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Mineral Photomicrography with Finitive Optics

Last 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 : 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.

Leitz Photo tube with Luminars

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:

Using a Leitz Phototubus on a vertical stand

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.

Parts Price €
Aluminum Profiles and mounting parts for stand(new)100
Micrometer translation stage (from stock) 2x 250
Canon DSLR new 600
Adapter T2 to Canon 20
Leitz Ortholux Photo tube monocular (second hand) 80
Turret Leitz (second hand) 100
Leitz ocular 10 x (second hand) 80
Ortholux I body for mounting parts (second hand) 100
Luminar 63 mm (second hand) 500
Luminar 40 mm (second hand) 400
Total 2.780

Costs are mainly camera, StackShot and lenses (~2000 €)

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