Views of Kodachrome and Velvia through a Microscope

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Go to Page Showing The Effects of Upsampling the 4000 dpi Scan
Go to Page Showing How Many Megapixels = Velvia 35mm Slide Film



The "Microscope Views" below were taken with my Nikon Coolpix 5000 digital camera through a "Discovery Kids Discovery Channel Macro Microscope" ($79.99 at the Discovery Channel Store). I simply mounted the camera on my tripod, pointed it straight down, and lowered it onto the eyepiece of the microscope. The microscope has 40X, 100X, and 400X magnification. I used 40X with maximum zoom from the camera. This filled the camera's viewfinder completely, and no cropping was required.

Wires:
Crop from the Original Coolpix Photo of the Scene Crop from a 4000 dpi Scan of a Velvia ISO 50 Slide Photo of the Scene Crop from a 4000 dpi Scan of a Kodachrome 64 Slide Photo of the Scene

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Microscope views corresponding to the scanned images above them ===>
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Blocks:
Crop from the Original Coolpix Photo of the Scene Crop from a 4000 dpi Scan of a Velvia ISO 50 Slide Photo of the Scene Crop from a 4000 dpi Scan of a Kodachrome 64 Slide Photo of the Scene

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Microscope views corresponding to the scanned images above them ===>
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Highly compressed for quicker download ===>
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Fence:
Crop from the Original Coolpix Photo of the Scene Crop from a 4000 dpi Scan of a Velvia ISO 50 Slide Photo of the Scene Crop from a 4000 dpi Scan of a Kodachrome 64 Slide Photo of the Scene

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Microscope views corresponding to the scanned images above them ===>
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Highly compressed for quicker download ===>
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Go to Page 3 - The Effects of Upsampling the 4000 dpi Scan




Here's a typical comparison from the images above:

Here's a closeup comparison through the microscope of 3 films :

For some reason, the Kodachrome scanned very poorly :

The Velvia scanned very well :

Notes:

The film scanner seems to have had difficulty scanning the Kodachrome. In the scans, the Kodachrome looks much less sharp than the Velvia, and there are some anomalies that look like blurring. Through the microscope, though, the Kodachrome looks much sharper than the Velvia, and the scanning anomalies are not present.

The Velvia has black globs all over it, like peppering, and some black streaks too, one of which can be seen 1/3 of the way over from the left edge of the fence shot.

For the pictures through the microscope, I set the Coolpix to "Manual Focus" mode and focused at infinity with maximum zoom. This filled the digicam's viewfinder completely - no cropping was done.

I set the Coolpix to "A" (aperture priority mode), and selected the minimum possible aperture (F 7.4 or thereabouts).

Best focus was found by watching the LCD display on the Coolpix while adjusting the microscope focus knobs (this was easier to do than it sounds - amazingly (to me), sharp focus was not that hard to see on the LCD).

I discovered I can't use the self timer in manual focus mode with the Coolpix 5000, and I don't have a remote shutter release for it. I did the best I could to get sharp pics while taking them with my finger on the shutter button.

Major Change 9/26/2003 - New shake-free image replaces the old "Blocks" crop from the Kodachrome slide. In the "Blocks" image comparison, the Kodachrome looks less sharp than the Velvia only because of slight camera shake - I was not successful in getting a shake-free image in that round.

Major Change 9/27/2003 - In the "Typical Comparison" image showing three truck grille crops, the crop from the original .tif file for the 4000 dpi scan was a crop from a .jpeg copy of the original .tif file. This change very slightly benefits the scanned image appearance.