Microscope with MFT camera?

Started Feb 13, 2019 | Discussions
(unknown member) Regular Member • Posts: 206
Microscope with MFT camera?
2

I would like to have a x800 microscope and as I have a Panasonic GX85, I was wondering if I can use it and make a do-it-yourself microscope. Does someone here have done such thing?

I’m not an expert in microscopes, at first, I was thinking that I only needed to buy the Oly 60mm Macro… But, then I’ve seen that you have to buy extension tubes, etc. and now I’m a bit confused.

Thanks in advance!

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85
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GBC Senior Member • Posts: 1,453
Re: Microscope with MFT camera?

This might be something you'd be interested in.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?A=details&O=&Q=&gclid=Cj0KCQiAnY_jBRDdARIsAIEqpJ0w6HEHuTOcJdV_L80q1jL2wRUIcKncvIUaIeG8IR0aB8I-xI7Q2_YaAmgKEALw_wcB&is=REG&lsft=BI%3A514&pcur=CAD&sku=852859

With a macro (not the one linked to above) the extension tubes are useful for increasing magnification inexpensively.

You can also reverse lenses so they attach backwards to get high magnification lenses.

https://digital-photography-school.com/reverse-mounting-your-prime-lenses-for-affordable-macro-photography/

OP (unknown member) Regular Member • Posts: 206
Re: Microscope with MFT camera?

Thanks for the fast answer! But these things confuse me a bit. What is the magnification that I have with the Macro lens 5:1 when I compare it with a real x800 microscope (e.g. AmScope)?

The lens is only x5 magnification?

GBC Senior Member • Posts: 1,453
Re: Microscope with MFT camera?

Dr Xavier wrote:

Thanks for the fast answer! But these things confuse me a bit. What is the magnification that I have with the Macro lens 5:1 when I compare it with a real x800 microscope (e.g. AmScope)?

The lens is only x5 magnification?

It the ratio is 1:1, then the image on the sensor is equivalent to the image it real life (if you were taking a macro photograph of a sensor, each pixel would be captured by a single pixel if that makes sense.

So a 5:1 ratio means the image on the sensor will be magnified by a factor of 5.

I think the above is correct, it might be wrong on the specifics, but the article below should help.

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/6519974919/macro-photography-understanding-magnification

GBC Senior Member • Posts: 1,453
Re: Microscope with MFT camera?

Here is another crazy macro:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1430595-REG/venus_optics_laowa_24mm_f_14_probe.html

Doesn't have a native four thirds mount, but you can get an idea of magnification in this video at around 2:1 magnification:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjIbmQsWtqc

GBC Senior Member • Posts: 1,453
Re: Microscope with MFT camera?

Dr Xavier wrote:

Thanks for the fast answer! But these things confuse me a bit. What is the magnification that I have with the Macro lens 5:1 when I compare it with a real x800 microscope (e.g. AmScope)?

The lens is only x5 magnification?

Here is a review of that lens:

https://www.ephotozine.com/article/yasuhara-nanoha-x5-macro-lens-review-18271

RobinHsherwood
RobinHsherwood Senior Member • Posts: 1,057
Re: Microscope with MFT camera?
2

Dr Xavier wrote:

I would like to have a x800 microscope and as I have a Panasonic GX85, I was wondering if I can use it and make a do-it-yourself microscope. Does someone here have done such thing?

I’m not an expert in microscopes, at first, I was thinking that I only needed to buy the Oly 60mm Macro… But, then I’ve seen that you have to buy extension tubes, etc. and now I’m a bit confused.

Thanks in advance!

You can attach your camera to the eyepiece of the microscope with an adapter like these.

https://www.ebay.ca/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=Panasonic+camera+microscope+adapter&_sacat=0

A microscope with a trinocular head is preferable, here is my setup.

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Burton Junior Member • Posts: 36
Re: Microscope with MFT camera?

This is what I use with a Gx9 & G9. Remove the microscope eyepiece and the adapter with camera fits in it's place. Change the objective to change magnification.

https://www.telescopeadapters.com/for-microscopes/542-olympus-panasonic-micro-43-fixed-magnification-2x-microscope-camera-adapter.html

Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 33,525
Re: Microscope with MFT camera?

