Through the Microscope – Aquatic Setup II

At school, looking at small crustaceans under a microscope was quite a standard procedure. I’m sure we spent quite some time looking at the life found in drops of pond water.

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Taken photos via a light microscope with the DSLR

It turns out, setting up a light microscope for photography is basically the same procedure. The main differences are that one needs to attach a camera to the microscope and that one looks through the camera in order to see the image, not through the microscope ocular.

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From left to right: DSLR body with attached microscope adapter; step-up sleeve; the removed microscope ocular.

Attaching the camera is easier than expected – all ones needs is an adapter and possibly a sleeve for the microscope. One of the oculars of the microscope is replaced by the sleeve, the camera with the adapter is put into the sleeve and the rest is adjusting the camera settings and fine-tuning.

For me, the main work was the editing of the photos afterwards. I was imaging tiny crustaceans and even though they might be small to look at, with a body size of up to about 2 mm, this still meant they were way too large to fit into the frame underneath the microscope. In addition, the images I was taking had a very low depth of field, so I needed to stack the images in order to get a clear overall result. In the end, I used Photoshop to compose the single images out of approximately 40 images. Two of the results are below.

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Cyclopoidea

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Daphnia pulex

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