Good combined magnifier/camera?

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Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by liamnolan » Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:16 am

Just wondering if there is a bit of equipment whereby I could place a coin/find on a pad, be able to look through a magnifying screen to check out the tiniest details, then press a button to take a picture? An all-in-one device?
Cheers, Liam OooO


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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by beep-and-dig » Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:40 am

USB Microscope from Maplins ::g

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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by Oxgirl36 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:54 am

Can't recommend one but this might help you to write a list of criteria for your purchase. Integrated lighting would, for me, be essential but might not be for you.

http://www.microscope-detective.com/usb ... Xj2jd.dpbs" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

BTW the Aven camera at $128 sounds brilliant but it's over £326 in the U.K. Knowing someone abroad can be very helpful ;)
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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by liamnolan » Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:55 am

Thanks, I bought one of those a few years ago. Its cheap but you get what you pay for, very light and a little unstable, focusing is crude. I would be willing to pay more for something of better build quality that is more solid, Liam
PS - thanks Cath
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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by DAVYBFAST » Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:57 am

there was an app for the phone to do this with the camera in the phone .

don't no if its still out there or if it was any good.

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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by mrix » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:00 am

I used to use a USB Microscope which was pretty good but placing coins was a little awkward, would be nice to have something similar which was designed for small artefacts / Coins which you could simply place in a holder to help take close up shots.

I had a microscope similar to the one in the video below but this one has the adjustable stand making it far more steady and easy to use, the quality admittedly is not so good on this one but the idea is good ::g B-)
DEwNW9LAPTg


Cheers
mrix

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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by liamnolan » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:15 am

Thanks, that looks much better. I would have it next to the laptop and ready for action, no need to rummage in the drawer for a camera that may need fresh batteries, missing USB cable, getting the right lighting, no vibration or shaking, just pop the item on the mat, zoom in and take some good shots that can then be saved to laptop and into photobucket or whatever. Liam
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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by Phil2401 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:22 pm

Not quite what you're looking for, but I splashed out £2.59 on one of these and it does actually work!

http://www.dx.com/p/universal-30x-micro ... LLVzRicbVp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

There are various other similar smartphone clip-on microscope thingies available, but a 10x magnification would be ideal rather than this one, which is 30x.

Phil
liamnolan wrote:Just wondering if there is a bit of equipment whereby I could place a coin/find on a pad, be able to look through a magnifying screen to check out the tiniest details, then press a button to take a picture? An all-in-one device?
Cheers, Liam OooO
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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by hairyharry » Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:28 pm

for what its worth, i use a magnifying app on the phone coupled with an external lens that fits over the phone, crude and cheap, but does the job, but no good if you have the shakes as there is no stand, and once you magnify, your shakes be they small or not are also magnified.

good luck in your search
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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by Pastmember01 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:37 pm

This isn't such an easy question and a lot will depend on what you want to spend and your expectations. Your are really looking for low magnification, good depth of field and as flat field as possible.
Forget about all the claims of 100+ times magnifications. You'll need something between 2-10x so the high mags are just there to make you buy - a bit like a detector that guarantees to find hammies at 2 feet!
Below £100 you are going to get any of the standard USB microscopes. The important thing is a good stand as mentioned before. Most suffer from a lot of spherical aberration where the edge of the image is "soft". More expensive lenses correct for this but it does come at a price.
At around £200+ you have two options. Either a second hand dissecting microscope but you may need to add a camera circa £100. But, the scope is already rock solid.
Or, just dedicate a digital camera with good macro lens, USB charging from the laptop and download the camera roll. Just leave it with the laptop. You can tether some cameras so that you see the image on screen first but not all work. You'll need a stand (not one of the articulated ball tripods) as an extra, connected through the tripod mount.
All of the above will work. It's just a case of price and whether you will be happy with the final image. I'm lucky in having access to microscopes from my digital camera through to one costing a quarter of a million. But, even the best in the wrong hands gives crap results. In contrast,you can get great results from cheap stuff if you take a bit of time.

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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by f8met » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:50 pm

Most of the pictures I post are taken from my phone using the magnifier app. I tend to stand the phone on a camera lens or beer can or other tallish item so I only have to lightly tough the screen to take the picture. You can zoom in really close and use the cameras flash as additional lighting.

