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camera-microscope adapters

Posted by Hans Swarts  
Hans Swarts February 11, 2012 06:01PM

I have an Olympus SZ30 microscope I picked up at a yard sale for $20. A couple of new eyepieces (GWH10x) and I'm good to go for viewing my micromounts.

Now I'd like to try my hand at photographing some of my better specimens.

I have a little digital camera - Canon PowerShot SX100 - and I wondering if/where I can get an adapter that would enable mounting the camera on one of the eyepieces. I think I've also found software that would enable me to control the camera from my laptop.

I'd like to see what I can do with the equipment I have.

Can anyone recommend an adapter, and where I could find same? Some basic tips would also be appreciated, as this aspect of micromounting is new to me.

Best Regards,

Mineralogical Research Company February 11, 2012 06:19PM
Hello Hans,

You can find many sources for camera to microscope adapters by searching the internet. This company has one of the widest selections.

If you are handy with mechanical things and have a lathe, or hand tools and a bit of ingenuity, you can construct one from aluminum, or PVC, and a couple of surplus lenses.

It is possible to just mount the camera above the existing eyepiece (afocal method) and get reasonable results, but the above mentioned with provide better results.

Holger Klapproth February 11, 2012 07:29PM
Hello Hans,

a 500 $ adapter for a 20$ microscope looks a bit like overkill to me. There are adapter available at ebay where you insert the adapter in the ocular tube and and get really acceptable pictures. I bought one for my microscope for about 130$ (for my Canon 1000D). If you have a bit of time you should be able to get one for your camera a lot cheaper.

With some cameras you just need an kind of "holder" to fix the camera in the ocular tube.

Best Regards

Ron Gibbs February 16, 2012 10:37PM
You can often adapt camera holders from the astro-photography world and get reasonable results. With a point-n-shoot type camera you don't need a supplementary lens to shoot through the eye-piece. Usually you just need to develop someway to stop the "auto-focus" built into the camera. On my old Nikon's I did this with a remote trigger and used the "half-press" to freeze the focus. The next hardest thing is to focus with the rear LCD. You simply cannot guarantee focus on the rear LCD screens as the resolution is too low. The best you can do is approximate it and shot several images. If you are lucky your camera might have live view (as did my old Nikon4500) and I could look through the camera on a computer screen while I focused. I would focus using the microscope, then lock the foucs on the camera (half-press) then dinish with final focus by adjusting the microscope.

Anyway here is a link from my WEB site that shows some of the older telescope "gizmos" ...

Also here is my home-made camera adapter variety that I used until I eventually got a DSLR and third port on my microscope.

I used simple PVC pipe fitting when I first started and got reasonable shots through it. I used the camera's zoom to avoid the otherwise present vignetting caused by the miss match of 10x optical lens and front camera element.
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