How do I take microscopic quality pictures, the easy cheapo way?

  Added by: MarvinM92  Last edited by: MarvinM92  Viewed: 562 times   Rated by 11 users: 10.00/10
Contributed by: Moshmont
Submitted: 10-07-03

How do I take microscopic quality pictures, the easy cheapo way?

This is specifically for people who have low resolution and or non-zoom equipped cameras.

In this I will show you how to get extremely up close pictures with a low resolution non zooming digital camera using a magnifying glass. The camera being used for this is an ?HP Photosmart 318?, it only has a max of 2.3 MP (Mega pixels) and no zoom. Cameras generally will have stars or numbers indicating the quality of the pic you want to take. The first two pictures where taken at max resolution, with and with out magnification, the deference is amazing.

  • Now you might be wondering, "What are you talking about magnifying glass?"

    Here is a picture of the one that was used to take the second picture, the macro of Jefferson's eye. This particular type of magnification glass can usually be bought at any textile or hobby shop. All you have to do is carefully put it up to the agents lens of the camera. It will not try to auto-focus since it seeing everything though the magnifying glass.

  • ?What if I already have a magnifying glass that size but, it doesn?t have a flat backing and am worried about it scratching my lens?"

    This is easily solved buy taking a thick piece of card board and using a spade bit, large hole punch, razor blade basically anything that can cut or make a hole the size you want. Make the hole the sized of the camera lens then cut it out. THAT?S ALL YOU HAVE TO DO!!! The magnifying glass will seat in that as well as center it and space it far enough from the lens to avoid scratching. If you suspect the magnifying glass still might hit the lens just use a thinker piece of card board or two pieces. Use double sided tape to hold it on the lens housing, leaving your other hand free for the magnifying glass.

  • ?But what If I don?t have a magnifying glass will any kind do??

    No, you want to get a magnifying glass about ? to " in sized or as big as your lens. If it is really big (like the kind you would probably use to look at your plants with) it makes it bulge-sum and hard to get a clear over all picture.

  • In this picture you can clearly see the 0.5 MM marks.

    One major advantage of this particular type of magnifying glass is the fact it has measurable increments . This can be helpful for a number of resins, determining the size of calyxes for indications of being ?seeded?, guesstimateing the severity of a pest infestation buy measuring the size of the pest to determine how long they have been there and many other things where measuring it?s size could be helpful.

    The only down fall is that you need to have decent light. The light from your grow light should be plenty.

  • "Can I use this same technique with hand held microscopes?"

    Yes absolutely, the only problem is if you don't have one with a light equipped you will need lots of light shinning directly on what you will be taking a picture of (A double A MAG light works great as seen in the picture). This particular one has 30x-40x-60x magnification. You may have to take the picture at full resolution if your camera has low MP's or if it's a low powered microscope. I suggest an 80x or more if you want pictures of individual trichomes.

  • A couple of tips for using this method.

    Don?t use flash when doing this because of how close you have to get. Flash will just bluer, distort or make everything look white-ish.

    If you have ?digital zoom? don?t use it, it will make the pic way to big to cut and paste. You would have to compress the picture buy stretch/skew-ing and the end result will be about the same size anyway.

  • In this pic you can see the trichomes close enough to judge harvest time with just 30x mag at 2 mega pixels with a disposable digital camera cam. This is the easiest and most inexpensive way I can think of to get good and clear up close pictures with out special picture taking equipment. This is perfect for pics of (female) pistillates and (male) staminates pre-flowers, trichomes, calyxes and small pests.

    Photo contributed by: Mr45

  • This photo was taken at 50X MAG/1.2 mega pixel.

    Photo contributed by: Timbo1

  • Other examples:

    All these pictures where taken with out the flash, I just used a cardboard box to steady my self while I took the picture. It will take some practice and a steady hand, before you can get good pic's everytime.
  •   Last modified: 18:45 - Oct 31, 2003  

    faq:1580 "How do I take microscopic quality pictures, the easy cheapo way?"