Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Request for Microscope Information

Expand Messages
  • Eugene J. Scarpulla
    Please forgive the request of an ornithologist turned entomologist. I know what to look for when purchasing binoculars and spotting scopes (Leica, Swarovski,
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 22, 2009
      Please forgive the request of an ornithologist turned entomologist. I know
      what to look for when purchasing binoculars and spotting scopes (Leica,
      Swarovski, Zeiss), but I need advice on purchasing a dissecting stereoscope.

      All this year, I am doing bee bowl surveys (a la Sam Droege) on Hart-Miller
      Island, MD in the Chesapeake Bay. I would like to purchase a quality
      microscope for identifying bees and other insects. I also would like to
      have the capability to photograph pinned and live specimens. I would
      greatly appreciate it if anyone could advise me on the following:

      recommended makes/models
      makes/models to avoid
      suppliers
      lighting (I assume cool temperatures are needed for photographing live
      specimens.)
      photographic capabilities
      specifications to look for
      anything else

      If you can assist, please respond directly to me (or to the list if you
      think that the information would be of interest to others). Thank you.

      Gene

      Gene Scarpulla
      Editor, The Maryland Entomologist
      Millers Island, Maryland
      ejscarp@...
    • Crumbling.Deana@epamail.epa.gov
      Hi Gene, I can assist. I am also doing bee surveys with Sam. The set-up I ve created over the past year is assembled from various components, but they seem to
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 23, 2009
      Hi Gene,

      I can assist. I am also doing bee surveys with Sam. The set-up I've
      created over the past year is assembled from various components, but
      they seem to work well together. Sam says he is very impressed with the
      quality of the photos. He asked me to post information & pictures of the
      set-up and examples of the bee pix on this list serve, but I haven't
      gotten around to it yet.

      I have a Meiji dissecting scope that I bought new about 7 years ago.
      I've been very happy with it. It tolerates being lugged and bumped
      around in the car. It does have built-in lighting, but not bright enough
      for 40X photos of bee anatomy. As far as lighting, I have a jury-rigged
      system using common materials (such as McDonald's drink cups, waxed
      paper, and styrofoam support struts) and desk lamps I already had. It
      gives me a lot of flexibility to move the illumination around until it
      is just right. I have also discovered that the smaller (about 6 inches
      in diameter), opaque white, plastic "shades" of cheap floor lamps make
      great diffusers that can surround the bee on the microscope shade to
      eliminate even the worst glare that the opaque covers on the desk lamps
      sometimes don't eliminate. The plastic can be hack-sawed into a
      configuration that works with the scope. I use a block of child's
      modeling clay to hold pinned bees on the microscope clay so they can be
      at any angle while staying perfectly still.

      For photos, I had gotten the photo tube option when I bought the scope
      (a "trinocular" scope). Last year I purchased a simple digital camera
      for it. The camera inserts into the extra tube. Sometimes you hear that
      those cameras can be inserted through one of the eye pieces. While that
      is technically true, it would be a horrible set-up to work with. Don't
      do it. The extra money for the photo tube is worth it. The digital
      camera I bought was $250--pretty cheap as far as digital cameras go, but
      works just fine for my purposes. It is a DinoCapture microscope camera
      (not the Dino handheld "microscope," which is easy to confuse in
      advertisements, etc.). I did a lot of comparisons on the net before I
      bought this camera, and I've been very happy with it. (I bought the $60
      model first, and was not happy, so I sent it back and upgraded.) It
      plugs into the computer via USB, and does not need a separate power
      source. The software is easy to use, has lots of adjustments for getting
      exposure just right, has features that allow adding text & arrows to
      photos & making precise measurements (very helpful for bee faces, etc).
      With that software, you wouldn't need to buy a reticle to do
      measurements. It has other features I haven't even learned how to use
      yet because I haven't needed them. It will also work with a camera that
      is built into the computer. It will do movies as well as stills. The
      company I bought it from has knowledgeable people who understand the
      product and can help with set-up.

      Sam turned me on to a freeware program (CombineZP) that "stacks" digital
      photos taken at sequential focus lengths. Focal stacking can capture the
      3D features of a bee so they are all in focus in the final picture. I
      thought that the directions for using it were not very clear, but I
      eventually figured it out. I do some touch-up photo editing with the
      software that comes as part of Microsoft's operating system (I have
      Vista). It takes a fair amount of time to process the photos thru
      CombineZ, but the end result is worth it.

