Mineral Photomicrography with Finitive OpticsLast Updated: 26th Aug 2014
By Volker Betz
Mineral Photomicrography with Finitive Optics and Stacking using a Microscope Photo Tube
By Volker Betz
In the past I used for some time a Leitz Ortholux I microscope body for mineral photography with stacking, because of its manual fine focus control and the photo tube. See : http://www.mindat.org/article.php/1906/ This worked well with two exceptions: Manual stacking is laborious and lenses with more than 40 mm focus length cannot used.
But the photo tube with its turret is very well to use with a couple finitive focus microscope lenses ( 5x and 10 x lenses) and also with the Luminar and Photar macro lenses in my stock. So equipped it is not only fine for photography, with its ocular ist also a excellent microscope with much better resolution than most stereo microscopes and a helpful view finder for the eye. For microscope lenses a 1.25x tube lens can be used in the turret. Macro lenses do not need this tube lens. Switching from ocular to camera is simply done by moving a prism in or out of the light path.
The camera is mounted with with a modified T2 to camera adapter as close to the tube as possible to match confocal conditions. There is no adapter optics in this setup, which I now use with 40 mm and 63 mm Zeiss Luminars for fixed fields of view (FOV) of 4.3 and 8 mm equivalent to a 50x and 36x microscope enlargement. For smaller FOV´s (1 and 2 mm) I use infinitive optics as this are much better in this range. See: http://www.mindat.org/article.php/2062
Camera and phototubus are mounted together on a rack made of aluminum profile for better stability. The unit can then mounted either on horizontal or vertical stands. On the vertical stand a StackShot is used as a specimen support for automated stacking. Stackshot works well in this configuration as the stacking steps are above 10 µm and allows also to handle large specimens with small crystals.
Cost of equipment
Cost of equipment is always in discussion. Some approximate € figures are given here for orientation, but real cost may be different.
Costs are mainly camera, StackShot and lenses (~2000 €)
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