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Mineral Photographystereo microscope and DSLR

2nd Oct 2018 19:48 BSTJake Trexel

How can I control my DSLR that is connected to my the eye peace of my stereo microscope.

2nd Oct 2018 20:51 BSTJolyon Ralph Founder

Try a cable release

2nd Oct 2018 22:26 BSTDaryl Babcock

What make of DSLR? Canon is what I know and there is a software package called controlmycanon that allows you to control most of the functions of your Canon DSLR via your computer. Not just shutter release but focus, f-stop and ISO as well. I am sure other DSLR makes have similar products available.

3rd Oct 2018 21:25 BSTJake Trexel

I have a Nikon D5000. Can I take a picture just using the camera and the live view function that it has, or do I need to get Nikons's softwear?

Thank you to every one that is trying to help me. I am disabled now and in a powered wheel chair. When I first got the camera I was not in this bad of shape. The Meiji stereo microscope has just been sitting on a table since 2012 when I had spinal surgery that did not go too well. I am a point now that if I cannot find a way to work with it, I would like to sell it.

Thanks again

Hi Jake,

You may want to look at this software that allows you to see live view and control the camera from your computer.

Live view software


24th Oct 2018 20:45 BSTDon Saathoff Expert

Hello Jake,

I am currently using DigiCamControl and have ZERO works as advertised! I have complete control of the camera from my keyboard.


24th Oct 2018 20:53 BSTJake Trexel

Thank you again for your help. I bought the Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 soft wear and I think it may be what I needed, I am hoping so. I have not used it on the microscope yet.

I imagine I will have to put the camera into manual mode since there will be no lens on it. Is this a correct assumption??

thanks again, it is so great to me to have a place to get help where all of the people are nice.



24th Oct 2018 22:49 BSTDon Saathoff Expert

Correct assumption!

25th Oct 2018 20:46 BSTJake Trexel

Thank you for answering me about my assumption.

25th Oct 2018 21:18 BSTOwen Lewis

Yes you need the camera to be in manual mode because for photomicrography/macrography you need certain settings to be of fixed value and others t to be what everthey need to be to give proper exposure. The main ones are as follows:

- ISO. Set to 200.

- Focal length, Set to f/8

With those settings, you are likely to find most of your exposure times will fall in the range 1/4 sec to 4.0 sec. This means that it is critical that your equipment is vibration-free during exposures. Also set the metering mode to expose correctly for the brightest part of your specimen and never any of the background.

Try your cameras auto white balance correction for satisfactory results. I find this almost always is seatifactory when using my Canon Eos camera. However, if it does not give a good result for you for some reason, then you need to read the camera manual carefully and work ip a custom white balance that works well with the specimen and mixed lighting temperatures that you are using.

25th Oct 2018 21:56 BSTJake Trexel

Thank you very much for the beginning settings. I had no idea what to use. Any other ideas would be most appreciated.

Thanks again


25th Oct 2018 22:06 BSTDavid Baldwin

The Helicon Focus package comes with Helicon Remote, which, as I undertand, can control Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras remotely whilst recording image stacks.

27th Oct 2018 21:05 BSTJake Trexel

Than you

28th Oct 2018 00:57 BSTOwen Lewis

Jake Trexel Wrote:


> Thank you very much for the beginning settings. I

> had no idea what to use. Any other ideas would be

> most appreciated.

For a beginner, I strongly recommend building knowledge and experience just one layer at a time and not trying to become an expert in just a day or two. I think that the few settings suggested (fixed ISO 200 with f/8 aperture - and with a well stabilised camera to allow for slow shutter speeds are sufficient to make a start with.

Next steps might be to:

- Use LiveView if your camera modes is equipped with that feature.

- Remote control or time release your shutter.

- Always use mirror lock-up.

- Control/vary your camera settings and view your shots on a PC, using the Nikon software for your camera model model to do this.

A little practice, including seeing the effect that changing these setting has on your images, should get you consistently delivering sharp and well-lit single images. IMHO, this capability is a necessary precursor to learning how to remove depth of field limitations (*not* always desirable BTW) by using image stacking software.

Important items not yet mentioned are effective specimen illumination and the correct mating of your camera and microscope.

If you do a patient keyword search on this photomicrography topic area, you will find a large amount of good advice is already on record and can save you hours of time otherwise needed to develop this knowledge from scratch. Good luck with your searches!

28th Oct 2018 19:25 GMTJake Trexel

Thank you again so much. I have been taking pictures since 76, back then with an OM-1. But due to my disabilities I got the microscope to try to open a new world for me, since I cannot get outside. I really made a bad mistake in getting the microscope that I have. I just trust people too much. I will do as you said and do a search on that word. I have fiber optics for my lighting problems.

Thanks again


29th Oct 2018 13:11 GMTOwen Lewis

David Baldwin Wrote:


> The Helicon Focus package comes with Helicon

> Remote, which, as I undertand, can control Canon

> and Nikon DSLR cameras remotely whilst recording

> image stacks.

Helicon Focus and Helicon Remote are the programs I use when doing image stacking with my Canon EOS 600D body and the Canon EFS 65mm f/2.8 macro lens - and very good I think the Helicon software is. However, Remote is only suited for macrophotography (i.e. when the camera has its lens array fitted). Remote's principal virtue is to calculate the number of focusing steps required to make one good stacked image and to automate both shutter release and to re-focus the camera between each of the shots needed to build the full stacking set of images (could be as many as 100!).
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