My Camera Setup

My Camera is a solid and fairly affordable Canon EOS 1300D. I have made thousands of pictures with it. It provides 12MegaPixel pictures, and it comes with software to remotely shoot.

I use a self made steel standard that is mounted vertical on a marmer plate, with a Bellows mounted on top of it looking down. The Bellows has a standard Canon ring to mount a camera, and at the other end a Camera holder is mounted that originated from my stereo microscope. This camera holder thus is an extra extention of the Bellows (10 cm) and is customized on one end to hold my lense Zeiss 40mm or 25mm.

Each photo is created out of 20 to 30 or even more pictures that are stacked together to give more depth of view (micro photography suffers from small areas that are in focus). Exposure is usually between 0,8 and 1,3s. For stacking I use Helicon Focus 6. An old heavy bespoke copper made and fine adjustable table originating from a lab is used to alter the distance of a mineral to the camera in small steps.

Most of my pictures have a field of view of about 5mm. In obvious cases the species are cabinet size, and sometimes the FoV is just 2,5mm.

The lights I use are flexible led arms (Ikea) and tempering of the light is reached via layers of translucent white plastic originating from ordinary storage boxes (Ikea as well). I lower my Red with 35 and increase Blue with 35 (XnConvert for Bulk, free software) to compensate for the Ikea temperature or use adjustment in Canon Digital Photo Professional 4 software , and sharpening is around 50%. Usually I add little brightness and little contrast (+5 in Canon software). Occasionally I use standard Ms picture editing for the shadow and highlights. The most difficult factor for me to make good quality pictures is the wooden floor, hence the marmor plates. Next to that, naturally, one needs to be somewhat of a light artist. One day I will master it 😉