Is perfection too much to ask for?

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Thomas Ashcraft
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Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 8:34 am

Is perfection too much to ask for?

Post by Thomas Ashcraft »

My problem : Tiny specks show in my videography at 400x and 1000x bright field and it's bugging me like crazy. :cry:

I am making movies with a video webcam abutted atop a 10x widefield eyepiece on a trinocular microscope. No matter how fastidious I clean the glass.....I cannot seem to get it all absolutely pristine and spotless. (I have also disassembled the eyepiece for cleaning in between the lenses.)

I am beginning to wonder if perfection at 1000x is too much to ask for and that microphotographers also have tiny specks they live with.....but just photoshop them away in the final image.....which I can't do in videography.

I have tried a gentle cleaning fluid from a camera shop. I have tried dish soap. And I might have made a mistake by using 91% isopropyl alcohol at one point. ( Maybe that was an error. Not sure.)

Maybe I just don't have the knack or something? Any tips on getting perfection in these realms?

Thanks in advance for any clues. - Tom

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Post by wilash »

Are you sure the dust is in your eyepiece?

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Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

Before I moved to a higher end scope, I used to have lots of problems with even the tiniest specks of dust. It would drive me insane because I too am a stickler for perfection in optics and cleanliness in them. Microscopes are notorious for showing imperfections in optics, especially at high magnifications. Digital cameras are also prone to this problem. They too will show any dust that maybe in the optical train of their systems also. Combine that with the specks of dust in your scope and you are about ready to throw the whole mess out the window.

As for a solution, the only thing I can think of is you can brighten the field, this will mask most annoying specks of dust or dirt when photographing through the scope. Another but more costly solution is to go to a higher end scope with better optics. Since going to the Zeiss Axiostar I have not had any problems with dust or specks in the field of view at any magnifications, with the exception of what may accumulate on the outer eyepiece lens and I just simply whisk that away with a soft cosmetics brush purchased at the local drug store and lightly blow a little air across the lenses outer surface.

If you have a high end scope and the field is spotless, the camera is more than likely your problem. In buying digital cameras for microscopy I have learned a lesson. Never buy from dept. stores like Wal Mart or other such retailers. Look at the camera box. Does it have the "manufacturers seal?" Not a piece of scotch tape securing the box. Some stores who offer, for example, cameras such as Sony, Fuji, Canon, Nikon etc. at lower than average prices are more than likely selling you a factory reconditioned item. Of course you have your warrenty intact and all but the reconditioned items are not reconditoned in accordance with the cleanliness requirements and quality assurance of the orginal manufacturer. I went through several cameras from department store retailers and had to return every single one because of dust or debries in the optical train and you know what I noticed? None of them had the original manufactures seal, just a wide piece of scotch tape sealing the box! I later purchased two Sony digitals for my scopes, both cameras in their box with the Sony manufactures seal and both cameras are wonderfully clean and perform to my liking. :D

Is "perfection to much to ask?" NO! But your going to have to pay for it. :(
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Kenneth Ramos
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Kens Microscopy
Reposts of my images within the galleries are welcome, as are constructive critical critiques.

Thomas Ashcraft
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Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 8:34 am

Post by Thomas Ashcraft »

Ken wrote: " .........even the tiniest specks of dust. It would drive me insane because I too am a stickler for perfection in optics and cleanliness in them. "

Thanks for your replies Ken and Will,

That's it....."tiniest specks"........ It's a hyper-dusty world at 1000x magnification for sure.

Anyway, I have made progress since posting my original complaint and now the situation is manageable.

Back to the microscope!