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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage  |  Topic: USB Microscope vs Camera for Coin Photography 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: USB Microscope vs Camera for Coin Photography  (Read 152 times)
Virgil H
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« on: January 05, 2021, 07:42:59 pm »

I have really been struggling with photographing my coins. Some scan pretty well, but the thicker Greek coins do not. I am actually a pretty good photographer and have a lighting stand, as well as tripods. There are two questions here.

1) Can anyone tell me how to use a macro screw on lens? I cannot afford a real macro lens. But I have a Canon EOS Rebel XT, not the greatest camera, but it serves my needs most of the time. I also have a Digital High Definition 0.45X wide angle lens with macro. They are two separate lenses that screw on the camera lens, in my case a Sigma DG 28-70mm 1:2.8-4. I also have a zoom telephoto lens, but assume the macro should go on the 28-70mm. I can find instructions no where. Does the wide angle and macro go on together or do you just use the macro lens alone? Which way does the glass go? Does it matter? I have tried every combination and I can get pics, but they are never in focus. Using manual focus I cannot get a good focus. Coins are too small on the screen. Auto focus is just as bad as the objects are too small. My eyes cannot discern the focus with this camera, I liked my old film camera focus screens much better, with the split. Anyone who can give me pointers on how to use this attachment, I would appreciate it. I have tried everything I can think of and have never used macro before.

2) I have a stereo microscope I use for coin cleaning. It does not have camera capabilities. Normally I wouldn't consider it, but I ran across this 0.3 MP digital microscope USB camera that is amazingly inexpensive to the point it might be worth the price to try it. 0.3 MP isn't much, though. But, the price is just almost too good. Anyone used one of these. The only thing I want it for is coin photography. Normally, I probably wouldn't even consider this option. Here it is:
https://www.amscope.com/200x-2mp-8-led-zoom-usb-digital-microscope-endoscope-xp-vista-7-8-mac.html?gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=Cj0KCQiAlsv_BRDtARIsAHMGVSZ2P7QtDV7QJZdnyWvdGSgi4vA9NmRsOmRKwd3_fz-erdj_1OCn0ZsaAlSsEALw_wcB

Thanks,
Virgil
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Joe Sermarini
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2021, 07:31:24 pm »

I have purchased a couple different digital scopes. They were both unusable junk. That one does look better. Maybe it is.
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Joseph Sermarini
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Ron C2
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2021, 07:53:08 pm »

If you have a stereo microscope, measure the diameter of the widefield eyepiece - the part that you look through.  Typically on stereo scopes it will be 30 or 30.5mm.  Use calipers, 0.5mm is too small to use a tape measure.

Next go to ali express or amazon and look for a miscroscope eyepiece digital camera. They make them in many megapixel sizes.  Order the most megapixels you want to afford.

Another option is the get a DSLR adaptor for your scope.  You don't really need a trinocular scope.  as I said, they make adaptors that fit the eyepiece barrel.
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Virgil H
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2021, 08:32:27 pm »

Thanks for both responses. I think I will try what Ron suggests before taking a chance. This thing is so cheap, I would be amazed it it was any good, as Joe said of the ones he has tried. I wish I could figure out how that macro attachment works on my camera. Need to maybe give that some more experimentation.
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otlichnik
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2021, 04:56:38 pm »

Wow.  I didn't know that a microscope eyepiece digital camera was thing.  I feel like an old guy....

I really need to get one.  Have you used one Ron?  Can you post any results?

SC
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SC
(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2021, 06:46:55 pm »

Actually I have not used one, because I'm a photo enthusiast and have dedicated macro lenses, extension tubes, focusing rails and bellows - I can zoom in way past the useful range on any coin with just a camera and ring flash, no microscope needed.

That said, I did order an adaptor last week that fits my stereo microscope and would allow me to mount my Olympus E-M1 onto one of my stereo microscope's eyepieces so I could play around with it. When it gets here from China, I can post some results Smiley

I have heard the highher MP reticle cameras are pretty decent but can't claim personally having used one yet.
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otlichnik
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2021, 06:22:14 pm »

The main reason I am currently interested in photographing at the microscope level is to be able to capture the crystals in certain heavy patinas - red/purple cuprite, green malachite and blue azurite.

I think that would work with my 20x microscope.  I am curious if your "dedicated macro lenses, extension tubes, focusing rails and bellows" can get the equivalent or greater magnification?

SC
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SC
(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)
Ron C2
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2021, 05:00:12 pm »

The main reason I am currently interested in photographing at the microscope level is to be able to capture the crystals in certain heavy patinas - red/purple cuprite, green malachite and blue azurite.

I think that would work with my 20x microscope.  I am curious if your "dedicated macro lenses, extension tubes, focusing rails and bellows" can get the equivalent or greater magnification?

SC

Good question - I've not tried that yet, but with just the lenses, I could easily get to 4X magnification.  Perhaps double that with basic extension tubes.  After that, sufficient light between the lens and the subject would start to become an issue for most DSLR rigs.

What I can tell you is that the crystalline structures you hope to photograph may not be evident at 20X.  On my stereo scope, I need to go to 80X to really start to see that stuff.  My macro setup does not do 80X, but I'm willing to experiment on the scope when the camera body adaptor gets here Smiley

I get to 80X on a stereo scope with dual 30.5mm 20X reticles and a 4X stereo objective. 

I use a National Optical 405TBL-10-4 with aftermarket 20X reticles to do 80X. Companies like Amscope make generic stereo microscope reticles lenses up to around 30X or so that you can combine with objectives up to about 4X from most fixed-magnification brands.  These are not expensive setups, my microscope (not including extra lenses and such) can be had new for around $200 or so, and you can get a wide magnification range for around another $100-200 in accessory lenses.

The challenge with photographing through a stereo scope, however, is that the camera doesn't benefit from any of the magnification in the reticle, only the objective.  this means the effective magnification through my scope may be limited to 4X without some jiggery-pokery, noting I've not tried it yet.  The same would be true of many trinocular setups. 

Using a true monocular microscope where most of the magnification is in the objective lens might be what you need if you have to go in that close?

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otlichnik
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2021, 03:48:49 pm »

Sorry.  I should have expressed myself better.  While I would love to be able to photograph the crystalline structure of metals that indeed takes serious magnification - as well as special prep of the coins.

What I really meant was to get close ups of the crystals on heavily crystalized patinas.  I have some where you can see crystals in the approx. 0.5 to 0.1 mm size with naked eye or magnifying glass.  But I assume they would look better at 20x.  Nice purples, reds, greens and blues.

SC
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SC
(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)
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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage  |  Topic: USB Microscope vs Camera for Coin Photography « previous next »
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