Dr Xavier wrote:

I would like to have a x800 microscope

I take that to be 800x magnification required, so a compound microscope would be needed. Have a read of this https://www.microscopeinternational.com/what-is-a-compound-microscope/

(Correct me if I am wrong about the need for 800X magnification. I guess the question is what are you trying to examine?)

In that case an adapter would be required to attach the camera to the third (vertical) tube.

Typically at that magnification the microscope would be using an immersion objective where suitable synthetic high refractive index oil is filling the air-space between the objective front lens and the glass slide cover. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_immersion Typically it would be a 100X oil immersion objective combined with something like an 8X eyepiece to get the required 800X for eye viewing.

and as I have a Panasonic GX85, I was wondering if I can use it and make a do-it-yourself microscope. Does someone here have done such thing?

Mostly if buying a microscope like this it is easier to add the compatible accessory of something like a 5MP or 16MP camera module - expensive but easier to manage.

I’m not an expert in microscopes, at first, I was thinking that I only needed to buy the Oly 60mm Macro…

The 60mm macro delivers 1:1 image that is same size on sensor as on subject, a magnification of 1X. If you need 800X magnification then no camera lens on earth does that, only a camera attached to a compound microscope can achieve that.

But, then I’ve seen that you have to buy extension tubes, etc. and now I’m a bit confused.

Thanks in advance!

For your project it would be best to phone a microscope supplier with your requirements to see if they can help you.

A good microscope can be quite expensive but it pays to buy the best if involved in extended use and needing reliable results. My own Austrian compound microscope is still a good performer and it is now 63 years old, I bought it when a kid in high school, cost some serious money at the time.

Regards......... Guy

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iano Senior Member • Posts: 1,791
Magnification
1

Dr Xavier wrote:

Thanks for the fast answer! But these things confuse me a bit. What is the magnification that I have with the Macro lens 5:1 when I compare it with a real x800 microscope (e.g. AmScope)?

The lens is only x5 magnification?

Yes, the lens itself magnifies 'only' 5x. But this is misleading, as this 5x time is what you see if you view the image on a screen the size of the m43 sensor, that is, on a 21mm diagonal screen, which is highly unlikely, and a complete waste of the resolution.

View the image on a 21" monitor, and you will have a magnification of another 25x linear magnification (there are 25.4mm to the inch) giving 125x linear magnification if the x5 of the lens is linear. You could easily enlarge another 4x and still have a clear image given most 21" screens are 2 megapixel (HD) and the m43 image could be 20 megapixels, or even 80 megapixels assuming the subject is not moving.

I have not checked if microscopes express magnification as linear or area, which matters as area magnification would be the square of linear magnification. If something is 2x larger in each dimension, it will be 4x larger in area. I have assumed the less exciting figures the arise from calculating linear magnification.

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Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 33,525
Re: Magnification

iano wrote:

I have not checked if microscopes express magnification as linear or area, which matters as area magnification would be the square of linear magnification. If something is 2x larger in each dimension, it will be 4x larger in area. I have assumed the less exciting figures the arise from calculating linear magnification.

Reputable microscope makers always quote linear magnification. Cheap toy ones may use the more spectacular area magnification.

Regards...... Guy

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OP (unknown member) Regular Member • Posts: 206
Re: Microscope with MFT camera?

Ok, thanks to all that help me in this thread.

As I see it, there are three possibilities: (a) Buy a (good) microscope and if needed attach a camera to it (b) buy a lens with magnification (this option has a low magnification e.g. x5) (c) DIY with extension tubes.

For (c), I found this http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12147

In this case a microscope lens can be used (e.g. x100) and we can attach a telephoto lens to further augmentation. I guess that the telephoto lens acts as the microscope ocular, but I don’t know if it can achieve x8 (then we have x100*x8 = x800 magnification).

RobinHsherwood
RobinHsherwood Senior Member • Posts: 1,057
Re: Microscope with MFT camera?

Dr Xavier wrote:

Ok, thanks to all that help me in this thread.

As I see it, there are three possibilities: (a) Buy a (good) microscope and if needed attach a camera to it (b) buy a lens with magnification (this option has a low magnification e.g. x5) (c) DIY with extension tubes.

