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First Snow Crystals of 2019/20 Season
Posted By: fwwidall, 11-12-2019, 04:14 PM

An early cold snap gave me the opportunity to try out my 'snowcatcher' setup.

For these images I mounted a noname 10X microscope objective to 155mm of extension tubes, which were then mounted on my K3. Each crystal is approx. 1mm across.

My setup is basically the same as last year's, although I have built a more stable stand out of 1x3" lumber and am planning on trying out some other lenses.

Not perfect, but I have at least the next four months to improve things




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11-13-2019, 08:14 AM   #16
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Very cool! I, too, would love to see a shot of the setup!

11-13-2019, 08:46 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Interesting imagery... so is it true that no two snowflakes are ever the same?
Well, I've never seen two the same out of the hundreds I've look at.

If you're interested in the physics of snowflake creation you might want to check out a talk on YouTube by Ken Libbrecht of Caltech who studies them. Fascinating stuff.

Last edited by fwwidall; 11-13-2019 at 08:48 AM. Reason: formatted it better
11-13-2019, 08:49 AM   #18
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Lovely shots. Though, as I get older, I find myself liking snowflakes less and less. On their own, they're not so bad, but when they bring a couple billion of their friends to visit for half the year...
11-13-2019, 09:15 AM - 3 Likes   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Beepaitch Quote
Woah!

I would love to see a quick snap of the setup if possible.
My pleasure. Just took a quick & dirty snap of my setup out in the garage.

What we have is a wooden copy stand made out of 1x3" lumber, with a platform made from an old chopping board.

Underneath I have an LED light shining up through the blue lid of a coffee can.

On the platform I have the base from an old Zeiss microscope which allows me very fine focussing down to the micron level.

I collect the snowflakes on a old 8x10 picture frame glass, which I lay on the arms I added to the microscope base.

The K3 is attached to a Soligor focusing rail which I use for coarse focusing with different lenses. I run the HDMI output from liveview to an old monitor for a bigger view.

Currently I have mounted a Componon-S 50mm F2.8 enlarging lens reverse stacked on a Pentax-M 200mm F4. That combination gives me an FOV of approx. 6 x 4mm. Using the 10X microscope objective on the extension tubes gets me down to approx. 2.25 x 1.5mm.

My plan for this year is to try out various lenses combination, and lighting setups to get the perfect shot well I can hope

Hope that helps.

---------- Post added 11-13-19 at 11:20 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Gorgarath Quote
Lovely shots. Though, as I get older, I find myself liking snowflakes less and less. On their own, they're not so bad, but when they bring a couple billion of their friends to visit for half the year...
I couldn't agree more Photographing them is much more preferable to shovelling them. They can be a real pain, but every now and then I capture a stunning beauty like this one and all is forgiven....



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11-13-2019, 09:20 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwwidall Quote
My pleasure. Just took a quick & dirty snap of my setup out in the garage.

What we have is a wooden copy stand made out of 1x3" lumber, with a platform made from an old chopping board.

Underneath I have an LED light shining up through the blue lid of a coffee can.

On the platform I have the base from an old Zeiss microscope which allows me very fine focussing down to the micron level.

I collect the snowflakes on a old 8x10 picture frame glass, which I lay on the arms I added to the microscope base.

The K3 is attached to a Soligor focusing rail which I use for coarse focusing with different lenses. I run the HDMI output from liveview to an old monitor for a bigger view.

Currently I have mounted a Componon-S 50mm F2.8 enlarging lens reverse stacked on a Pentax-M 200mm F4. That combination gives me an FOV of approx. 6 x 4mm. Using the 10X microscope objective on the extension tubes gets me down to approx. 2.25 x 1.5mm.

My plan for this year is to try out various lenses combination, and lighting setups to get the perfect shot well I can hope

Hope that helps.
Fascinating setup with really spectacular results!
11-13-2019, 11:52 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwwidall Quote
I couldn't agree more Photographing them is much more preferable to shovelling them. They can be a real pain, but every now and then I capture a stunning beauty like this one and all is forgiven....

Wow... That one is breathtaking.
11-13-2019, 12:38 PM   #22
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They are all very interesting but that last one you showed is stunning

I like your setup, well done
11-14-2019, 09:12 AM   #23
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Really nice! And cool setup! I love playing with snowflakes too but prefer a different approach: catching them at an angle on some fabric. I use 68mm of extension tubes on my 50mm macro. We don't get quality snowflakes for imagery very often so I only get a few chances a year. This was one of my best ones from last year, no cropping, focus stacked. Still experimenting with lighting, but so far found natural daylight to be the best for this approach.




11-14-2019, 09:31 AM - 1 Like   #24
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@aitrus3 - Very nice. Have you come across the work of Don Komarechka ? He's using a somewhat similar technique and getting some amazing images. He does use a lot of focus stacking, but the results are spectacular.
11-14-2019, 09:44 AM   #25
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These are amazing!
11-14-2019, 05:37 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwwidall Quote
@aitrus3 - Very nice. Have you come across the work of Don Komarechka ? He's using a somewhat similar technique and getting some amazing images. He does use a lot of focus stacking, but the results are spectacular.
Whoa! They are awesome! I've not heard of him before no. I'll have to look into it more. I don't like the handheld thing, prefer tripod and I built myself my own macro rail slide so I could easily do the focus stacking. It's been slow slogging, but make progress every year with trial and error.
Look forward to more of your work!
11-15-2019, 01:22 PM   #27
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WOW! Very neat photos! Your setup is quite impressive, congrats on your results!
11-15-2019, 01:42 PM   #28
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awesome shots and shapes! Well done! Congrats!
11-15-2019, 07:23 PM - 1 Like   #29
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Thanks for all the kind comments.

Looks like our cold snap is over for now so you'll just have to wait some more new images. Feel free to check out the old ones on Flickr if you can't wait
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