It is just called magnifier on the android app shop and it is free so if you don't like it you can always remove it.
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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by Pastmember01 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:51 am

Two things to separate here as per OP. Taking pictures isn't really a problem with anything from phones upwards; just depends how you use them. And coins are nice and flat so relatively easy. But OP wants all objects, on-screen viewing and then picture capture. This normally requires 3 hands - two to hold object steady and one to press buttons.
All of the USB microscopes will do the job so you are looking for ease of use and quality of image.
You'll need lower magnification with as flat a picture as you can find i.e. not soft around the edges. You'll need a good working distance. It's no good if you need to get the lens 2cm from the object as the depth of field will be crap and you won't get your fingers in there to move the item. And the better the stand the easier things become.
And something soft and squidgy like pasticine or playdo helps to keep objects at odd angles when you want to take a picture.

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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by Taxino8 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:58 am

Use a scanner, I do and it's great.
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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by liamnolan » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:45 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions, really appreciate it. The apparatus is not intended to be moved around, I will just plonk it on the office desk and arrange the other inevitable bits and bobs around it. Some great ideas there, Liam OooO
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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by Pastmember01 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:33 am

Hi The Ferret,
great post as it shows what's possible with an off the shelf high quality camera for not too much money (circa £300 with decent desk stand). It shows the important point of a good working distance and allowing you to get your hands and full object in front of the lens. I would consider that essential.
Liam, you'll need to set your expectations as all lens systems (cameras, microscopes etc.) are a compromise. In this case the macro has a lot of aberration - you can see it in the grid lines of the still pictures giving a bulls-eye effect. If you're happy with that, and there's no reason you shouldn't be, then great. It does affect all lenses to some degree unless you have deep pockets. Not so long ago I paid (well the company did) nearly £2k for a wide field microscope lens of just x2 magnification!

As you plan to dedicate a system try before you buy. You are only going to use a tiny part of the cameras functions so you might as well go for the one that does that function well. You won't need the bit that shoots formula 1 cars with an 800x zoom. Take along a couple of objects and some graph paper. Image the paper flat and look to see if the lines become curved or blurred at the edges. Then stand an object about 2.5cm tall on the paper. Focus on the paper and see if the top of the object is in focus. These two tests will give you an idea of which camera will start to meet your needs.

And Ferret, good post as it really brings things to life ::g

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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by Koala » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:01 am

Scanner are great. No focusing. Just place the coin on the glass and scan.

With the top up gives a black background. Looks nice
Top down gives a white background for recording.

Always the same distance and resolution so you can flip the coin over take a second scan and merge in mspaints for a front and back view of the artefacts in the correct proportions


Images are very acceptable but not quite as sharp as my camera on macro. However I very rarely get the camera out. As with the scanner it permanent set up and much more convenient with no lighting requirements.

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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by Pastmember01 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:51 am

Koala,
coins would be fine but what about crotal bells, rings, ammunition, shell fuses etc. and scanners are limited to one plane and one form of lighting.
Horses for courses.
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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by gobslotch » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:48 pm

I use an app called magnifier, it can be a little tricky keeping the phone still at higher magnifications but it is handy in the field if you have my eyesight. The pic I just took is of lovely Lizzie on the clear part of a new fiver. The other is a pic of the app. I have a Samsung galaxy 5 and android operating system.
Regards Dale
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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by liamnolan » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:03 pm

Thanks, I have the Galaxy A3i, will explore the apps tomorrow! Cheers, Liam OooO
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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by Koala » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:42 am

WVAM wrote:Koala,
coins would be fine but what about crotal bells, rings, ammunition, shell fuses etc. and scanners are limited to one plane and one form of lighting.
Horses for courses.
Chris
Yes only one form of lighting

3D objects just place on the glass and leave the lid off

Nice and quick no transferring files to the computer. Love photography. Have the cameras. Tens of thousands of photographs. But to post on a forum with its limited upload resolution its easier just to open the scanner software hit the preview button crop to size and hit the scan button.
2017-03-02-0001_resized.jpg
This is an old XP scanner I got free. Running on windows 10 using View scan
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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by Koala » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:30 am

Or if you prefer a white background rest the lid over the top
2017-03-02-0005_edited.jpg
2017-03-02-0006_resized.jpg
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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by Pastmember01 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:51 am

Hi Koala,

I think we are in agreement that there is more than one way to skin the cat. It just depends on what folks want to achieve. I'm sure that between us we could lay out the pros and cons of each approach and then folks could choose.
These days we've come to expect a lot from images, high image quality, and everything in an instant. Going back to the OP he wants to look at the detail of the object and then capture pictures. That's why I would put live image, working distance, DoF, and flat(ish) field top of the list. I think the OP wants to explore the object and then capture the images which he can do directly on screen with any live image.

