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09-25-2021, 08:40 PM   #1
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New member downunder trying microscope tube with K-5ii

Apologies for the length of this intro.
Have been a longterm Pentax user buying a used H2 in mid-1960's when a penniless student - it had a scratched lens but that never showed.
I may have had an ME after the H2 but in 1990's updated with a P30 which I used at times with a microscope tube to take photomicrographs.
Then a decade ago I was given a used Kyocera Finecam M400R and have used that to take many hundreds of digital pics since then - my old P30 has been neglected but I am pretty sure it is still in order. I was hoping to avoid delays with developing films hence have bought a used Pentax K-5II body kit (no lens) from a camera shop chain. Hoping I can use my "T-Mount Microscope Adapter" made in Japan with the K-5II to take photomicrographs.
My P30 has a Cosina 35-70mm 1:3.5-4.8 MC Macro lens and that has mated OK with the K-5 to take a pic from my back door with details that shames the Kyocera. Which is now pensioned off for serious photos.
I have only had the K-5 2 days which came with ~300 page manual, a non-standard UniPal charger which works, a USB cable which fits the PC/AV port, a plastic dust cover for the lens ring and a CD - Pentax S-SW132 - PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4. Which I have not loaded yet to my Win10 PC desktop computer. I am initially floored by the complexity of the K-5 and have had some useful tips from a non-Pentax forum(who suggested I come here) - I was concerned the K-5 has arrived with previous settings and have made some changes which has lead to me actually taking a pic as I mention above.
I am hoping to make more changes.
I have changed from DNG files to JPG.
I hope to just take 1 image per shutter release, do not want to hear a little machine-gun.
I initially thought AV was "audio visual" but now I see it means "Aperture priority mode" - who woulda thunkit.
With Mode Dial set to AV - just saw the best so far image on monitor from microscope but still out of focus.
Will "auto-focus AF" help"? guidance welcome.
I see there is a TAV setting too - any ideas?
Thanks in advance for any guidance.

09-26-2021, 12:29 AM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums from Mosquito Creek, Queensland. I can't advise you on microscope adapters but it is something I have considered myself at times. Unfortunately I have little enough time to do trghings already. I look forward to seeing your results.
09-26-2021, 01:58 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard, enjoy all that forum has to offer.
09-26-2021, 02:12 AM   #4
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I have used 2 different Microscope tube adapters with Pentax dSLRs. The M42 Asahi adapter and the Olympus OM adapter (with a home made OM/PK adapter) Both worked fine.If you have an existing adapter for K mount you should not have any issues. A K5 can be used exaclty the same way as your P30.

Not tried live view as the first camera I used was the *istD which doesn't have live view. I might try that on my KP one day.

Focussing the scope on the K5 would be no different than on the P30 except you have the option of live view. Not sure what focus assist options are on the K5.

What sort of microscope are you using?

09-26-2021, 06:43 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by welkin113 Quote
Pentax K-5II body kit (no lens) from a camera shop chain. Hoping I can use my "T-Mount Microscope Adapter" made in Japan with the K-5II to take photomicrographs.
My P30 has a Cosina 35-70mm 1:3.5-4.8 MC Macro lens and that has mated OK with the K-5
Should work fine, is that Cosina manual focus or autofocus lens? If autofocus and shooting via the viewfinder, fine focus adjustment may be needed. This gets complicated and we should talk about it only if thatís an issue. On the tube adapter I assume that the body is directly connected to the microscope and the focusing is done with the microscope focus adjustment? For this level of magnification viewfinder focusing isnít typically accurate enough to be used. Manual focus mode with liveview allows carefully focus. Also any vibration will throw off focus so either use a remote or the self timer to avoid vibration you add by pushing the button.

