Taking photographs with a microscope is relatively straight forward, and many  SLR  digital cameras are suitable - providing the shutter continues to work after the lens system has been removed. Some of the more sophisticated cameras need electronic feedback from the lens system for the shutter to function correctly. The primary requirements are that the lens system of the camera should be removable and that the camera back has through the lens light metering. In addition if your camera has a live view option, enable it through the menu and check that it still works with the lens removed. Photography adapters can be attached to all the Brunel range of microscopes - monocular, binocular or trinocular. Some models do require a slightly more complex adapter and the appropriate accessories are listed for each microscope.

To select the adapter for your SLR and microscope - click here

The adapters themselves need to be converted with a T2 ring to the lens fitment of the camera make to be used (Olympus, Canon, Nikon etc.). The microscope in effect becomes the lens system of the camera back, and focus is achieved by looking through the viewfinder of the camera or viewing the live view through the LCD and adjusting the controls of the microscope. The camera back will automatically select a shutter speed if position ‘P’ is selected which will be suitable for normal specimens but may need modifying if using phase contrast or dark ground microscopy.

T2 rings - for purchase details click here

The  SLR adapters need to use an eyepiece in order to achieve the overall magnification that you see by looking down the microscope. On monocular microscopes an ordinary wide field eyepiece can give acceptable results. However, specialist photoeyepieces give flatter images if a more professional result is required. If is often worth trying the standard eyepiece supplied with the microscope first before deciding whether or not you consider a photoeyepiece to be necessary. Some of the adapters have the photoeyepiece lens built in.

It should be remembered that 35 mm SLR cameras have freshnel viewing screens best suited to conventional photography. In some cases they can be heavily frosted (particularly Nikon and Olympus), this can make focusing the microscope difficult. Some models allow the viewing screen to be locked up.  The live view cameras however can be focused using the LCD screen or if they have AV or HDMI output, the image can be viewed on an appropriate flat screen TV, some even have software that allows simultaneous computer viewing.

single lens reflex cameras      non slr compact cameras

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Trinocular microscopes such as the Brunel SP100 (compound) and IMXZ (stereo) have a third eyetube so that the camera back or CCTV camera can be mounted and the microscope used at the same time. In addition these models can be fitted with a parallax focusing system with a periscope focusing device (not needed with live view cameras), so that the view finder of the camera does not have to be used for focusing.

Some trinocular microscopes (e.g. Leitz and Olympus) have very wide trinocular tubes that will only take the manufacturers adapters which can be very expensive. Brunel Microscopes have special adapters for some of the older models designed to reduce them to standard eyetube diameter so that they can then take our adapters. We need you to measure the internal diameter of the trinocular port and also send us a picture of what it looks like from above so that we can decide if any of our adapters will suit.