Author Topic: Macro experiments  (Read 11721 times)

Re: Macro experiments
Reply #30 on: May 21, 2013, 13:40:58 PM
I knew I'd seen an article on it somewhere:

http://davidhunt.ie/?p=2826

Same guy who did water droplet stuff using the Raspberry Pi.  If you can get the money from someone to buy one then yeah your better off doing that but if not it looks fairly easy to do something like this, well if you've got an old scanner lying around you can take to bits!

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Re: Macro experiments
Reply #31 on: June 12, 2013, 09:08:27 AM
Still slogging through the entomological collections in my spare time. Here's a selection of the "cooler" specimens. The 100mm+250D filter = 1.4x macro. Just imagine that Hornet head at 5x :D


Common wasps - Vespula vulgaris by Chris_Moody, on Flickr


European Hornet - Vespa crabro by Chris_Moody, on Flickr


European Hornet - Vespa crabro by Chris_Moody, on Flickr


UID Nicro 8 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr


Cetonia aurata 2 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

2mm long weevil:

Malvapion malvae  7 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

Bigger species of Weevil:

Otiorynchus singularis 7 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

Leaf beetle:

Lochmaea suturalis 1 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

Re: Macro experiments
Reply #32 on: June 13, 2013, 14:01:15 PM
Really nice level of detail in all of them, but you did cheat since they're all dead!

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Re: Macro experiments
Reply #33 on: June 13, 2013, 19:19:26 PM
Some of the bigger things consisted of about 80 separate photographs to create the final image.  I know it's cheating, but hey, it's valuable scientific reference material. One day I might be able to get the mp-e and the mr24 macro flash gun, and THEN the live uber macros will begin ;)

Sent from my GT-N8010 using Tapatalk HD

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Re: Macro experiments
Reply #34 on: June 20, 2013, 08:41:52 AM
Started playing with the MP-E 65MM and the MR-14EX flash yesterday and today. It's going to take a lot of getting used to, but the 5:1 magnification is OBSCENE!

It'll be a while before I have anything that I am happy to show, waiting for a focusing rail to turn up, but hopefully at the weekend I'll try to get some shots of aphids etc hand held in the garden :D

Until then, a few more taken with the old/existing entomological setup:


Pterostichus metallicus by Chris_Moody, on Flickr


Pterostichus metallicus by Chris_Moody, on Flickr


Pterostichus metallicus by Chris_Moody, on Flickr


Otiorhynchus sulcatus 2 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

I've also got some beetles that I've set out with the wings out, unpinned. Hopefully if they dry ok I can get some decent shots without card or pins in the composition, on black backgrounds etc.

Re: Macro experiments
Reply #35 on: June 20, 2013, 21:22:12 PM
The colours on the Pterostichus metallicus are really nice, not something you imagine when thinking of beatles most just pop into your head as being black.

Not too fond of the weevil but thats more because I found loads of larvae from one (or twenty going off the amount of them) in a pot and they'd killed off a sedum I had been trying to grow, they do crunch quite nicely under foot however!

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Re: Macro experiments
Reply #36 on: June 20, 2013, 22:25:25 PM
The thing I find amazing with all these small insects I'm photographing, is that probably 95% of them are found locally. They're not "insects of the world" but found here in the UK. So much variety.

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Re: Macro experiments
Reply #37 on: June 30, 2013, 21:06:59 PM
Here's a brief progression of the macro's during this 3 year endeavour!

2007
First Photomicrograph - taken using a cameraphone against the eyepiece on a microscope. This was taken whilst I was on a work placement at uni.

Ectemnius sp. Wasp under microscope by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

2008
Still using camera phones, I've not dabbled that much in photomicrography though, as the only opportunities I've had have either been during lab practicals or work placements. However the experience I have gained has shown some improvement in technique, if not equipment.

Bagworm (Pachythelia villosella) head and thorax by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

2009
Finally progressed to using a "real" camera and not a phone. A tough Olympus camera. The small, recessed lens helps with positioning the lens over the microscope eyepiece, reducing vignetting and preventing camera zooming action from hitting the microscope etc.

Microscopic molluscs - Foraminifera ? by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

I begin to contemplate photographing the universities collection, but know it'll be a massive undertaking.

2010
Updated the tough camera to a newer model.

Female Ixodes ricinus by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

I buy my own microscope, an Indian made "Radical Instruments" trinocular dissecting microscope. I think this was either with dividend or birthday money, or both.

Microscope setup by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

You might also notice the camera. I'd had the 400D probably since 2006 or 2007, however I didn't have a suitable method of attaching it to a microscope, which is why I was using the camera phone and compact cameras. However, with my own microscope, I now am  now able to get an adapter, so 2010 I start using an SLR for photomicrography. It's not perfect however, as larger specimens are too big for the microscope. I have limited photoshop experience at this point, so my attempts at photomerging several photos together, are lacklustre. (this is one of the better ones!)

Carabus arvensis by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

At this point, with the equipment I have, I dive in and begin photographing the entomological collections.

I also discover focus-stacking. However, I don't know about the software, and so my first attempts are a time consuming process of manually aligning  a handful of photos in photoshop, and layer masking them to only show the in focus areas. For the really big specimens I resort to using my SLR kit lens, manually adjusting focus each photo

Geotrupes sp. by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

I also attempt to put scale bars in the photos, with limited success, and in the process making the photos pretty ugly.
Dyschirius globosus Hbst. by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

Fairly quickly after getting the microscope, and using the 400D, I realise I miss live view for photography. I upgrade the 400D to a 40D (I think I bought the 40D from someone on here?!) - however I only keep the 40D for about 3-5 months, before selling it and buying a 7D

Great diving beetle larvae by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

I think near the end of the year I also discover Helicon Focus, and soon my workflow relies on manually taking photos and then running them through Helicon in individual stacks.

2011
Not much changes now except that I go from using my kit lens or nifty 50:

Nicrophorus investigator 1 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

To buying and using the 100mm macro. Not sure if it is also at this point that I discover the camera remote stacking application.

Lucanus cervus 9 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

As soon as I get the 100mm macro, and see the capabilities of automatically generating the stacks, I realise that for all but the smallest of the specimens, I can get a better quality image if I use the macro lens and then crop the image down afterwards. My microscope now sits on a shelf unused.

2013
April - I buy the 250D closeup filter. This increases the 1:1 macro magnification to 1.4:1. It doesn't sound like much, but it makes a big difference!

I soon get bitten by the "must get close bug" and end up buying the MP-E 65mm in June. This leads to a reevaluation of processing methods, several tweaks later the photos are looking really good.

The latest development is that I have discovered that Helicon Focus's competing software, Zerene Stacker, despite being slower, produces consistently better results. So I buy a copy of that too. I still intend on using Helicons remote app for controlling focus stacking with the 100mm when I need to use it, which is only really for really big things that are too big for the limited working distance of the MP-E to handle.

So that's the last 6 years of photomicrography in a nutshell. Hadn't realised how long I'd been doing this until I started to write this post!

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