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Mineral PhotographyDigital microscopes

15th Oct 2017 04:18 BSTFred A. Schuster

Has any one used digital microscopes for micro or macro photography.. I just saw some nice photos done by a Carson Zorb digital witj a 35 x zoom

I was wondering are there other similar digital macro or microscopes that my have adjust ments for field of depth problems or that can be used with stacking programs. Seem like an affordable technology

15th Oct 2017 09:06 BSTLuca Baralis Expert

I got a cheap one, 2Mp, dimerable LED lighting USB microscope.

Easy, quick, BUT...

- the supplied stand has sansible backslash (is it the right word? It moves...) and is sometimes difficult to get steady image or even center the subject.

- there is not an adjustable white balance tool; with the built-in light you often got a bluish tone, but with whatever other light (sun, tungsten, other LEDs, ...) it goes to red-yellow or other ugly colors.

- with the built-in light it is really hard to manage reflection, sparkling etc. (It is in a fixed and frontal position)

- very low depth of field, however I tried to use some stack software, and I think that resolving the former point it can be done quite well.

I'm working on improvement, but honestly it's not a priority at this moment.

Oh, there is a plenty of comments on these device here on mindat.

16th Oct 2017 17:37 BSTThomas Lühr Expert

I have done some experiments with a similar USB microscope that Luca used. And roughly i can confirm his statement. I fixed it at the stand of my conventional microscope, so no problem with the stability.


The DOV is not more than with other devices

There is no way to influence the (automatic) exposure

Limited range of brightness (highlights "burning out"). To minimize that effect, it helps to place a white paper in the picture (and crop the final image). In this tricky way a limited influence of the automatic gain control is possible

Relatively strong noise. To minimize can be taken many identical images (e.g. 10) and combined to one almost noise-free image

So in my opinion it's not a comfortable method, but it's possible, at least, to produce reasonable photos. But it requires much effort and i really can not recommend it.

For example photos see the photos from 'Caroline mine' or 'Osterberg district' in my photo gallery - all with a FOV less than 2 mm


25th Oct 2017 09:16 BSTLuca Baralis Expert

Thomas, can you show some tip about how you fixed the digital microscope to the conventional one?

You can get the (nearly) same image on the two?

25th Oct 2017 10:33 BSTThomas Lühr Expert

Hello Luca,

The answer to your second question first. No, i used a cheap microscope with a fix magnification of 20x and a FOV of about 8mm, while the camera has an adjustable magnification and a most smallest FOV of some less than 2mm.

To make it clear: I did NOT use the optics of that conventional microscope, but only the mechanics to adjust the distance !

Now to your first question. Unfortunately i can't provide a photo of that setup, i used it only for a short time and use a very different now. But anyway, i think you have to find an individual solution, depending on your microscope and your camera. In the very worst case you can fix the camera with tape onto the microscope. I used an angle bracket from aluminium to fix it.


25th Oct 2017 16:43 BSTLuca Baralis Expert

Thanks, Thomas,

may be I'll do some experiments.
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