Digital imaging in the beetle lab

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Arbeitskreis der bayerischen Käferfreunde

Funding Sources of Beetle Lab


Digitization // subrobotic imaging

We have build a device to assist with high-resolution imaging of our beloved beetles. We use a heavy duty, industrial standard linear drive made in Germany by ISEL to move the camera up and down, and to operate the camera. Minimum step size is currently 0.02 mm, and we can program time intervals between movement, mirror up and exposure to allow the system to fully settle.

Cognisys' execllent Stack Shot macrorail can also be attached to the robot when needed.

Setting for Hydroporinae

D3X directly attached to arm of robot:

EXTENSION: old bellows, extension 3

LENS: photar 25 at 4

DIFFUSOR: styrofoam hood attached to photar

FLASH: 2x nikon SB600, at 1/32 and wireless trigger, zoom 24 mm

CAMERA: jpeg large, 200 iso, time 1/200, Mirror up

STEPS: Isel linear drive, 0.03 mm, rest time 5 sec before shutter opens


Setting for Colymbetinae

D3X directly attached to arm of robot:

EXTENSION: old bellows, extension 3 (or more or less)

LENS: voigtländer Apo Lanthar 90 1:3.5, at 8

DIFFUSOR: 3 x lumiquest supersoft

FLASH: 2x nikon SB600, at 1/32 and wireless trigger, zoom 24 mm, 1 x nikon SB900

CAMERA: jpeg large, 320 iso, time 1/200, Mirror up

STEPS: Isel linear drive, 0.1 mm, rest time 5 sec before shutter opens


Our Canon setup

  • Canon EOS 5DS
  • Novoflex BALPRO 1 bellows

Thorlabs Iris parts to attach between Mitutoyo ELWD objective and Mitutoyo tubus lens

  • SM1A28 Adapter with External M26 x 0.706 Threads and Internal SM1 Threads
  • SM1A27 Adapter with External SM1 Threads and Internal M26 x 0.706 Threads
  • SM1D12 SM1 Lever-Actuated Iris Diaphragm (Ø0.8 - Ø12 mm)

The recipe for manuscripts

Images of the habitus were taken with a digital imaging system, composed of a Canon EOS 5DS camera with Novoflex BALPRO 1 bellows, a photar R adapter from Leica, a Mitutoyo focus lens (adapter 1x), a Thorlabs iris, and finally a 5x Mitutoyo ELWD objective attached to the iris. We use two Canon flashlights set on ‘M’(Speedlite 430EX). Image stacks were generated using a StackShot macro rail, around 40 times 0.04 mm steps, and images assembled with the computer software Helicon Focus 4.77TM.