Microscope adaptors for D200
has anyone used the D200 or other DSLR to take photomicrographs through a compound microscope using this 'DSLRNT' adaptor manufactured by the Austrian company LM-Scope? If so, do we have reviews? I couldn't find any on the web. Thanks!
#1. "RE: Microscope adaptors for D200" | In response to Reply # 0tallwalker Registered since 04th Oct 2006Fri 15-Dec-06 12:35 PM
Ouch! I don't know anything about this product, but for over $900.00(!) it sure better be really (REALLY) good. Maybe even come WITH the camera. I have seen complete dedicated digital microscopy setups for not much more than this.
I wonder if the price might be a mistake or something?
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#2. "RE: Microscope adaptors for D200" | In response to Reply # 1grepmat Registered since 21st Jan 2006Fri 15-Dec-06 06:01 PM
I have tried to use my D200 (as well as a D70) with a Zeiss stereo microscope, with a Zeiss adapter created for that microscope. While not the same device as you are interested in, I could comment on an important issue: the ability (or lack thereof) of obtaining correct focus.
I have found that it is simply impossible to obtain correct focus, or of determining if the focus is correct:
* The camera's viewing screen is entirely inadequate for the job. A possible solution (I have not tried this) is to obtain a viewing screen with focus aids such as a split prism.
* The camera's automatic focusing system does not indicate correct focus (the focus light on mine has merely flickered once in a while, and not just when close to focus).
* Bracketing focus does not even work since depth of field is so shallow that only stunning luck would get you close to sharp results.
My conclusion is that, unless the microscope and adapter work together to establish correct focus (e.g., via some calibration that is independent of the camera), or you take other steps such as using an improved viewing screen, then you may be in for disappointing results.
#3. "RE: Microscope adaptors for D200" | In response to Reply # 2Sat 16-Dec-06 03:06 AM
it sure sounds risky. $900 for something (doesn't come with camera, or it defeats my purpose of using the state-of-the-art D200) that's impossible to focus! But I am wondering what kind of Zeiss adaptor you were using. Is it something that connects your camera lens to the microscope? If so, the one I am contemplating is different. It has a Nikon F-mount for direct mounting to the D200 and is therefore analogous to a camera lens rather than an adaptor. I hope it would be easier to focus. Just worried that the results turn out the same as my previous setup with the Olympus Mju300 with its small lens positioned close to the microscope eyepiece.
It's curious that you had such great difficulties with the shallow depth of focus. I thought that with a stereo microscope you would have been able use a small aperture to gain more depth of field in the specimen.
Thanks for your inputs!
#5. "RE: Microscope adaptors for D200" | In response to Reply # 3MK_Hayes Registered since 04th Mar 2006Sat 16-Dec-06 02:14 PM
While it's been years since I sat behind a microscope, this is how I started in photography. Every lab I worked in that had a camera setup, had a Nikon mounted to an F-mount adapter atop the scope. Focusing was simply done through the scope. The only thing I adjusted on the camera was the length of exposure, usually bulb as I was often using flourescent markers. (Oh, and changing the film, of course.)
Since we can use pretty much everything lens-wise on our D200's, that film Nikon SLRs use, I wouldn't be too concerned. I think this kind of functionality is what your getting for your $900. (Not a ridiculous price for a professional lens.) And I wouldn't want something cheap waisting the fine optics of the scope itself. (I'm assuming at least Sigmas, if not Nikkors or Ziess.)
Oh, the joy of trading in T-MAX 3200, with it's no safe light is safe, must be used in total darkness, HUGE grain, black & white so forget double marking hassle, for the D200.
If you're at a university, ask around. Someone is likely to still have a film setup running, and you can at least see how it works. (Or maybe they'll have a digital Nikon already mounted to the old adapter.)
#4. "RE: Microscope adaptors for D200" | In response to Reply # 2dwig Registered since 30th May 2004Sat 16-Dec-06 02:00 PM
>I have tried to use my D200 (as well as a D70) with a Zeiss
>stereo microscope, with a Zeiss adapter created for that
>microscope. While not the same device as you are interested
>in, I could comment on an important issue: the ability (or
>lack thereof) of obtaining correct focus.
>I have found that it is simply impossible to obtain correct
>focus, or of determining if the focus is correct:
>* The camera's viewing screen is entirely inadequate for the
>job. A possible solution (I have not tried this) is to
>obtain a viewing screen with focus aids such as a split
A split RF prism is NOT the answer. They don't work under these conditions. The ONLY way to reliably focus an SLR mounted to a high power microscope is to use a focusing screen with a clear, unfrosted center spot, or competely clear, with a crosshair. You focus by parallax. Using an eyepiece magnifier, you move your eye left and right to see if the image moves relative to the crosshair. If it does, you're out of focus. You adjust focus until the image and the crosshair move in unison. Lower power microscopes, such as the reflective microscopes used for geological work, can sometimes be used with a convention ground glass focusing screen, but still fail with any microprism or split RF screen.
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#6. "RE: Microscope adaptors for D200" | In response to Reply # 4grepmat Registered since 21st Jan 2006Sun 17-Dec-06 11:23 PM
That's very interesting. I never though of that approach. Is there a screen for the D200 that is suited for this?