      I also have found the SnagIt program is extremely useful for editing
      photos (like adding arrows & text to "finished" photos) & placing them
      into PPT slides, Word docs, and the like. Best of all, it takes
      "pictures" of specific things on the computer screen that can be turned
      into all types of graphics files, or just copied and pasted into Word &
      PPT as an object. With it, I can take pictures of text, etc, on the
      DiscoverLife website to include with a photo layout of the bee
      characters in the DiscoverLife guides. SnagIt is commercial software
      with different versions for sale. The version I bought is only $50, and
      worth every penny for the convenience it offers. Instead of mailing bees
      to Sam for confirming identities, I can take pix of bee features, show
      the guide character in question & email them to him.

      Since you are in MD, and I am in Alexandria, VA, you could come over to
      see the set-up and I could help you get started.

      --Deana Crumbling



      From: "Eugene J. Scarpulla" <ejscarp@...>

      To: "Bee United" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>

      Date: 07/22/2009 11:39 PM

      Subject: [beemonitoring] Request for Microscope Information












      Please forgive the request of an ornithologist turned entomologist. I know
      what to look for when purchasing binoculars and spotting scopes (Leica,
      Swarovski, Zeiss), but I need advice on purchasing a dissecting stereoscope.

      All this year, I am doing bee bowl surveys (a la Sam Droege) on Hart-Miller
      Island, MD in the Chesapeake Bay. I would like to purchase a quality
      microscope for identifying bees and other insects. I also would like to
      have the capability to photograph pinned and live specimens. I would
      greatly appreciate it if anyone could advise me on the following:

      recommended makes/models
      makes/models to avoid
      suppliers
      lighting (I assume cool temperatures are needed for photographing live
      specimens.)
      photographic capabilities
      specifications to look for
      anything else

      If you can assist, please respond directly to me (or to the list if you
      think that the information would be of interest to others). Thank you.

      Gene

      Gene Scarpulla
      Editor, The Maryland Entomologist
      Millers Island, Maryland
      ejscarp@...
    • barbara.abraham@hamptonu.edu
      I would also like to include a good dissecting microscope in a grant proposal. The ones at NCTC (bee course) were very nice. Did anybody get their specs?
      Message 3 of 3 , Jul 23, 2009

        I would also like to include a good dissecting microscope in a grant proposal.   The ones at NCTC (bee course) were very nice.  Did anybody get their specs?

         

        Thanks!

         

        Barb

         

        Barbara J. Abraham, Ph.D.

        Associate Professor

        SEEDS Ecology Chapter Advisor

        Department of Biological Sciences

        Hampton University

        Hampton, VA  23668

        757-727-5283

        barbara.abraham@...

         


        From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Eugene J. Scarpulla
        Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 11:40 PM
        To: Bee United
        Subject: [beemonitoring] Request for Microscope Information

         

         

        Please forgive the request of an ornithologist turned entomologist. I know
        what to look for when purchasing binoculars and spotting scopes (Leica,
        Swarovski, Zeiss), but I need advice on purchasing a dissecting stereoscope.

        All this year, I am doing bee bowl surveys (a la Sam Droege) on Hart-Miller
        Island , MD in the Chesapeake Bay . I would like to purchase a quality
        microscope for identifying bees and other insects. I also would like to
        have the capability to photograph pinned and live specimens. I would
        greatly appreciate it if anyone could advise me on the following:

        recommended makes/models
        makes/models to avoid
        suppliers
        lighting (I assume cool temperatures are needed for photographing live
        specimens.)
        photographic capabilities
        specifications to look for
        anything else

        If you can assist, please respond directly to me (or to the list if you
        think that the information would be of interest to others). Thank you.

        Gene

        Gene Scarpulla
        Editor, The Maryland Entomologist
        Millers Island , Maryland
        ejscarp@comcast. net

        The information contained in this message is intended only for the recipient, and may otherwise be privileged and confidential. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or an employee or agent responsible for delivering this message to the intended recipient, please be aware that any dissemination or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify us by replying to the message and deleting it from your computer. This footnote also confirms that this email has been scanned for all viruses by the Hampton University Center for Information Technology Enterprise Systems service.
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.