gifs for Z-stacks?

I am gearing up for tests of a new iteration of my Lieberkühn reflector for 58mm diameter, f=35mm lens for macrophotography. This will be my first print in Shapeways bronzed steel material. In the meantime, enjoy some Lieberkühn enhanced macrophotography, in gif format.

The subject is the lovely Osmia aglaia, a beautiful blue solitary bee from North America. Compression for the GIF format does some fuzzy things to the photos, but it was still worth the experiment for a simple way to display z-stacks. Click for larger versions.

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I’ve also recently launched a new double threaded lens cap: stays on the lens when bumped or carried, and now each lens cap fits two standard lens diameters instead of one. They are available here in a variety of sizes, and you can see the firm attachment compared to squeeze lens caps demoed here . I have only tested this design out in the lens diameters I and a few friends own and use. I now need more photographers to try it out and provide feedback. With this in mind I will keep the Shapeways price as low as possible until some more theBilder threaded lens caps have had a run in the wild!

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Teaser photomicrography

Here’s something you may not know about the old manual Canon auto bellows and macro lens: the threaded adapter that connects a 20mm f3.5 (or 35mm f2.8) macro lens to the bellows employs the same threading standard as the typical microscope objective, known as the Royal Microscopical Society standard, 20.32 mm diameter with a pitch of 0.706 mm per turn, dates back to 1896 when it replaced an earlier standard.

The impact of this design choice for macrophotographers is that one can use any standard microscope objective, adding a great deal of options for imaging with the auto bellows and potentially pushing the capabilities of bellows macro into photomicrography. This can result in some very short working distances, and the sterics of the objective and subject mean there won’t generally be a lot of room for illumination sources. I designed this simple 3D printed microphotography objective hood for use with bright transverse illumination such as from a fiber optic illuminator. You may be familiar with the type of lens flare that can arise from this illumination setup-typically a haze effect that decreases the overall contrast of the image while increasing the brightness, particular toward the middle of the image.

I took the images below through a 10X NA = 0.25 objective (on the right, with lens hood).

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My camera battery is charging, no spare, and I don’t have a worthwhile illumination source handy to shoot proper test shots (these were illuminated with a handheld torch). Nonetheless, I couldn’t resist taking these half-portraits, and I’ll post them here as a teaser. I will use these gorgeous metallic bees for Lieberkühn tests as well. For now, enjoy these Osmia aglaia photos while my camera charges.

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