By the way, Yangchen, the adapter I am using mounts the camera to the microscope. No camera lens is involved. The problem with focusing through the microscope is that the eyepiece focusing and the camera focus are not naturally aligned. Hence, they will never simultaneously be in focus unless very sensitive adjustments to match the two is done. The adapter I have does not provide a means to do this. Another by-the-way comment, like most good microscope accessories, these adapters do tend to be expensive. I think mine was $600 or so.
I wonder what the issue is with the camera's electronic focus aid? There appears to be sufficient light and contrast. What is missing for it to work?
#7. "RE: Microscope adaptors for D200" | In response to Reply # 6Mon 18-Dec-06 02:31 AM
Hello Grepmat and others,
Thanks for your suggestions. I just found an archived thread in another forum in Nikonians where this issue was discussed, and one of them simply positioned his camera lens close to the eyepiece (the others used a variety of exotic adaptors). Unfortunately he didn't specify the lens used, but that gave be a break. It is commonly accepted that SLR lenses can't be positioned directly in front of a microscope eyepiece because the SLR lens is too wide. But I suddenly realised that the front element of my 60mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor (with the filter removed) was actually about the same size as the microscope eyepiece. I tried it using the MC-30 remote cable with mirror lockup and ... Eureka!!! Full frame, no vignetting (as long as the aperture was f/7.1 or wider for my compound microscope; with the stereomicroscope there was no problem down to f/16 as far as I tested)! Although the viewfinder was rather dark, it was possible to focus well enough to get very good photos. Focus is by the microscope, with the camera lens prefocused manually to the closest focus. Good thing with this kind of setup, as stated in various sources, is that the camera can be positioned to almost touch but not touch the eyepiece so that any shutter shake would not be transmitted to the microscope which is extremely sensitive to tiny movements. In any case, one needs not worry about the lens and eyepiece colliding because the eyepiece will hit (and be stopped by) the front of the lens housing before it can hit the lens. I could also fine-tune the kelvin temperature of the camera to that of the microscope light source.
Discovered this just in time to save $900 (thats $1500 Singapore dollars!). This is certainly a breakthrough, a revolution for me and my Nikon system. The 60mm f/2.8 can competently execute not only macrography and supermacrography but also photomicrography with little or no additional cost.
Hope my discoveries will be of use to those obsessed with this type of photography.
#8. "RE: Microscope adaptors for D200" | In response to Reply # 7bclaff Registered since 25th Oct 2004Mon 18-Dec-06 04:31 PM
I'm glad you discovered this solution and that it works for you.
I was intending to make a reply but was first looking for an old image that I now think was deleted.
I took pictures in the manner you describe through a simple single tube microscope using a 50mm f/1.8D lens; so I knew it was possible.
Share some of you images soon!
Visit me at Photons To Photos
#9. "RE: Microscope adaptors for D200" | In response to Reply # 8dgh3 Registered since 29th Jan 2007Mon 18-Dec-06 04:42 PM
I don't know exactly what previous thread you refer to, but I posted a suggestion on solving this problem at
and included some URLs to pics, and to the location where I got the adaptor. I use my 50mm f/1.8 lens and get great, clear pics. Focus is a bit of a pain, but I shoot my D200 tethered to the computer and it is very quick and easy to adjust.
The clarity of the pics is excellent. I've made some 20x30 prints which have won prizes in photo contests with this setup.
Life is short, death is long, there is no perfection in life, only in death; perfect stillness. Enjoy life!
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#10. "RE: Microscope adaptors for D200" | In response to Reply # 9Tue 19-Dec-06 05:26 AM
Yes, I know that many others before me must have discovered that we can put an SLR lens directly to the microscope, but you can't imagine how I felt like Archimedes at that moment!
Yes, the thread given by Dave above was the one I was referring to. Stupid of me not to look at the lenses more closely before deciding that it was impossible.
You can find my photomicrographs at http://sps.nus.edu.sg/~linyangc/micro/micro.html
Please do not expect fantastic award-winning photos, I am still learning a lot about photography everyday. Only one photo on that page was taken by the D200/Micro Nikkor 60mm; the rest were taken with an Olympus Mju-300.
#11. "RE: Microscope adaptors for D200" | In response to Reply # 10Tue 19-Dec-06 05:28 AM
the link to my photomicrographs above is wrong. It should be:
#12. "RE: Microscope adaptors for D200" | In response to Reply # 9Tue 19-Dec-06 12:11 PM
Hi again folks,
I have been trying out my aforementioned direct connection between Micro Nikkor 60mm and microscope eyepiece on different specimens under both stereomicroscope and compound light microscope. In all cases I have noticed obvious purple and green fringing inthe photos, which isn't there when I observe directly through the microscope with my eye (those are good-quality Olympus microscopes). Has anyone experienced this with a direct camera-microscope coupling without adaptor, and if so, do you have any idea what's wrong? Could it be that the optics of the lens aren't somehow corrected to those of the microscope (for analogy, the individual elements of a camera lens have to cancel out the aberrations of one another)? Does anyone have this problem if he uses a proper adaptor? How can you then be sure that a single adaptor will be appropriately corrected for all models of microscope, both stereomicroscope and compound light microscope?
Any advice will be greatly appreciated. US$900 is at stake!