For (c), I found this http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12147

In this case a microscope lens can be used (e.g. x100) and we can attach a telephoto lens to further augmentation. I guess that the telephoto lens acts as the microscope ocular, but I don’t know if it can achieve x8 (then we have x100*x8 = x800 magnification).

If you really wish to achieve a magnification of X800, you have ONLY option (a).

Option (b) is a total non-starter, even with a x5 macro lens and the addition of several meters (impractical) of extension tubes (option c), you will NEVER achieve magnifications of X800.

The addition of microscope lenses to option (c), either finite objectives on extension tubes , or infinite objectives on 100 mm/200 mm telephotos acting as tube lenses, will also NOT enable magnification up to X800.

FWIW. I speak as a retired Scientist with over 60 years experience in macro photography and microscopy.

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Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 33,525
Re: Microscope with MFT camera?
3

RobinHsherwood wrote:

Dr Xavier wrote:

Ok, thanks to all that help me in this thread.

As I see it, there are three possibilities: (a) Buy a (good) microscope and if needed attach a camera to it (b) buy a lens with magnification (this option has a low magnification e.g. x5) (c) DIY with extension tubes.

For (c), I found this http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12147

In this case a microscope lens can be used (e.g. x100) and we can attach a telephoto lens to further augmentation. I guess that the telephoto lens acts as the microscope ocular, but I don’t know if it can achieve x8 (then we have x100*x8 = x800 magnification).

If you really wish to achieve a magnification of X800, you have ONLY option (a).

Option (b) is a total non-starter, even with a x5 macro lens and the addition of several meters (impractical) of extension tubes (option c), you will NEVER achieve magnifications of X800.

The addition of microscope lenses to option (c), either finite objectives on extension tubes , or infinite objectives on 100 mm/200 mm telephotos acting as tube lenses, will also NOT enable magnification up to X800.

FWIW. I speak as a retired Scientist with over 60 years experience in macro photography and microscopy.

Yes, agreed. For me microscopy was a serious hobby interest for me from teenage years long ago. Not so active now but the early learning and much reading has stayed.

It all depends on what you need to study, and a good microscope supplier should provide the best information on how to achieve that degree of magnification for what you are trying to examine.

To relieve the strain and pain on the eyes many use a video arrangement with a permanently mounted camera module on the vertical (third) tube and view the results on a suitably sized and placed monitor or TV screen. The results can be recorded or grab frames. That screen use of course only needs about 2MP but 5MP would be the minimum advisable camera attachment, with higher quality results for critical work now available with 16MP or better units, or mounting the M4/3 camera of course.

Optically to get near 800x it would involve a 100X oil immersion objective plus the camera mounted "naked" to see if the required view is obtained projected by the objective onto the sensor. Then possibly a suitable eyepiece designed for cameras (ie a flat field eyepiece) could be inserted to gain further magnification.

Some more reading at https://learning-center.homesciencetools.com/article/how-to-select-a-microscope/

At 800x you are dealing with possibly microbiology, looking at bacteria and cell structure, where only a compound microscope can do the job.

The typical microscope has a turret head for the objectives so it is easy to swing a different magnification objective into place. Mine is an old design with 3 objective sockets and I have 4x, 10x, 45x normally mounted, and the 100x oil immersion objective stored separately, as it had rare use and needs fussing with immersion oil and cleaning afterwards. There's various eyepieces from 5x, 10x, 16x and a 12.5x flat field one as well. So my range of magnification goes from 20x to 1600x and for many things I needed lower than 20x so a lower powered stereo microscope would be welcome to me.

My long term mistake was to buy a compound microscope in the first place, I would have been better with a stereo lower powered microscope like a dissecting microscope for the things I ended up being interested in. That of course is way lower magnification and deals with things the size of insects. I still hanker for that so may still buy a good stereo zoom  microscope to complete the set , so to speak.

As a hobby interest there's only so much one can do at very high magnification, many interesting things need lower magnification, like chasing samples of pond life on a slide.

