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Lost in dimensions? (II)

In the last issue we had presented a tardigrade photograph made without a microscope, just by means of a classical photographic macro setup (i.e. with a digital camera plus an old-fashioned "macro" objective). Please have a look at the result below. It is shown here once more, for comparison:

[ Tardigrade photomicrograph, made by means of a Sony 'Nex-5' camera equipped with an old 'Hexanon' macro objective ]

Echiniscus sp. tardigrades in the dry state (so-called "tuns") on a moss leaf, photographed by means of a Konica "Hexanon" macro objective dating back to the 1970s. The length of the moss leaf is 2.0 mm. The magnifier box on the left is revealing some softness which is encountered when zooming closer into the original macro photograph (on the right).

Overall we have to accept that the above image has a few imperfections. As a consequence Monica und Ronny from the last magazine issue will have to quit on this level, terribly sorry. But we can try harder in order to approach an optimum image quality. Our next step setup is much more conservative, based on a massive stand (not visible here), an intermediate bellows system and a high-class loupe objective:

[ Mirrorless digital system camera with bellows and Noritsu loupe objective]

Bellows setup with loupe objective
(1) LCD screen of the digital system camera
(2) System camera body - shutter controlled by an IR trigger
(3) Adapter between system camera bayonet and M42 thread
(4) M42 bellows fixed on a massive stand (which is not visible here)
(5) M42 intermediate ring between bellows and loupe objective
(6) Exotic 'Noritsu 50.7/9.5' loupe objective, probably removed from a Minilab or a photocopier, fixed to an M42 intermediate ring by means of a little bit of expoxy

The following images show the superior quality of the professional loupe objective (in this case a 'Noritsu 50.7/9.5'). Everything is definitely crisp, with perfect contrast, no distortions whatsoever visible:

[ 1 Cent coin, image made by means of the bellows system with Noritsu objective ]

Backside of a "1 Cent" coin, made by means of the setup as shown above

[ 1 Cent coin, crop ]

Backside of a "1 Cent" coin (crop of the total view above)

[ LCD display, image made by means of the bellows system with Noritsu objective ]

LCD-Display, setup as shown above

[ Detail of the LCD display (crop) ]

Crop of the LCD photomicrograph

[ Computer chip image, taken with bellows system ]

Computer chip image, photographic setup again as above, image taken through the glass cover of the chip area.

[ Computer chip, detail ]

Computer chip, detail (cropped from the image above).

And finally we come back to our moss leaf with the tardigrades in the dry state. When comparing with the classical macro objective image (on top of this page) the enhancements in contrast and detail become clearly apparent:

[ tardigrade image,  Sony Nex-5/bellows/'Noritsu' loupe objective ]

Echiniscus sp. tardigrade in the dry state, image taken by means of a Sony Nex-5 camera, intermediate bellows and 'Noritsu' loupe objective

In the next issue we will make a big step towards truely microscopic imaging. See you!

© Text, images and video clips by  Martin Mach  (webmaster@baertierchen.de).
Water Bear web base is a licensed and revised version of the German language monthly magazine  Bärtierchen-Journal . Style and grammar amendments by native speakers are warmly welcomed.

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