Build a stereo microscope from binoculars and a camera lens

Here’s an oldie but a goodie. [RunnerPack] stumbled upon an article from 2001 about building a stereo microscope from a pair of binoculars and a camera lens. With a ring light attached to the end of the camera lens, we couldn’t think of a better microscope for SMD work.

To mount the binoculars to the camera lens, [Giorgio Carboni] made a very nice adapter containing four prisms. These prisms are very carefully aligned and glued down with a little bit of epoxy. By using an 8×30 pair of binoculars and a 35-100 mm camera lens, [Giorgio] was able to get a magnification factor of 10-57x. With a macro lens this factor can be increased (a 28mm lens bumps it up to 71x, but a lot more light is needed).

The pedestal is just a few ground rods and ground steel rods, something that requires a bit of machining. Since 2001, though, a lot of tinkerers have 3D printers so it could be possible to build a more easily manufactured version of the focusing apparatus.

[RunnerPack] had a pair of binoculars and a camera lens handy and tried a mono version of this build. He says he was blown away, but unfortunately didn’t provide any pictures. If you decide to build this project, be sure to snap a few pics and send it in on the tip line.

11 thoughts on “Build a stereo microscope from binoculars and a camera lens

  1. Killer idea, considering that old manual focus lenses are cheap on Ebay (especially the Tamron variety that’s shown in the above tutorial).

    Great build!

  2. I might give this a go, I presume I could use mirrors as well as, or in place of the prisms.

    With that arangement, and modern compact binoculars set at a more comefortable angle, you would have a really handy and furthermore inexpensive setup.

    Time for some back of the envelope sketches I think.

    1. I was also planning to use some FS mirrors for the periscopes (I got some nice ones from some old flatbed scanners).

      The “comfortable angle” thing was the first thing I thought of. I started trying to come up with a mirror arrangement that would let me angle the binocs while keeping the objective perpendicular to the stage. If you come up with something along these lines, please share!

  3. I think the number of ways I’d fail if I tried this is quite impressively large, things would not be aligned, epoxy would be on the prism surfaces, and many other issues only a skilled writer or poet might think up beforehand.

    1. yes indeed. With such a lack of confidence you will make a nice worker drone, but not much else. Quit slacking on HaD and report to your boss for extra duty!

      1. Hey I’m speaking from experience that I don’t have a talent for precise builds.

        Also, what the hell are you on about with the worker drone nonsense? Some personal issue?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s