Thursday, 5 March 2015

Heath Robinson Revisits the Microscope

Recently I read on the instructables site about using a USB web camera with a microscope, something I had tried in the past with fair to poor results.  I tried again today but the result from the camera I had were far from usable. Instead I decided to try once again using a video camera. The sort used for surveillance. I have accumulated a few spares over the years and found one which worked fairly well.

In the instructable it said to remove the lens from the camera and use it instead of the eyepiece lens so it would just  be using the microscope objective lenses. That was reasonable but I found the camera was really too far from the microscope lenses so I made a few mods. I removed the eyepiece, its holder and the part containing the prism:


That meant the camera could look straight down.


Balancing the camera in place I found it was now too close so hunted around and found a plastic ring which fitted nicely and raised the camera to the correct height. That I fixed in place with four blobs of hot melt glue:

DSCN3941    DSCN3942

Lens removed from the video camera:


and balance on top of the microscope:


12V power applied and video out from the camera connected to the USB EzCap video grabber I use to get video from the nest boxes. As well as video it is also possible to take still snapshots with it:



Some of the resultant snapshots:

Snapshot 150305_0002    Snapshot 150305_0004

Snapshot 150305_0018   Snapshot 150305_0020

Snapshot 150305_0001

which is a microscope's eye view of:

On the whole I am quite pleased with this set up. I can't get all the lenses to focus. It seems to be the high magnification immersible ones which are a problem but two of them work perfectly and give me plenty of scope for future Macro on Monday puzzles.


  1. uh oh. your 'what is this' macro shots just got harder. :)

  2. We are in for it now! ;-)

  3. The part of you comment I liked best was "so hunted around and found" ... because I could really relate to it. Trying to alter or repurpose something to make things work can be a fun challenge. I like that part when I'm searching my brain for possible fixes. Your alterations worked really well, and the results admirable! Yes, I agree with those commenting above ~ macro shots, yikes!

  4. These results are very impressive. It's a pity the submersibles don't work as a dish of pond water always keeps me entertained.
    You could go the whole hog now and get a T-Mount SRB GRITURN are very reasonable and a good company to deal with. If you are unsure phone as the lady there is very knowledgeable and quick to point out what it is you really need. It would be great to see similar through your Nikon or canon.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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