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Microscope lenses on Pocket 6K

focus stacked macro of a fly with helicon focus from video clip

I was having fun lately with some normal macro photography and was curious if I somehow can use my fathers microscope lenses on my photo and film cameras. The idea is not new, a quick google search showed that it was indeed possible but you need a special adapter for these microscope lenses. The adapter is called “RMS to M42” and it is available from china on aliexpress.

I didn’t want to wait 4 weeks for the metal adapter to arrive so I thought let’s design one in Fusion360 – but before I start let’s check Thingiverse first 🙂 and voila! someone designed it already – LOL. Thanks to Emilio José Muñoz

Here is the link to the STL file from ejmfoto: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4687298

3d printed RMS to M42 adapter – PLA – layer height 0.10mm

So I printed the adapter from PLA with a layer height of 0.10mm on my original Prusa MK3. I was very surprised that the threads worked perfectly. I screwed the 3d printed adapter into my M42 to CanonEF metal adapter and started to play with different microscope lenses.

blackmagic design pocket 6k with plan 5x microscope lens
blackmagic design pocket 6k with zeiss 16x microscope lens
lomo 8x microscope lens worked best for me
lomo 8x directly attached to pocket 6k without extension tubes > vignetting

I soon realized that without extension tubes I got less than 8x magnification and some vignetting. After reading several online documents I knew that I have to increase the distance from camera to microscope lens to about 160mm to get that 8x magnification from the Lomo 8x and get rid of the vignetting.

I started with the thin extension tubes from the microscope accessories itself and got a good magnification to work with. After that I added my Kenko/Canon EF extension tubes and the whole length was about 160mm. You can play with that length depending what magnification you need. And don’t forget you need a lot of light! This was just a quick test setup on my desk to see if it works and it did!

blackmagic design pocket 6k with lomo 8x microscope lens
blackmagic design pocket 6k with lomo 8x microscope lens

With all extension tubes that I had, I got that max. 8x magnification from the Lomo microscope lens. I also tested the 16x and 40x microscope lenses and the magnification is mind blowing but my setup is way to flimsy for that. I need a dedicated macro rail like “wemacro” with threaded rod instead of a belt driven system.

The camera itself is mounted on an old edelkrone slider with a motion module. I record short 4K ProRes422HQ clips and use them for focus stacking directly in helicon focus. For this fly I used an average of 160 frames. The slider was not meant for these extreme macro shots therefore I had to increase the shutter speed to 1/300 to avoid the motion blur from the shakiness. This way I get crystal clear frames that work perfectly in helicon focus.

To get the maximum quality from the Pocket 6K you could record in 6K BRAW – color correct the short clips in DaVinci Resolve and export it to 6K ProRes422HQ or single files something that helicon focus can import. All these focus stacked pictures here I did with 4K ProRes422HQ directly out of camera because for the test it was a faster turnaround time.

pocket 6k with lomo 8x microscope lens with 160mm extension tube
pocket 6k with lomo 8x microscope lens with 160mm extension tube
pocket 6k with laowa 25mm macro lens @2.5x
pocket 6k with laowa 25mm macro lens @2.5x
lomo 8x + pocket 6k with 90mm extension tubes > vignetting

Sources / interesting material:
https://www.maxamillion.online/blog/2019/6/20/adapting-microscope-lenses
https://makrodunyasi.com/en/macro-photography-using-microscope-lenses/
http://makrofokus.se/blogg/2016/9/22/diy-makro-fisheye.html
http://makrofokus.se/blogg/2015/9/24/nonac-40mm-f28.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW-44IKD8l0
https://www.edmundoptics.com/knowledge-center/
https://www.mjkzz.com/single-post/2016/08/10/Using-Microscope-Objectives-For-Beginners