contents & layout
The photographs on the CD are made with a Nikon Coolpix 990. Currently, digital photography asserts itself against conventional methods because of the cheap reproduction and distribution of images.
I will not advertise too much for this company, but the Coolpix is an outstanding tool for entomologists, because you can use it in a minimal distance of 2 cm and an additional adaptor for microscope is not necessary. The small objective can be directly connected with the eyepiece.
The Coolpix 990 which I used for the photographs on this CD has a resolution of 3.3 million pixels. The same is true for the models 990 and 995. Since 2002 the model 4500 is available with a resolution of 4 million pixels. Not all of the Coolpix models have as fine a resolution as these.
In general, limiting factors for the quality of the images are:
There are hints for the use of this camera on the following webpage:
- the low depth of focus (especially in macro mode),
- the lens system of the microscope,
- bad lighting in macro mode,
- the quality of the objects,
- and the (missing) patience of the photographer.
Please note that the 1,900 photographs on the CD are a selection of the best ones. Most of the subjects were photographed three times in different depths of focus. There is a new method called photomontage that combine the information of different images with the aid of software; although it is too expensive for my personal use, it is a great investment for an institution.
The resolution of the photographs was reduced to 800x600 pixels so they could be saved together on one CD-ROM. Sometimes it is best to manipulate the images with a photo editing software.
For lighting, I used a cold light source with two fiber-optic light arms. Sometimes an additional light source was necessary. It is possible to photograph with an external flash system instead, but this causes a problem with the white balance. If you combine different types of light sources (such as a flash, a Coollight ring light etc.), you will encounter problems with colour.
The Coollight and additional macro lenses are very helpful during a trip to a colleague or a museum, because it makes you independend.