I suspect you have struck lucky with your older scanner which I think has a DoF of up to 10mm. Many of the newer scanners have a more limited DoF.

There's no wrong answer to this - it's just a series of compromises and he needs to decide what does the job best for him. I think together and with others we've put up lots of options and information which is better than Liam buying something and being disappointed - at least he knows what to look for and may already have what he needs in the cupboard.

This is beginning to sound like choosing a detector ;)

Cheers,
Chris

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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by Koala » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:43 pm

Yep

Always more than one way to skin a cat.

I use a smart phone, microscope, camera and scanner.

Smart phone gets used the most. Great for every day memories. Great it gets backed up to the cloud.

I also normally take a photo in the field with the smart phone to record its GPS coordinates

Camera gives the nicest images but you have to either wait for nice daylight, use a tripod or best of all build a white defusing tent and use two flashes from either sides. Now normally only get the camera out when out climbing above the clouds or hill walking and so on.

Proper microscope shows the crystalline structures and scratches but the field of view is very small.
As of now I have no way to record the images.

Scanner has the worst resolution (600 DPI) if the item is small. I have two completely different ones both work just fine. However in less than a minute you have an adequate image for a forum which can be zoomed full screen to aid identification plus has a built in light.

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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by Koala » Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:45 am

Saw this today

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... -episode-5


21:50

Dino-lite to expensive for me though :D

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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by kpjuk » Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:12 am

Hi Liam,

I wanted something easy to set up to take a consistent quality of picture for finds. I came up with this DIY Lightbox, that is still work in progress.
20170415_053105_001.jpg
I have highlighted the cut outs for better visibility.

I bought (from ebay) a 1meter 12v LED strip and a 12v 2amp plug for £8 then bought a sarnie box from B&M for £2.50.

You cut the LED strip which is (sticky backed) to size. This strip came with the connector fitted. I then cut the side out of the lunch box, and a a square hole at the top then stuck the LED strip on the inside.
20170415_053616_001.jpg
The finished article all lit up. Now it's just a case of placing the box upside down on a sheet of paper with a ruler on it, and your artifact or coin where you want it. The camera stays in the same position, lying on the top of the box. When you want to move the artifact to take the reverse side, you put your hands through the side opening to re-position it, without disturbing the focal length.

The sides of the sarnie box in this version are too low, so it is a little fiddly getting your hands in through the sides without knocking the box, so I am in the lookout for a better box. The LED lights also need glue sticking in, as the weight of the connector is dragging the LED's off the roof of the box when in use.

It does achieve it's objective though.

For the next version, I need a better box. I am thinking more of an oblong box, and putting it on its end rather than on it's "roof". This would give better access to move the position of the artifact/coin. I also want to put more LED's in it, to give better lighting.

Once I have finished with it, I just put the plug in the box, and store the box in the cupboard.

Hope it helps ?

Kev J.
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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by liamnolan » Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:04 am

Thanks Kev and others of course, very much appreciated. One of our members has kindly modified the POV camera onto a "stalk" that adds some stability but the more we modify and tinker, the more I realise that we need something better and so we are looking at various options. Its just for club nights use, when we need to put something under the camera lens and project the image onto the overhead TV screen. Zooming in and out is very fiddly, going in and out of focus all the time.
Some great ideas on here and thanks again, Liam OooO
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Re: Good combined magnifier/camera?

Post by Discosfa » Sun May 14, 2017 9:38 am

Hi,
I bought a Kenko real pro clip lens with wide and Macro 120 degree lens for £22 .
Just clips over the phones camera so perfect for the field so can zoom and take a photo and comes in its own little pouch.
Hope this helps.
Roy

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