C-MOUNT CAMERA ADAPTERS The most common microscopy camera is c-mount, these c-mount adapters are generally the lowest cost and most effective class of adapter for microscopy and the entire microscope manufacturing industry has standardised on this type of camera adapter. Anything else is considered ‘a special. The more expensive is your brand of microscope, the more expensive will be the adapter.
DSLR CAMERA ADAPTERS Frequently requested are adapters to connect normal retail digital (non-c-mount) cameras to microscopes. GT Vision have a huge amount of expertise in this area and we design and manufacture our own range of adapters, we supply a T-Mount adapter kit.
As we all know modern cameras can produce fantastic images with accurate colour rendition and very high resolutions and the cameras are packed with useful features, it is therefore desirable to attach cameras of this quality to your microscope system. GT Vision Ltd are experts in this field and we manufacture our own digital camera adapter systems and we can supply third party manufactured systems. When set up well the results can be truly excellent.
However, customers should be aware that, even with our expertise in this area, it is often a difficult thing to get right. The main reason for this is that DSLR-type cameras were never designed to attach to microscopes and, equally important, no microscope manufacturer has designed their microscope to have this class of camera attached. So, given an enormous and constantly changing range of cameras and an even larger range of microscopes and camera attachment points on microscopes, it is simply impossible to design a perfect solution for every permutation of camera and microscope. A very high proportion of these permutations have never been tried and therefore cannot be guaranteed to succeed. Because of this the microscope industry as a whole is reluctant to offer a solution because it is low volume, time consuming and an extremely uncertain area of business with a high level of customer support and expensive returns required. Furthermore, because the DSLR-type cameras are not designed for microsopy they are often not the easiest devices to use for microscopy especially when focussing, a great deal depends on an individual model’s capability and the user’s understanding of the capabilities (and limitations) of their camera when a lens is not attached. Finally getting the same field of view going to the camera as you see through the eyepieces and getting camera and the eyepieces in focus at the same time (parfocality) is also rather tricky to get right and often is simply impossible to achieve.
However it is impossible to ignore the fact that, when correctly adapted, a DSLR-type camera will undoubtedly outperform most c-mount cameras for brightfield imaging, albeit less conveniently.
BINOCULAR and MONOCULAR MICROSCOPES
Some microscopes do not have a camera port, these microscopes are normally described as binocular or monocular . It is possible to attach a DSLR-Type camera to an eyepiece tube once an eyepiece has been removed. The camera should be supported with a tripod or similar. You will need an ‘Eyepiece Tube:DSLR Kit’ – see below
Some models of microscopes have a camera port (photoport) with an internal diameter is 23.2mm and because this is the same as an eyepiece tube an ‘Eyepiece Tube:DSLR Camera Adapter Kit‘ can be used. For instance Meiji microscopes and many GXMicroscopes microscopes often have this type of camera port or can be adapted to have one with a converter tube.
This type of adapter has one end that fits into an eyepiece tube, this has a diameter of approximately 23.2mm. The other end is 42mm in diameter, commonly known as T-Mount. This adapter has a lens inside it which can have different magnification lenses according to the size of the sensor in your camera. In certain types of adapters larger sensors typically require 1.6X-1.9X, while most require 2.5X. You then need an adapter which is a T-Mount to the relevant Bayonet Mount of your camera.
If you are connecting to an Eyepiece Tube:
On many standard biological and materials upright microscopes the eyepiece tube measures 23.2mm. However many microscopes a fitted with wider field of view eyepieces (eg stereo microscopes and more expensive microscopes) and these often have a diameter of 30mm, 30.5mm or 31.75mm. To make this type of adapter fit these tubes snugly a spacer ring can be supplied. However it should be noted that the view to the camera provided by the adapter will inevitably a region of the centre of the field of view, in other words it will give a more magnified view of your specimen than you are viewing throgh your microscope. We know of no camera adapter of this type that is designed properly for a wider diameter eyepiece tube than 23.2mm.
Getting the camera and the eyepieces in focus at the same time (parfocality) may require the purchase of some T-Mount Extension rings which moves your camera further from the camera adapter, you can buy inexpensive 5mm and 10mm T-rings for your experimentation. It is quite often the case that you cannot achieve perfect parfocality.
Please bear in mind that hanging a heavy camera off an angled eyepiece tube may not be the best idea! You may need to mount the camera onto a tripod. Also on some stereo microscopes the weight of the camera may move the focus, you will need to adjust the focus tension (please ask us if you are unsure how to do this on a GXM model)
Attaching a DSLR camera to camera ports on trinocular headed microscopes
One method to do this is by using a 1X C-mount adapter which is specific to your microscope, this normalises the camera port of your microscope and can normally only be supplied by a a company specialising in your particular make of microscope. At GT Vision we can supply C-mount adapters for the following microscopes (manufactured within the last 10 or 15 years) (not all are in stock as they are relatively rare purchases), examples of the most common are:
Obtaining adapters for older microscopes maybe possible, we will be pleased to advise. Sometimes 1X c-mount adapters are simply not available but we can usally convert other magnification c-mount adapters to become 1X. 1X c-mount adapters are the lowest cost type of c-mount adapter.
Sometimes the adapter we propose below will work with a c-mount adapter with a lower magnification (eg 0.5X) but 1X usually gives the best outcome.
Now that the camera port has been ‘normalised’ with a 1X C-mount adapter, we know exactly where the image will be formed and can then attach a C-Mount:T-Mount Adapter . There are a number of this type of adapter on the market, good quality ones are not inexpensive.
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