Author Topic: High quality, high resolution digital optical USB microscope  (Read 575 times)

Probeman

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High quality, high resolution digital optical USB microscope
« on: December 18, 2017, 09:23:02 am »
I'm looking to get a small optical microscope for our lab with a stand and built illumination for taking high resolution pictures of our samples/sample holders, for use with the PictureSnap feature in Probe for EPMA:

http://probesoftware.com/smf/index.php?topic=14.msg28#msg28

It seems that there are a lot of models available with a stand to choose from. And with built in illumination one gets true color images that can make sample navigation much easier, especially for samples with features that are only observable in visible light. I've also heard that the optics on many of these newer optical microscopes are excellent for the price.

Generally these devices connect via a USB cable and can save an image easily to ones hard drive for import into PictureSnap.  I would probably connect it right to the EPMA computer, though with a USB port it's easy enough to move it around the lab if necessary. Here is one possible model:

https://www.amazon.com/Koolertron-Microscope-Magnifier-Illumination-Intensity/dp/B016ICHOQ6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1513456272&

The above one might have a 2K x 2K resolution (with a 5 mega pixel camera), but what does 20x mean in terms of actual FOV?

Does anyone have experience with this sort of optical microscope hardware?   I'm looking for something that ideally has at least a 2, 3 or 4 cm FOV and as high a pixel resolution as possible (~10K x 10K pixels or more?). Here's another one but more expensive:

https://www.amazon.com/AmScope-H800-CL-5M-Inspection-Microscope-Magnification/dp/B005KV20O8/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1513456584&

The above one is 10 times more expensive but has a 1.7 cm FOV. Not sure what the pixel resolution is.

Does anyone have any suggestions for such a device?
john
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Ben Buse

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Re: High quality, high resolution digital optical USB microscope
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2017, 05:32:15 am »
Hi John,

We have a dino-lite which looks similar to the koolertron. It works well for lots of things - e.g. unpolished rock samples. But the LED illumination is problematic for highly reflective materials including thin sections, where the LED's are reflected in the image. In terms of field of view - I don't think you'd get a whole sample holder under it, certainly not a jeol one.

I've attached a couple of images, close up and max distance with the dino-lite

Ben
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 05:44:35 am by Ben Buse »

Mike Matthews

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Re: High quality, high resolution digital optical USB microscope
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2017, 09:29:48 am »
Illumination is always difficult with reflective samples, but there is a way to do it. First off, don't use the camera light source, it's just too direct. Best method (which takes a bit of home construction) is to make a light-tent out of white translucent material. The tent just needs to be big enough to fit the sample/holder and poke the camera through. The material can be some unwanted bed sheet material or plastic sheeting. Shine a light or two on the outside of the tent - the sides and roof of the tent then form the illumination source so give a very even light with no glare.

Probeman

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Re: High quality, high resolution digital optical USB microscope
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2017, 02:37:37 pm »
Hi Ben and Mike,
Excellent suggestions.

For thin sections we'd probably use our Nikon slide scanner, but we do have lots of reflective samples too, so Mike's idea of the diffuse illumination makes a lot of sense.

We find that we are using PictureSnap more and more as it makes it easy for sample navigation and they can get a record of where each analysis was performed.  A flat bed scanner works OK for many samples, but putting samples face down on the glass sometimes causes people to worry.  So we really need to get one of these in the lab sooner rather than later. 

Thanks so much.
john
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Probeman

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Re: High quality, high resolution digital optical USB microscope
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 01:13:11 pm »
Hi all,
Here is a USB microscope that I found on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CMJ1I08

It's 5 megapixels and at $74 the price is certainly good. Has anyone used these Celstron USB scopes?   But the lowest mag is 10x, so maybe I need a digital camera on a stand instead?  This 8 megapixel document camera seems to be ideal for almost any size object and it says "macro" focus down to 10 cm distance, which should be really high resolution at 8 megapixels.

https://www.amazon.com/Ipevo-Ziggi-HD-High-Definition-Document-CDVU-06IP/dp/B01530XGMA

This document camera is a little more expensive at $100 but still cheap.

Has anyone used these devices in the lab (or home)?
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Probeman

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Re: High quality, high resolution digital optical USB microscope
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2018, 03:50:09 pm »
I have to say I'm just very slightly disappointed.  I received the IPEVO Ziggi HD camera, and it's easy to install and use and it goes to 3200 pixels wide (8 megapixels), and the image looks good as seen here:



But when I zoom in, the image isn't as good quality as I'd hoped. Even when I carefully tried to focus manually as seen here:



The images are certainly good enough for normal macro sample navigation, but I was sort of hoping to pleasantly surprised by the zoomed in image quality, but I'm not.

