My “just having fun” video of blood that I posted 2 years ago proved to be a HUGE success. I have licenced it to indie filmmakers, videographers, a documentary about Sherlock , a zombie film and a lot more. So that turned out nicely :).
This one is the latest and uses the newer galaxy S5 adapter I made after writing this article. But the concept is the same.
Anyway, a lot of people asked me about the adapter I used for filming and a tutorial on it. Thing is it is no big deal, it never was. Because of the small lens, very good video quality that today’s smartphones exhibit all I needed was something to hold the phone stuck to the microscope eyepiece in exactly the perfect position. Back then I used a samsung galaxy s2 but the one shown here is for a galaxy S4. Galaxy S2 was good because it had a really narrow fov on filming and galaxy s4 is better because even if you zoom in it keeps a very good quality. The galaxy S3 is NOT ok because it hase a really wide FOV and you end up with most of the image covered by black.So what you need is:
- A decent microscope with semi planar or planar objectives. Normal ones will only give you decent image in the center and even semi-planar gives you some distortions and chromatic aberrations.The one I baught was this one : http://magazin.telescop-expert.ro/microscop-biologic-bim-136b.html . It’s a 350Euro microscope that I got myself for Christmas as it was a childhood dream. I also got a telescope a year later and I have to say I love exploring the universe on all aspects and perspectives
- A decent phone with good 1080p recording in low light and small FOV. Galaxy S4 preferred .
- A cheap plastic phone case like the one in the image. It should be solid and not elastic to hold the phone in place.
- A cheap PVC piece of pipe that has the inside diameter exactly as the outside diameter of the microscope eyepiece. Some piece of duct tape may be needed in case the fitting is not perfect so it should be added on the inside of the pipe as I did.
- An abrasive stick to shape the piece of pipes end to exactly the shape you need to have a perpendicular projection on the phone camera.
And that’s it regarding the adapter.
Another very nice tweak I made was replacing the halogen light with a DIY LED one made from a very cheap chinese flashlight. This was quite challanging and blew one led as the voltage from the potentiometer was 6V and maximum for the led was 4 but read something wrong somewhere. I had to eventually stick a plastic blocker to lock the wheel so it won’t burn the led again. I used a whole piece from the flashlight that contained the led instead of just using the led and just superglued it there 🙂 . This had a huge improvement in image quality as it one of these very bright low power CREE LEDs. It allowed me to do great darkfield videos like the first one that would otherwise be impossible and gave a more natural looking white balance.
Here are some videos and photos photos I made. After galaxy s5 comes out I will definitely make a lot more movies and photos with the microscope.