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    • CommentAuthorpulakhmani
    • CommentTimeNov 17th 2010 edited
    This protocol explains how to: Take Pictures with a Stereomicroscope using Nikon-Elements.
    Protocol revised: 11/16/2010
    Protocol written by: Puneet Lakhmani
    1. Remove cover off of stereomicroscope.
    2. Turn on camera. Note: the camera is not on until the light stops flashing red and stays green.
    3. Turn on computer. Open NIS-Elements (it should be located on the desktop).
    4. Turn on external light source depicted here:
    Note: the stereomicroscope also has a transmitted light source which can be used instead.
    5. Confirm that port selector is on “bino” rather than “photo.” “Bino” sends light to the left eye piece whereas photo sends light to the camera. It should be located on the left hand side of the microscope.
    6. For smaller specimens, you might have to zoom out to find what you want to image and progressively zoom in to the desired level.
    7. Once you have found what you want to image, switch the port selector from “bino” to “photo.” Note: you can use NIS-Elements to find what you want to image rather than using the microscope. To do so, keep the microscope on “bino,” find what you want to image on the screen, and proceed from step 8.
    8. On the NIS program, click on the camera drop down menu and select “live.” The camera menu is also a box on the right hand side of the screen. See picture 4.
    9. If the picture has an amber tone, you may have to white balance. To do so, focus the microscope on something white. Then go to the drop down preprocess “menu,” located on the top portion of the screen and select “white balance.” This should correct the problem.
    10. Move the specimen to attain the desired composition for your picture on the NIS software. Remember a slight move in your specimen will be a huge movement on screen.
    11. Go to the camera menu (or box) and switch from “live” to “capture.”
    12. If the image is not bright enough or too bright you can make the following adjustments:
    a) Adjust the intensity of the external light
    b) Adjust the gain. This can be done in the camera settings box. If you increase the gain, you’ll get a lighter image. If you decrease it, you’ll get a darker one.
    c) Adjust the exposure time. This can be done in the camera settings box. A longer exposure time means more light is being taken in and therefore leads to a brighter picture. A shorter one does just the opposite.
    d) Adjust the contrast. This can also be done in the camera settings box.
    13. Go to File -> Save As and save your picture.
    14. When you’re done, turn off the camera, external light source, and computer.
    15. Put the cover back on stereomicroscope.
    *Tips for a good picture*
    1) Make sure that the background is uniform.
    2) Make sure that image is in focus.
    3) Composition is important. You don’t have to put the image in the direct center.
    4) Make sure the image is appropriately lit but not washed out.