This camera will work, but I wonder if there's a super duper high quality camera out there, that one can zoom, to infinity and beyond!   :D
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 05:07:01 pm by Probeman »
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Probeman

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Re: High quality, high resolution digital optical USB microscope
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 12:40:38 pm »
I've played around with the IP EVO Ziggi document camera a bit more and it seems to do the job well for sample navigation.



So I scanned some mounted thin film samples in my SX100 holder and after calibration first to two calibration points, then to a third point to account for image/sample rotation I get this:



Note that the calibration points are highlighted in the PictureSnap feature for easy reference.



Finally after acquisition, I clicked the display acquired data points menu and now we see where the analysis positions are distributed on the sample:



All in all, I think this will be a very easy to use and useful device for sample navigation.  For $99 it's hard to beat the quality.

Of course the image loaded into PictureSnap doesn't have to come from this specific camera.  Any image source can be imported and calibrated to one's instrument stage so long as you can find two (or three) common points of reference in the image and the actual object in the instrument.
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Changkun

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Re: High quality, high resolution digital optical USB microscope
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2018, 05:24:46 pm »
IPEVO document camera is really cool!
It is relatively cheap and small, but powerful.
Everything is much more than I expected and best tool for PictureSnapApp!

Mike Matthews

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Re: High quality, high resolution digital optical USB microscope
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2018, 10:59:04 am »
Here's an example ad photo of the type of pop-up light tent that you can buy, and a link to make a very low cost version using a cardboard box and some white muslin cloth
https://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-make-a-inexpensive-light-tent/
It also shows a couple of example shots that show how direct reflections and shine are reduced.

Probeman

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Re: High quality, high resolution digital optical USB microscope
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2018, 11:52:25 am »
IPEVO document camera is really cool!
It is relatively cheap and small, but powerful.
Everything is much more than I expected and best tool for PictureSnapApp!

Hi Changkun,
The attached image of your IPEVO camera shows a Cameca sample holder...  I know you have a JEOL 8530, do you also have a Cameca EPMA?  Which model?
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Changkun

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Re: High quality, high resolution digital optical USB microscope
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2018, 03:57:24 pm »
John, sorry for confusing you.
I don’t have a Cameca machine, but I love Cameca holder.
Two years ago I could get the holder, originally for SX-50, from other institute in Korea.
(SX-50 in that institute had not worked for many years.)
Now I sometimes use the Cameca holder for 8530F.
(JEOL should provide various top-reference holders.)

Probeman

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Re: High quality, high resolution digital optical USB microscope
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2018, 10:53:38 am »
John, sorry for confusing you.
I don’t have a Cameca machine, but I love Cameca holder.
Two years ago I could get the holder, originally for SX-50, from other institute in Korea.
(SX-50 in that institute had not worked for many years.)
Now I sometimes use the Cameca holder for 8530F.
(JEOL should provide various top-reference holders.)

Hi Changkun,
Not a problem at all.

But I am now officially impressed that you managed to fit a Cameca sample holder onto your JEOL 8530 instrument stage.  Was the modification difficult?  I think others might be interested in more details of your stage modifications.
john
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Changkun

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Re: High quality, high resolution digital optical USB microscope
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2018, 06:50:04 pm »
Quote
But I am now officially impressed that you managed to fit a Cameca sample holder onto your JEOL 8530 instrument stage.  Was the modification difficult?  I think others might be interested in more details of your stage modifications.

Nothing special!

Cameca 6-holder is attached onto JEOL adapter with Carbon tape  ;D
Since the height of Cameca 6-holder is almost same as that of JEOL 9-holder (LH9), there is no problem to use it with 8530F.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 06:53:27 pm by changkun »

Probeman

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Re: High quality, high resolution digital optical USB microscope
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2018, 09:09:02 pm »
Quote
But I am now officially impressed that you managed to fit a Cameca sample holder onto your JEOL 8530 instrument stage.  Was the modification difficult?  I think others might be interested in more details of your stage modifications.

Nothing special!

Cameca 6-holder is attached onto JEOL adapter with Carbon tape  ;D
Since the height of Cameca 6-holder is almost same as that of JEOL 9-holder (LH9), there is no problem to use it with 8530F.

What a great idea.  Excellent!
The only stupid question is the one not asked!