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Posted in response to Re: Re: MINERAL PHOTOGRAPHY from Michael T Miles (Mike) on June 09, 2007 at 11:06:52:


Hi Mike

I'm afraid that I can't advise you on digital cameras for mineral work - because we don't have one yet. We have just started shopping for one.

Basically, we are still *film dinosaurs.* We have an old Minolta XE7 that a master photographer friend told us to hang onto forever - it's such a great body. We also have several good quality lenses that we use with it routinely, including both a couple zoom macros and one dedicate 110mm macro. The lenses are a mix of Minolta and recommended compatibles which either our master photographer friend or my wife's dad (also a highly experienced photographer have said "get!" (Her Dad gave her the camera as a graduation gift from high school and knew enough to evaluate it as probably being the "keeper" our master photographer says it is.)

For other accessories we have a good tripod with a pan head, a compound focusing rail for mounting on the tripod before we add the camera, a set of Minolta extension rings, a bellows, and tons of sundry little things like filters and gels for working with different types of lighting.

We also, of course, have the converters we need to mount the camera on our microscopes. :~}

Another thing we are working on at present is lighting for the camera and scope combinations. We currently have a 150 watt dual light guide fiber optic light which has a built in color correction filter; but we want to change to Solux bulbs ASAP. I am just not sure if this will be for ALL our lighting - or perhaps just for the non-micro range in our shooting. ALL would be great - but it may not be possible for technical reasons.

I am also presently looking into adding a special pair of fiber-optic light guides. to our scope set-up. The present fiber-optic light we have can only focus the light through it down to about a quarter inch spot; but one of the big issues with shooting through the microscope is brightly lighting smaller and smaller areas - getting as many lumens per square millimeter as you can possible manage. This special fiber-optic lamp has lenses on the ends of the two light guides that can be focused down to a roughly 32nd inch spot. We hope that will concentrate the light to a small enough surface area that we aren't always looking into the scope at 60X or greater and seeing such a dark image that we have to guess at the exposure time we need to set.

Basically, we're in the market for a good digital macro camera ourselves. In fact I think we will look into Doug's recommendations.



From Alan - June 09, 2007 at 14:57:06

Message: 64294

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