With a compound microscope everything is back to front, so move the slide up and the image goes down, move the slide right and the image goes left. After a few years the brain gets it and I still can come back to my old microscope and immediately move the slide the correct direction to follow some swimming pond life.

Plus of course on top of all that the lighting is critical, at high magnification then sub-stage lighting is used and various lighting schemes can be employed where the usual is direct lighting with a bright view and bright background. Or side lighting (dark field lighting) where the direct central light is blocked and all the light comes in at an oblique angle so the subjects appear against a black background, a bit easier on the eyes for many things.

Oh, and the lenses matter. Good quality objectives and eyepieces cost money, mine are old and came from Reichert in Austria and Olympus in Japan. I would hate to have to replace those at the same quality level.

Maybe too much information, but life with microscopy can be a lot more complicated than the simplicity of photography.

Regards..... Guy

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Guy Parsons
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lens cost.....

Hmmm, just looked up what my 100x oil immersion objective would cost me now, the Olympus one comes at Oz$1600, ouch!

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DiffractionLtd
DiffractionLtd Senior Member • Posts: 2,836
Re: Microscope with MFT camera?

Ive noticed that most basic microscope setups wont support full sized sensors, the edges get smeared. What kind of eyepiece/relay optic do you use.

bclaff Veteran Member • Posts: 9,182
Re: Microscope with MFT camera?

Guy Parsons wrote:

...

My long term mistake was to buy a compound microscope in the first place, I would have been better with a stereo lower powered microscope like a dissecting microscope for the things I ended up being interested in. That of course is way lower magnification and deals with things the size of insects. I still hanker for that so may still buy a good stereo zoom microscope to complete the set , so to speak.

...

Yeah, FWIW I use a 1-4x trinocular zoom microscope with a 2x relay lens so I get 2-8x which is great for the subjects I shoot.

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Okapi001 Senior Member • Posts: 5,017
Re: Microscope with MFT camera?

RobinHsherwood wrote:

Option (b) is a total non-starter, even with a x5 macro lens and the addition of several meters (impractical) of extension tubes (option c), you will NEVER achieve magnifications of X800.

The addition of microscope lenses to option (c), either finite objectives on extension tubes , or infinite objectives on 100 mm/200 mm telephotos acting as tube lenses, will also NOT enable magnification up to X800.

FWIW. I speak as a retired Scientist with over 60 years experience in macro photography and microscopy.

Well, in a digital age, you can achieve additional magnification just by cropping. So in theory, you can achieve 800x, but not many pixels, if any, will remain.

For example, 5x lens already is 10x in full-frame terms. Crop 2X and you have 20x with 5 mpix. Repeat and you get 40x with 1.25 mpix, 80x with 0.6 mpix (this is what cheap digital microscopes have), 160x with 0.3 mpix, 360x with 0.15 mpix, 720x with 0,07 mpix.

Of course, magnification in terms of X means next to nothing, because it tells you nothing about the real resolving power. How big are the smallest details that you can tell apart.

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Okapi001 Senior Member • Posts: 5,017
Re: Microscope with MFT camera?

Guy Parsons wrote:

Oh, and the lenses matter. Good quality objectives and eyepieces cost money, mine are old and came from Reichert in Austria and Olympus in Japan. I would hate to have to replace those at the same quality level.

I have an old Reichert, it looks exactly like this one.

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Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 33,525
OT - lower power stereo.

bclaff wrote:

Guy Parsons wrote:

...

My long term mistake was to buy a compound microscope in the first place, I would have been better with a stereo lower powered microscope like a dissecting microscope for the things I ended up being interested in. That of course is way lower magnification and deals with things the size of insects. I still hanker for that so may still buy a good stereo zoom microscope to complete the set , so to speak.

...

Yeah, FWIW I use a 1-4x trinocular zoom microscope with a 2x relay lens so I get 2-8x which is great for the subjects I shoot.

Typically I see things like this that have the usual range of around 10x-40x https://microscopes.com.au/collections/stereo-microscopes/products/optico-asz-400t-stereo-zoom-microscope and another one twice the price has a "8x to 50x range".

I need to learn more about them as I indeed would like to start at near 2x and by whatever means get to something around 40x - 50x tops.

But we digress from the OP's questions.

Regards..... Guy

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