Spring 2012

Spring 2012
by ani

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Need to photograph small particle embedded in glass. Particles about 0.05 to 0.1mm in diameter. Can anyone suggest a microscope/camera type/brand that can achieve this with high resolution. Need to see the character of the surface of the particle. Total sample size about 6mm thick and cannot be cut.

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This question appears to be off-topic because it is about an industrial/scientific imaging application and not photography as an art. – mattdm Sep 1 '13 at 22:54
The question as it's phrased is asking about a specific photography technique and specialised camera equipment. In this case I'd be inclined to be lenient. – thomasrutter Sep 2 '13 at 8:01
@thomasrutter This is somewhat similar to photo.stackexchange.com/q/38102/17441 – Esa Paulasto Sep 2 '13 at 16:59
Microphotography in general is in topic — this just seemed to be really specific to an inspection-related task, where a photograph isn't actually the desired result, just the means for viewing the fine detail of some manufacturing process. – mattdm Sep 2 '13 at 20:37
If I'm mistaken, please edit to elaborate! Thanks! – mattdm Sep 2 '13 at 20:38

You can buy adapters for just about any DSLR mount that will allow you to resolve a microscopic image onto a camera sensor. They are pretty easy to find on just about any microscope store's website. Expect to spend anywhere from $40 to $400 depending on the quality you want. They most commonly go in place of the eyepiece of the microscope.

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The eyepiece of the microscope, to clarify. – thomasrutter Sep 2 '13 at 7:46
@thomasrutter - good clarification, updated. – AJ Henderson Sep 2 '13 at 16:55

A good solution is to use a dissection microscope which is low magnification compared to a regular microscope, but it has considerably greater depth of field. Get the specific particle in sharp focus, then image right through the eyepiece using a SLR. You have to move the camera around a bit to get the image centered on the SLR. Makes really good pics of objects in the size range you are discussing.

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Lighting the object will also be an issue. For the best result, light the edge of the glass. The glass will act as a light-pipe (fibre optic) to carry the light directly to the subject. Multiple edges can be lit to bring illumination to the subject from various angles to bring out desired detail. Keep the background dark for light objects, or dark for translucent objects to preserve contrast to enhance observation. Sounds like fun.

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If you need a 6mm field of view (not sure if that's what you meant) and need to get a good amount of pixels for a 0.05mm particle, a high resolution camera might be enough. a basler aca2040 monochrome will give you a theoretic 0.003mm resolution. if this is not enough you need a linescan camera, where you can get like 12k pixels per line and build it up during linear movement, giving you half micrometer resolution. You can use Navitar lenses on the cameras. For lighting you can use polarised light and a linear polariser filter to illuminate the surface of the particle. Lighting through the side may not be physically possible, and if it is, it may just render the particle surface a black spot.

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