Microscope focus rack-camera adapter

08 December 2017

Most of the plate images of beetle collections I upload on this page are focus-stacked images of, in average, from 20 to 50 image files with different focus points. Museums or Institutions use this techniques with electronically and remotely moving focus rails, but I just hold a camera down on a desk so it won’t move, and just slightly turn the focus ring of the camera lens to change the focus points. Then I merge the files into one using Adobe Photoshop. This is very inconvenient way for me and I decided to make a set up for the better quality of shooting. Two designs I thought up are that one mostly made of PVC pipes, and the other one is just a part as an adapter for microscope focus rack to camera body. First idea took too much money and brains, so I quitted in the middle of the project, and the second idea is slightly better and cheaper. The second method is to create the adapter that holds the camera to the microscope focus rack tightly. I quickly measured sizes of camera, lens, focus rack, etc. to roughly draw up on CAD for 3D printing.

3D Prints


Finished product from the 3D printing service

L: Adapter fits on focus rack perfectly! with some space.
R. Camera fits on the adapter very well.

This is how the adapter is being used to tightly holds the camera to the focus rack. With this method, I’m able to carefully and very slightly change the focus point. I may not be able to “accurately” move from one point to another, but with slight movement with the focus dial, I’m able to take more detailed shots than past. Below is an example image from this method of Mecynorrhina polyphemus female. Fifty two files are merged.


If I held the camera on hand and try to change the focus point by turning the lens, I might have ended up taking only about 20 images. Excuse me for such a dusty specimen. In case of specimens with height, like Golofa species, I might be able to take more than 100s of images, especially for the males of large species. Next project for this method would be the LIGHTINGS. Flash diffuser, most likely.


Collection Drawer Cabinet


For the ease and convenience of pulling out particular drawers, I decided to make my own cabinet for collection drawers. General design was in my head for a long time, and I already had all the equipment and materials, so I started right away. One of the focus here was to use whatever left over from previous works, and this case, the materials.

I had this table saw for a while. I had to make wall, shelves, cabinets, etc. while helping my parents, in their building construction works.

This set of lumber pieces I cut are slides for the drawers. A pair of these will let the drawer sit on them and slide.

They will be nailed down to the other lumbers, that function as stud/frames

Sets are for left and right.

I have took photo any further as I was too focused on building it, but I had to connect two on bottom side so that it won’t distort or break out. I used three hard boards, each on two sides and as backboard. Then I used about an inch thick MDF(?) board on top to withstand the weight, if anything sits on the top of the cabinet.

This is completed work. Total eleven drawers fit in there.