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12-11-2014, 09:14 AM   #16
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Basic question, but are the K100d and K100d super digital or film? I think he's just interested in digital because he needs a quick turnaround time.

12-11-2014, 09:22 AM   #17
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Considering the whole workflow, one thing to consider might be whether you can tether the camera to your choice of workstation, whether it be wirelessly to a tablet, or wired to a PC. Tethering speeds up the workflow. Having seen the convenience of this in a studio, I could see it made sense; you have the photo open in your editor, Photoshop or whatever, instantly as soon as you've clicked the shutter.

P.S. The K100D was the first Pentax DSLR to have Shake Reduction. The name looks like "K1000", a popular film camera. The K100D has a nice CCD sensor, and I have a 24x36 inch print from it that I enjoy very much. That said, one way to get a little extra magnification with a sharp lens is to have more pixels, and the K100D only has 6 MP.

Last edited by Michael Barker; 12-11-2014 at 09:28 AM.
12-11-2014, 09:40 AM   #18
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How about the K-50 and the Sigma 28-80 macro?

You can get the K-50 for $300 after rebate and the Sigma for less than $40.

Or buy a used camera and get under budget.

Here is an example with the K200D and the lens I mentioned.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/gallery/images/18752/1_IMGP3561.JPG
12-11-2014, 09:46 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Outis Quote
Basic question, but are the K100d and K100d super digital or film? I think he's just interested in digital because he needs a quick turnaround time.
K100d is a 6 Mp CCD sensor. It produces exceptional output.

12-11-2014, 09:55 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by bladerunner6 Quote
How about the K-50 and the Sigma 28-80 macro?

You can get the K-50 for $300 after rebate and the Sigma for less than $40.

Or buy a used camera and get under budget.

Here is an example with the K200D and the lens I mentioned.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/gallery/images/18752/1_IMGP3561.JPG
I just looked at KEH.com and they have the lens for as little as $25 and the K200D for $218.

That even leaves some money for a flash.

But I also like the suggestion for the K100D.

That is even as inexpensive as $109.
12-11-2014, 10:18 AM   #21
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Keeping in mind the budget, I'll second DeadJohn's observation. A point and shoot with macro capabilities is the best way to go. The auto focus in live view will allow you to focus properly without problem. Pair it with a cheap LED panel for soft lighting and you're good to go.
12-11-2014, 10:36 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
It depends on the working conditions though, are these circuit boards in place or move able to a bench?
That was one of my questions, too. I just made an assumption that the boards would have to be shot where they are, which might rule out fixed lights and maybe even tripods. If they can be moved to a bench, some sort of semi-permanent set-up would be ideal.
12-11-2014, 10:39 AM   #23
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I'd strongly suggest avoiding the K100D or K200D since they have no live view. Something with live view and an articulated screen would be much easier to use in this kind of scenario where the lighting might be poor and focus difficult to nail.

QuoteOriginally posted by Hamiltom Quote
If weather sealing is not an issue that changes everything.

I would find a K100d or K100d super and pair it with a Pentax M 100mm f/4 Macro. You should be able to source that combination for under $200. You can use rechargeable or lithium AA batteries and the quality will be excellent (you will pickup pollen grains on a surface). This is the setup many dentists used over the years.

The K100 is built like a tank.


12-11-2014, 10:51 AM   #24
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If aps-c or 35mm camera, a longer macro lens might be easier because the lens is further away.
Here is the SMC Pentax -M Dental Macro 1:4 100mm at about 1:5 and about 300mm away.
A macro lens with close up attachemnts would add versatility and magnification whwn needed.

Sound like a camera that can run tethered to a computer would be really useful.
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12-11-2014, 12:55 PM   #25
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The k100d is great, and they're available cheap. Batteries can be frustrating, eneloops + smart charger are basically a must, or get an ac/dc adapter if you're able to set everything up on a bench/copystand.

QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
That was one of my questions, too. I just made an assumption that the boards would have to be shot where they are, which might rule out fixed lights and maybe even tripods. If they can be moved to a bench, some sort of semi-permanent set-up would be ideal.
Definitely. A copipod thinger like monochrome linked to and some fixed lights would be perfect for speed and consistency if the parts can be moved

QuoteOriginally posted by wombat2go Quote
Here is the SMC Pentax -M Dental Macro 1:4 100mm at about 1:5 and about 300mm away.
D'oh, I took my time making an example, you beat me to the punch by far.

Here's mine anyway, k100d, one of these: Super-Multi-Coated MACRO-TAKUMAR 100mm F4 Macro Reviews - M42 Screwmount Telephoto Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database set to minimum focus distance (getting 0.5x magnification to the sensor), 4 second exposure, iso200, f/11. Inset in the top left is a 100% crop for an idea of what you'd see blown up on your monitor. Small marks on the ruler are mm. Tripod, window light, and a 2 second timer were used. Cheap extension tubes will get you closer, fixed lights would be easier for consistency. Hairs all over your electronics are free.
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12-11-2014, 07:58 PM   #26
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First off, my fiance and I just wanted to say wow-- you guys completely went above and beyond the call of duty here! Thank you all so much! Individual replies below--

---------- Post added 12-11-14 at 09:59 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
I'd look into a reverse-mounted lens setup. That sort of works like a microscope, and probably will provide the biggest magnification.
A decent tripod, subject platform and a macro focus rail for the tripod along with a couple LED panels is probably what I would do.
What's a reverse-mounted lens setup, a subject platform, and a macro focus rail? Also, could you give an example of an LED panel? I'm not familiar with those.

