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New Microscope, First Image Post

 
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lacerta



Joined: 12 Feb 2005
Posts: 139
Location: Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 7:25 pm    Post subject: New Microscope, First Image Post Reply with quote

You guys have set some pretty high standards here. So it is with a bit of trepidation that I offer my first image post. Got a new 'scope: a National Optical DC5-163. It has a built in CMOS digital/video camera, the MC2000 (2 mega pixel) by Motic, and is supported by Motic's software Motic Images Plus 2.0 that allows live feed to my computer via USB-2 connection, along with video (.avi) recording and still-image capture. The optics/resolution of the microscope is superb, but I feel the camera doesn't doesn't quite measure up to what I am actually seeing as I look into the binocular eyepiece. Anyway, here goes:



Shot with high-dry 40x obj. I think it is a Euplotes. I have seen many of these from laboratory cultures. Usually the standard dorsal or ventral view. It wasn't till I found this "wild" one that I got an appreciation for how well they can articulate their appendage-like cirri and use them like legs to crawl over debris. It acts more like a cockroach then a ciliate. It was tough to get this shot as I had to chase and focus with one hand and use the other to hit the mouse button. Minimal touch-up in PS Elements - I think I bumped up the contrast just a tad. I find that the "sharpen" feature usually makes it worse by creating more obvious pixelation.
George
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Ken Ramos
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Joined: 04 May 2004
Posts: 4809
Location: Western North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good image George Very Happy Yep, sure looks like a Euplotes to me. I have to agree with you on that sharpening thing. Photo Impact does about the same. You apply sharpening and you get extreamly highlighted pixels no matter which degree of sharpening you use. Photo Impact 6 does have a "spot" sharpening feature where you can pin point an area and apply some sharpening to it. I have found that feature to be useful. Very Happy As for your Motic Imaging software, it looks like you had much better success with it than I did. I sent my Motic Cam (eyepiece version) back to them. Confused
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Kenneth Ramos
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Reposts of my images within the galleries are welcome, as are constructive critical critiques.
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Kenv



Joined: 24 May 2004
Posts: 852
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi George - certainly looks like Euplotes. As you say the resolution could be better, 2 megapixels is a bit low for this kind of work. I don't think this image is suffering as much from pixelation as it is from digital noise - maybe if you download Neatimage (Free) you could get rid of the noise which would clean the image up a lot. When you sharpen your image you also sharpen the noise and that makes it so much worse.
Kenv
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Steve West



Joined: 10 Oct 2004
Posts: 545
Location: Tucson, AZ USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a great image--congrats!

About the sharpening--you say it usually causes more pixelation. Do you mean of the background or the image or both? You can control a lot of this pixelation by choosing a threshold of 5 or 10. That means the sharpener will not attempt to sharpen stuff with too low of an intensity difference. This is how you can highly sharpen images with blue sky without further pixelating the sky. This is also done for sharpening portraits, so you can sharpen the hair and clothes but not the skin.

You can also apply neat image prior to sharpening so there's less pixelation to sharpen to begin with.

I really like the threshold option for the unsharp mask. As I recall, photoimpact 6 does not have a threshold option. It came with PI 8 or 10--I can't recall. Adobe always had a threshold option.

Steve
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 13 Jul 2004
Posts: 1200
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

George... you should be pleased, this is a really nice image. A side view of these guys is a much harder shot than when you are looking at the dorsal or ventral side. Let's see more now!
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twebster
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Joined: 19 Apr 2004
Posts: 1518
Location: Phoenix "Valley of the Sun", Arizona, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi ya' George Very Happy

I agree with the others...This is a great first image post Exclamation Very Happy For a 2 megapixel camera I think this captured plenty of detail. Let's see more Exclamation Very Happy

As regards sharpening...One of the reasons I use Photoshop is the "Unsharp Mask" filter. However, regardless of the program used, I find that you have to sharpen an image little by little rather than all at once. I never sharpen a raw image file. I will crop and set the resolution of the image first then sharpen the image. Instead of applying a single filter setting all at one time I will make several applications of a lighter sharpen setting. This builds sharpness in an image without creating large amounts of sharpening artifacts.

Best regards to all as always, Very Happy
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lacerta



Joined: 12 Feb 2005
Posts: 139
Location: Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys for the constructive feedback. The learning curve here is pretty steep! I'm new to Photoshop also so the advice about setting thresholds, and using the unmask feature was something I never considered till you mentioned it. I realize now that their is much more than the "QuickFix" feature! And thanks Kenv about the info on NeatImage. I downloaded the freeware demo version last night and hopefully will have some time tommorow to play with it. It seems like a pretty unique noise reduction strategy. If it works half as well as the web site examples portray, I will be pleased.
George
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 13 Jul 2004
Posts: 1200
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

George... actually I think 1200x1600 is plenty of resolution unless you're planning to make large prints. Almost all digital files need some sort of tweaking after they are captured. Once you get some experience with photo editing, things always look better. Wink

But I don't think they ever look as good as they do through the eyepieces! Sigh......
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