QuoteOriginally posted by welkin113 Quote
ring and a CD - Pentax S-SW132 - PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4. Which I have not loaded yet to my Win10 PC desktop computer.
Your going to want a newer version of that software. It can be downloaded from Ricohís website and will install but youíll need to check the threads on how to do that if you donít have a cd-rom device to use for the program to see your disk during the install. It isnít hard to do. There are other programs that you might like as well or better, some are free others are not.
QuoteOriginally posted by welkin113 Quote

I was concerned the K-5 has arrived with previous settings and have made some changes which has lead to me actually taking a pic as I mention above.
I am hoping to make more changes.
I have changed from DNG files to JPG.
I hope to just take 1 image per shutter release, do not want to hear a little machine-gun.
RAW+JPG or just RAW gives more flexibility (DNG is a type of RAW) but JPG is a good idea while ironing out the bugs in the process as it takes less space. The drive mode is probably set to multiple shots. I would suggest you set that to 2 second self timer to reduce camera shake when using the microscope. Single shot mode is accessed in the same menu for non-microscope shots. The drive mode is selected using the 4 way controller.
You can also look in the manual or search online for how to factory reset it. But If you do that the shutter may stop working with that microscope adapter until you enable a few settings. Look for recommended settings here: Pentax K-5 Review - Walkthrough | PentaxForums.com Reviews (The base k5 is very similar to your camera and I think the recommended settings are similar. )

QuoteOriginally posted by welkin113 Quote

With Mode Dial set to AV - just saw the best so far image on monitor from microscope but still out of focus.
Will "auto-focus AF" help"? guidance welcome.
I see there is a TAV setting too - any ideas?
Thanks in advance for any guidance.
As I mentioned manual focus with live view is probably best. You can magnify the image during focusing to get very specific focus. You may also need to learn focus stacking (requires several shots with focus slightly shifted each time , these are merged in software later to make a composite photo with more in focus than a single shot could provide) to get the full focus on some objects.

Tav allows you to change shutter speed and aperture but Iíd assume manual or Av will work just fine with the adapter since you canít actually adjust the aperture of the scope using the camera Av sets the shutter speed to match the light levels it sees. Manual mode will work well once you get the hang of the controls.

Good luck! Iím sure youíre going to have fun.

Oh, also check out this site:
Extreme Macro Photography
09-27-2021, 11:19 AM   #6
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I took an hour to post a full reply plus 2 jpg's. No sign of it. It is now after 4am - off to bunk.
09-27-2021, 12:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by welkin113 Quote
I took an hour to post a full reply plus 2 jpg's. No sign of it. It is now after 4am - off to bunk.
Hi and welcome to the forum.
As a new member, your first few posts may be moderated. I do not, however, see any posts of yours in the moderation queue.

If you're having difficulty uploading images, then please view this thread: How to upload / link photos - BEGINNERS START HERE - PentaxForums.com

Kind regards,
Mark

09-27-2021, 08:14 PM   #8
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My replies repeated. In another life PJ1 I lived in Stanthorpe a few months. When I save a usable photomicrograph I will post it for you all.
Appreciate your kind thoughts from Scotland Kerrowdown - I can see the K-5 is starting a journey for me.
I am indeed posting a picture of my microscope + camera adapter thanks wirrah and I can not remember exactly how I used my P30 a decade ago. My mic is a Soviet era USSR made Lomo polarising/petrographic model. Bought used in Melbourne 1992 - there are 2 timber boxes full of accessories.
I assume my Cosina lens is manual focus UncleVanya but whether it can respond to some electrical signal from K-5 HQ I do not know.
The tube adapter bayonet fitting(top in picture) goes perfectly into the K-5 case and the smaller end slips neatly over the top of the upper section of the mic once the ocular is taken out - there is one lens in that tube pictured. I have a second tube that is stored somewhere - mislaid for now. That has a "hemispheric" base with a vertical tube above that; it fitted neatly just above the mic logo when that entire upper mic section is taken off. There is no lens in the mislaid tube which was pale olive unlike most similar gear. There is a grub screw out of sight just above the mic logo and this "mislaid tube" fits there replacing the entire upper mic section; it extended vertical and camera went on top. Over a year ago now we moved house and much stuff is still in boxes.
I will give Live View a go with the Mode Dial on M for Manual. I examined a "thin section" of an "altered porphyry" and picked a distinctive striped twinned plagioclase crystal with crossed nicols which showed OK on the K-5 Monitor. But when I pressed the shutter all images saved were black and I tried 3 times. I have uploaded a pic of the monitor from the Finecam taken in the dark. It is 4am now and I am back to bunk.
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