---------- Post added 12-11-14 at 10:01 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by drypenn Quote
$350 for the lens alone or for everything including tripod and camera?

---------- Post added 12-11-14 at 09:55 PM ----------

My suggestion: get a k10D, a manual 50mm f/4 (a mere 1:2 but should do the trick if you just want to see the solders), and a small tripod. I still reckon that this will cost you a little north of $350, and get one of those Chinese branded (Yongnuo) led ring flash. Those ring flashes have very low power output, usually unbalanced color cast but if "art" is not a primary concern, it will do.
Yeah, $350 for everything. That's the target price, though he *might* be able to exceed it.

What's a ring flash, and what can a hotshoe or off-camera flash do that the on-camera flash can't? What's a good source for ring flashes?

---------- Post added 12-11-14 at 10:03 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
The reverse-mount lenses will not be expensive, that's manual M series most likely.
A used K20 or K10 is another option, it will save you a couple hundred bucks. LED panels are not expensive but I do think that budget's probably not quite big enough.

You're going to want a tripod, though you don't necessarily need a big one if you're doing this on the tabletop. The focus slide will be useful, and doesn't have to be expensive. Dot Line Adjustable Camera Platform (6.0") DL-0322 B&H
Super-close high magnification macros are nearly impossible handheld. The timer is your best ally.

The onboard flash can be used with a diffuser like the Gary Fong Puffer, or a homemade option.
LED panels aren't expensive either - Sunpak LED 30 Video Light VL-LED-30 B&H Photo Video
What's a reverse-mount lens? What is a focus slide useful for?

---------- Post added 12-11-14 at 10:04 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Wolfeye Quote
You might also look into a ring LED light versus a flash. They sell for much less and provide constant light, so you can see what you are shooting in otherwise dim light.
Could you give an example of a good ring LED light?
12-11-2014, 08:06 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Outis Quote
First off, my fiance and I just wanted to say wow-- you guys completely went above and beyond the call of duty here! Thank you all so much! Individual replies below--

---------- Post added 12-11-14 at 09:59 PM ----------

What's a reverse-mounted lens setup, a subject platform, and a macro focus rail? Also, could you give an example of an LED panel? I'm not familiar with those.
Reverse mounted: Mounting the lens in reverse, i.e. the filter ring (front) gets attached to the camera via a reverse ring adapter (a lot in ebay). Advantages: cheap, greater than 1:1 magnification. Disdadvantages: a bit awkward, you'll need a lens with an aperture ring (most old lenses will have one) to adjust the aperture.

Subject platform: think of it as a stage, where you will place your subject.

Rail: instead of directly mounting your cam to the tripod, you mount it to the rail, then mount the rail to tripod. A rail facilitates and allows minute focus adjustments. Without a rail, you'll have to move the entire tripod and all to get the correct focus..
12-11-2014, 08:06 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Use a copipod with a lens plate to match the filter ring diameter of your lens (49mm or 52mm) instead of a tripod.

K10D = $250 - maximum
M50/1.7 = $50 (that lens was designed for copy work - precisely what you are doing
Copipod = $50 (you'll need to find one)
Any light source will do, even a desk lamp - just adjust the white balance in camera.

Plan to use the highest jpeg quality and crop, or shoot RAW and crop the developed file.



Google Pentax Copipod Images
Oh, that's really cool. I had no idea a copipod was a thing, but now that I've seen them, I can imagine all sorts of things one would be useful for.

---------- Post added 12-11-14 at 10:12 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
I'd also look at a P&S + little tripod + a couple clip on lights. It depends on the working conditions though, are these circuit boards in place or move able to a bench? Just how much detail do you need to be able to pull out to tell if the soldering is good? Would what's shown in your example be enough or does it need to be larger?
This is a great example of the angle and the level of detail that he'd need. If he could take a picture like that, that would be great. He can move the boards to a bench and set up a small amount of lighting if need be. There are also decently bright flourescent lights mounted above the benches.

---------- Post added 12-11-14 at 10:15 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Barker Quote
Considering the whole workflow, one thing to consider might be whether you can tether the camera to your choice of workstation, whether it be wirelessly to a tablet, or wired to a PC. Tethering speeds up the workflow. Having seen the convenience of this in a studio, I could see it made sense; you have the photo open in your editor, Photoshop or whatever, instantly as soon as you've clicked the shutter.
Tethering is probably more trouble than it's worth. A camera with a built-in display would be much better.

---------- Post added 12-11-14 at 10:17 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by bladerunner6 Quote
How about the K-50 and the Sigma 28-80 macro?

You can get the K-50 for $300 after rebate and the Sigma for less than $40.

Or buy a used camera and get under budget.

