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Sunday, 5 February 2012

Camera or microscope: comparisons on a small cicada

I picked up a small cicada this morning.  I'm still flat out, but with live material, you need to deal with it quickly and let it go again.

I decided to try something I have been toying with for a while, to compare shots taken with the el cheapo microscope and the macro setting on my Canon Powershot G12, a good all-purpose field tool.

(I also own a G11 that has just come back from the repairs that field equipment needs, and a G2 that is more or less pensioned-off. I have the fittings to attach macro lenses and telephoto lenses (and also a polarising filter, but this is just with the camera itself.)

The top shot shows it sitting in a Petri dish under the microscope, using x10 magnification.  If you refer to my recent blog on scale and magnification, that means this picture covers an area about 17mm x 13mm.

Not that hot, is it?

The next shot is a crop from a x60 shot of the left eye.  As I said, I'm busy, so work out the scale for yourself, sorry.  I really am busy.

The eye is more satisfactory, but I decided I could clean it up a bit, using Corel Photopaint to adjust the brightness, contrast and intensity.

I'm not especially fond of that package, but I inherited an earlier version to teach, years ago, and got used to it.

Anyhow, you be the judge!

And now for four different stops on the camera from 0 to +1, using the macro lens, zoomed out a bit. These are cropped, but that's it.  Once again, you be the judge!

These are large-format and high-res.  You may wish to click on them.

Well, I know what I would choose, unless I wanted eye structures.  I think, though, that next weekend, I will get out the proper microscopes and try again, with whatever I can catch in the garden.

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