Camera adapter for a microscope

camera-adapter-for-stereo-microscope

[Steve] really has a nice microscope setup in his lab now that he built a video camera adapter for his stereo microscope. The image above shows the magnified view of the circuit board on the LCD screen behind it. This lets him work without needing to be in position to look through the eye pieces. The hack is a perfect complement to the custom stand he fabricated for the scope.

The camera attachment can be seen attached to the right lens of the scope. It’s an old security camera which he already had on hand. The stock lens wasn’t going to bring the picture into focus, but he had some different optics on hand and one of them fit the bill perfectly. The rest of the project involves fabricating the adapter ring on his lathe. It slips perfectly over the eyepiece and even allows him a bit of adjustment to get the focal length right. The best view of this is shown off in the video after the break.

21 thoughts on “Camera adapter for a microscope

    1. I’m seriously wondering if I work with this guy. Every piece of equipment displayed is the same model as what we have in our lab. Even the camera hack was something everyone in the lab does..

      1. I don’t think we work together… No cameras on any of our work microscopes, and I’m the only one with a Metcal soldering station in the building.

        1. I saw some of your other posts. It looked really suspicious because I just had my microscope muggled a few months ago and it’s the same model. Also the same model iron.

          I wouldn’t mind since they were destined to be scraped anyway, since I have better stuff on the way.

          1. That’s quite a leap. B&L StereoZooms and Metcal equipment are not exactly rare items in the surplus world. I pick up most of the gear for my home electronics lab from ebay, swap fests, and company auctions.

  1. It’s the change of camera lens necessary or does it just improve the image? I thought, since the microscopes optics are allready designed to fit with an existing optical sistem – your eyes, shouldn’t they also work with any existing camera and its lens lens?

    1. Getting the proper amount of zoom was really the reason to change the lens. Use too wide of a lens, and you just see a tiny circle with the camera. Too much zoom and you don’t see the full field of view of the microscope (though it does eliminate the vignetting). The combination I stumbled upon lets me fill the camera picture with the whole view of the microscope, with minimal vignetting.

  2. The best thing to do would be to remove the lens entirely and see if you can get focus without it, you may well need a longer tube to achieve enough back focus.

      1. That’s a shame, I should’ve mentioned that you would need to remove the eyepiece too, then the camera sensor is prime focus, which should give you a better looking image.

        1. Yeah, tried all obvious combinations of optics (and no optics) that I had on hand. I thought focusing directly on the camera sensor would work too.

  3. @Steve – this is the second post about you that I have seen and I am very impressed. My suggestion would be to add some strain relief to the usb cable. It could be anything from a simple rubberband on up to a machined part… but the rubber band would do just fine and can be had in almost any color available.

  4. When working overseas I owned an original 1969 “Tokyo Olympus” stereo microscope I wanted to do the exact same mod to…

    Glad to see it works! Good show!

  5. For those of us that aren’t in labs, we don’t see this all the time. Neat hack! For the rest of us not in a lab, anytime I ever need to read a part number off an IC or just see something tiny, I break out my cheap 380 line camera and x10 va11a usb adapter. All I have to do is unscrew the lens until it focuses at the short distance. Not as nice as a microscope but it works. Also works with some usb cameras that have an adjustable focus.

  6. Nice job.
    If you ever need some glass slides for a microscope, you can cut them from
    the glass used for scanner beds. It’s nice and clear , and will score and
    break nicely with a tile cutter.

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