Here is an example with the K200D and the lens I mentioned.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/gallery/images/18752/1_IMGP3561.JPG
Do you have a source for the Sigma 28-80 macro for less than $40? The only used places I'm familiar with are KEH and the used departments at Adorama and B&H. I don't think he can just buy a lens off of Ebay...

---------- Post added 12-11-14 at 10:18 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by bladerunner6 Quote
I just looked at KEH.com and they have the lens for as little as $25 and the K200D for $218.

That even leaves some money for a flash.

But I also like the suggestion for the K100D.

That is even as inexpensive as $109.
Ah, whoops, forget what I said earlier!

---------- Post added 12-11-14 at 10:19 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
I'd strongly suggest avoiding the K100D or K200D since they have no live view. Something with live view and an articulated screen would be much easier to use in this kind of scenario where the lighting might be poor and focus difficult to nail.
Definitely yes to a camera with liveview!

---------- Post added 12-11-14 at 10:21 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by wombat2go Quote
If aps-c or 35mm camera, a longer macro lens might be easier because the lens is further away.
Here is the SMC Pentax -M Dental Macro 1:4 100mm at about 1:5 and about 300mm away.
A macro lens with close up attachemnts would add versatility and magnification whwn needed.

Sound like a camera that can run tethered to a computer would be really useful.
So, your picture is basically the same level of detail he can get with his point-and-shoot. What would really be nice would be a detail shot of the chip that says SAMSUNG, but at an angle, so he could see whether the pins were touching the solder.

---------- Post added 12-11-14 at 10:23 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
The k100d is great, and they're available cheap. Batteries can be frustrating, eneloops + smart charger are basically a must, or get an ac/dc adapter if you're able to set everything up on a bench/copystand.



Definitely. A copipod thinger like monochrome linked to and some fixed lights would be perfect for speed and consistency if the parts can be moved



D'oh, I took my time making an example, you beat me to the punch by far.

Here's mine anyway, k100d, one of these: Super-Multi-Coated MACRO-TAKUMAR 100mm F4 Macro Reviews - M42 Screwmount Telephoto Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database set to minimum focus distance (getting 0.5x magnification to the sensor), 4 second exposure, iso200, f/11. Inset in the top left is a 100% crop for an idea of what you'd see blown up on your monitor. Small marks on the ruler are mm. Tripod, window light, and a 2 second timer were used. Cheap extension tubes will get you closer, fixed lights would be easier for consistency. Hairs all over your electronics are free.
That close-up image is a good example of the kind of detail he's looking for-- he'd just want it to be at an angle.

---------- Post added 12-11-14 at 10:24 PM ----------

Anyway, thank you all SO MUCH for going to all this trouble on our behalf! We just wish we had been better able to articulate what he was going for at the very beginning.

---------- Post added 12-11-14 at 10:26 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by drypenn Quote
Reverse mounted: Mounting the lens in reverse, i.e. the filter ring (front) gets attached to the camera via a reverse ring adapter (a lot in ebay). Advantages: cheap, greater than 1:1 magnification. Disdadvantages: a bit awkward, you'll need a lens with an aperture ring (most old lenses will have one) to adjust the aperture.

Subject platform: think of it as a stage, where you will place your subject.

Rail: instead of directly mounting your cam to the tripod, you mount it to the rail, then mount the rail to tripod. A rail facilitates and allows minute focus adjustments. Without a rail, you'll have to move the entire tripod and all to get the correct focus..
Thanks! I think we can safely say that reverse-mounting a lens is more trouble than he'd want to go to.

Last edited by Outis; 12-18-2014 at 06:20 PM.
12-11-2014, 08:26 PM   #29
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If the example photo is all the magnification needed then:

A K20D body, a 100mm Pentax-M f/4 macro a couple of LED lights from Ikea should do it. You can get those lamps with a desktop foot instead of a clamp too. If these don't provide enough lights a flash unit on an inexpensive flash foot with a diffuser and off camera cable or wireless trigger will do. With the 100mm you will probably will have enough distance to use the on-camera flash. A Sunpak DX-8R ring flash might be an option. You should be able to get a fast enough shutter speed for hand-held shooting without flash. It's digital. Take a lot of shots and toss the blurry ones.

A SMC Pentax-A 100mm f/2.8 macro prime would be better - faster lens, matrix and P-TTL metering but much more expensive.
12-11-2014, 08:35 PM   #30
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Ricoh announces WG-30W and WG-30 rugged compacts: Digital Photography Review

Solution for this kind of need my be simpler and a lot cheaper:

All your requests are met with a Pentax WG-(2, 3, 4, 30, ETC) POINT & shoot camera, plus its the size of a pack of cigarettes (smaller), fully waterproof (can be operated under water), has its own light source for super close up modes (micoscope mode) and even come with a spacer ring (macro stand) to eliminate all the camera to subject distance for super closeo up modes.

Depending on model, the camera may give you GPS data and WIFI connection to tablet or smartphone. Cameras may be found labeled as Pentax or Ricoh.

Priced between $230 and $340 depending on model an features, but even the mos basic one meets your requests.
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