken Ramos
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Joined: 04 May 2004
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Location: Western North Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not know if the LOMO will come with the eyepiece in the trinocular head, I would ask before I buy, if not and that is what you want make sure the dealer knows.

There are different ways to take microphotographs. You could use a projection eyepiece where the image is focused directly on the CCD without a camera lens or you could shoot directly through an eyepiece in the trinocular or photo tube using a commercially available consumer type digital camera, which is what I do.

LOMOs are good microscopes but my problem with them is that they have two different means of focusing. Fine focus, I believe, is accomplished by stage movement and coarse focus by the movement of the entire microscope tube assembly. This means keeping the camera parafocal with the microscope eyepiece is going to be difficult unless you use something like the Orion SteadyPix adapter which clamps directly to the photo tube of the trinocular head and allows the camera to be attached above the eyepiece lens so that it rides with the microscope tube assembly on the focusing rail.

You ask if the eyepiece solution or configuration is best for what you want to do? That depends on if you want highly professional images or those suitable for say, classroom use. Personally I would prefer to take highly defined professional images but my wallet says otherwise, so I opt for my Sony DSC series cameras and an Orion SteadyPix adapter.

As for some other products offered by manufacturers of camera adapters, I would stay away from those that use various relay lenses and adapters that fit to your eyepiece, seldom do they live up to their claims. I used one on a Canon G5, now both are homes to spiders. The G5 has about a .25 sec. shutter lag before firing which means missed shots and the camera adapter lens reduced image quality. Now I am out $500+ for the G5 and $350 for the adapter. A very costly mistake!!!

As for using the zoom feature on a digital camera, I am against it. It degrades the image quality IMO. Get some good imaging software like Photo Shop or Photo Impact to crop your images with so you can remove that circular field produced by eyepiece shooting, if you choose that route.

I really do not know what else to tell you. LOMOs are good scopes but they are still limited as to what you can do with them and they have that dual focusing issue to contend with. If you are going to spend a thousand bucks, I would add a couple of hundered more and go with a scope that is designed around a complete system. I know the Zeiss Axiostar is and I would venture to say Nikon, Olympus, Leica, and a few others are too. I bought my Axiostar stock. I added upgrades to it as time and money permitted. It is a wonderful scope, I have had no problems with it and I wouldn't trade it for a gold monkey. Good things take time. Very Happy

BTW you stated:
Quote:
I have already checked for the Axiostar, the trinocular is a must for me, which will mean that I have to spend near 2000 $, and this without the phase contrast. And if I want that too, I will probably have to add another 1000 $.


You are so right! Wink
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Kenneth Ramos
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Kens Microscopy
Reposts of my images within the galleries are welcome, as are constructive critical critiques.
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mvbrooks



Joined: 26 Apr 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Coburg, Oregon

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:34 am    Post subject: Zeiss Reply with quote

Ken, please excuse the extreme ignorance, but I am thinking of taking your advice and getting the Zeiss microscope. Perhaps a bit of history. I am a 58 year old engineer who also builds old fashioned bamboo fly rods (from scratch...I used to work for the H.L. Leonard Rod Company in my youth). In any event, I have alwqays been fascinated by microscopic life in frsh water and fresh water ecology in general and remember just how much fun it was to look at pond water with microscope in college. So, I am looking to get something I can do that again with and take some photographs, too.

I went to the Zeiss site and registered and got some prices and cannot make sense of anything I am seeing. I see an Axiostart plus ICS SE package with 5x, 10x, 40x, 100x a $1,580 and a "special promotion" for a series of Axiostar models (Axiostart Plus f/BF:5/40/100x etc.) that are much more money. Can you translate what I am looking at? Or, even better, allow me to contact you or your friend at Zeiss about what sort of equipment I really need? If you email me a telephone number and convenient time to call, I would be delighted. P.S. I saw your web site and the photographs are astounding.

Thank you.
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HamSki7



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Olympia, WA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:09 pm    Post subject: LOMO Reply with quote

I am new to this forum. I just received my LOMO multiscopescope TMH4-BF-(V,F,E). I have not taken any photos with it yet as I am still calibrating and adapting to the way I want it.
I wanted to comment on Ken's post about the dual focusing. The fine focus is a wheel at the base of the scope and different from the stage, track, coarse focus. The trinocular head down to the objectives is a fixed unit, however, so the eyepiece/camera parfocus should not change with focusing. I have not used one of these scopes since college, but I do have extensive experience with dissecting scopes and clinical microscopy and macrophotography in dentistry.
Jeff
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