The ZS20/TZ40 as a "microscope"

Started Feb 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Ianperegian Veteran Member • Posts: 3,597
The ZS20/TZ40 as a "microscope"

The image below was taken of my iMac LCD screen using the ZS20 alone, in macro mode, held near the screen at a FL of 30mm. The width of the captured field, which was 12 point black text on a white background, was 3.85cm.

A 100% crop of that image clearly shows the array of red, green and blue pixels but does not show any detailed structure within the pixels:

I set up my ZS20 with stacked Nikon E15ED and Olympus C180 TCs, as described here.
In front of the C180 I attached a reversed 50mm FL Pentax f/2 film camera lens.
At max zoom using a tripod I took shots of the screen, and this time the structure of the individual pixels could be seen, as shown in the image below:

The width of the captured field was just 1.7mm. This meant that the magnification factor obtained with this setup was about 22 times greater than by using the camera alone.

The predicted magnification factor is calculated from:

(FL of camera x power of TCs) / FL of reversed lens

which in this case was (480 x 1.5 x 1.7)/50 = 24.5

The measured factor was somewhat less than the calculated value because at close distances the TCs give a lower magnification factor than their power values.

A 100% crop of a green pixel near the centre of that image is shown below:

I calculated that the pixels are about 67 micrometres wide and 223 micrometres high. The small rounded structures in the green pixel are about 7 micrometres in diameter, and the narrow horizontal black gap in the centre of the pixel is about 1.5-2 micrometres wide.

To give a comparison, the diameter of human hair varies, but ranges from 17 to 180 micrometres (that is, 0.017-0.180mm).

So, I think maybe this could justifiably be called "camera microscopy".


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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 Nikon Coolpix P900 Panasonic ZS100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS60 Olympus PEN-F
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