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Katoptaron LDM-1/s long distance microscope 800mm

UV Lens
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#1 JMC

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 14:05

This one is quite unusual. It's a Katoptaron long distance microscope LDM-1/s. It has the same 'z' folded optical design of the Makowsky TS 500EM and MV lenses, and is an 800mm focal length. Very unique design as it is a mirror lens with an adjustable aperture.

Attached Image: 578A5730 small.jpg

Focusing is from infinity down to a few inches depending on setup. Capable of huge magnification apparently up to 175x depending on configuration. This one also has the AP-300 close up lens (which has reasonable transmission at 365nm).

Only just unboxed it, and in the excitement I did take the one below just to try it out. The lens was simply sitting on a table (not bolted down). Image taken with a UV converted d810. Buttercup was about 60cm from the front of the lens. Image is the full frame from the camera but reduced in resolution for sharing here. Shutter open for 3s at ISO2000, and illumination provided by a single 365nm UV LED waved in front of the buttercup while the shutter was open. There isn't an f stop aperture scale, but this was somewhere in the middle of its adjustment range (max aperture is I think around f8, so this could well be down at f22 or below).

Attached Image: DSC_0596 wb small.jpg

Depth of field is tiny, and I need to build a nice solid rig to hold this one steady. Just resting on the table and expecting it to stay still was frankly lunacy and there is a lot of movement in the image. This was done with the AP-300 closeup lens attached so it looks like that attachment will be useful for UV imaging, as the black in the middle of the Buttercup is nicely visible.

More images to come when I have a decent stand for it.
Jonathan M. Crowther

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#2 OlDoinyo

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 21:22

I have heard of those but never seen one. Interesting that it goes all the way to infinity--you have yourself a UV-capable telephoto.

#3 dabateman

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 02:36

That thing looks redicously cool. Does the camera attach at the top of the triocular head or at the back of that odd extension?
What are the two dials. Knobs or objectives on the right side?
It is like a mash up of my previous microscope like and my current photography time.

Update:
Found the data sheet here:
http://macrolenses.d...ObjektiveNr=315

Very cool minimum focus distance is 31.5 inches and with tha objectives can be used from 6 to 26 inches. A 67mm filter thread seems odd though. But microscopy at 5 feet does seem really cool.

Edited by dabateman, 31 October 2018 - 03:03.


#4 JMC

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 08:48

Yes, a very unique item. On my set up the camera attaches on the left hand side, to the tube sticking out the back. It's a T mount fit and came with a couple of different length extension tubes.

I'm still getting to grips with the controls. There are 3 main knobs - correction, focus and aperture. Correction aligns the primary mirror for the expected focus distance. Aperture and Focus then do what you'd expect. It is slightly weird though, as the image moves up and down during focusing, so ideally a movable subject or some very fine control on the position of the lens would be useful.

There seem to be loads of different potential configurations - increasing magnification with the planoaprochromatic lens on the front or not, and then using extension tubes on the camera mount. So with mine, I am not sure how close I can focus. I'm going to get a couple of step down rings to be able to mount smaller filters on the front.

Main thing though is to sort out something very secure to mount it to. I have a box of extruded aluminium, square section tubing, parts and fixings somewhere, so might try and use that to start with.

Edited by JMC, 31 October 2018 - 19:41.

Jonathan M. Crowther

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#5 UlfW

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 09:14

If you want to make a stable mounting structure with a profile system without having to cut the profiles yourself this company can customise the length of the profiles and have many matching accessories:
https://www.motedis.com/shop/

I used profiles from them for my extreme macro stacking rig.
I was quite pleased with the stability and quality of both parts and customised cutting.

Edited by UlfW, 31 October 2018 - 09:16.

Ulf Wilhelmson
Curious and trying to see the invisible.

#6 JMC

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 09:48

Thanks Ulf.

There is currently one of the 500mm M42 mount Makowsky lenses for sale on eBay at the moment, but with only a couple of hours left (I have no affiliation with the vendor);

https://www.ebay.co....353.m1438.l2649

EDIT - as of 1st November 2018, the lens mentioned above is still for sale. I guess the vendor relisted it;

https://www.ebay.co....&frcectupt=true

Edited by JMC, 01 November 2018 - 12:26.

Jonathan M. Crowther

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#7 Andrea B.

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 05:49

Never seen anything like this Katoptaron before! Looking forward to seeing more photos from it. Jonathan, you are having some fun, for sure, with your recent unusual acquisitions. And we are too. “-}
Andrea G. Blum
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#8 JMC

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 08:23

Andrea, I hope to be able to use most if not all of the new lenses, and will obviously share anything I find with them.
Jonathan M. Crowther

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#9 nfoto

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 10:39

I have a TS 500E somewhere in the cupboards - strange glassless (but *not* mirrorless) contraption - still smells from the maker's habit of smoking cigars ...

Tried it for UV of course and never got anything useful out of it - hopefully Jonathan will do better with the Katoptaron.

#10 JMC

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 19:13

Just a brief update. While I sort out (and try and find) my aluminium parts to make a frame, I mounted the Katoptaron on my Kaiser copy stand. Set at closest focus, including the closeup lens, and both extension tubes on the camera mount, I can focus down to about 24cm from the front of the lens to the subject. At this distance, the field of view on a full frame camera is about 1.5x1cm, or about 2.5x life size magnification. I guess the really large magnifications quoted in the brochure part of it are through the microscope part itself and not for the camera, or are from when the camera is mounted on top of the binocular section.
Jonathan M. Crowther

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#11 enricosavazzi

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Posted 02 November 2018 - 14:53

I remember reading somewhere about this lens. The writer was arguing that the need for separate manual adjustments for focus and correction (as opposed to a mechanical linkage between the two), together with Makowski's unwillingness to add this obvious improvement to the lens design, was one of the reasons why this lens type never really caught on. The mechanical coupling was probably added after several years, but by that time interest in this lens had waned.
-- Enrico Savazzi

#12 JMC

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Posted 03 November 2018 - 12:44

This lens does have its quirks. Specifically there is a dial on the back which says CORR on it, which apparently needs setting depending on distance to the subject. If this is off, then focussing will never get it pin sharp. Problem is, each one of these devices apparently had a different settings of CORR for each distance, so without the scale there is a lot of trial and error involved.

Anyway, enough moaning from me. I did get the image below today. This was again a Buttercup from the garden (this time the absolute last one, no more left in the garden). The illumination was a single 365nm UV LED moved around during image acquisition, taken on my ACS UV modified Nikon d810 at ISO2000, and 1/2s exposure. Whitebalanced in Darktable. No close up lens this time, just the Katoptaron mirror lens. The subject was 2m from the front of the lens. Not sorted out my mount for the lens yet, so the lens was sat on the kitchen floor. I used self timer and exposure delay mode.

Firstly the full frame image (reduced resolution for sharing);
Attached Image: DSC_0610 wb small copy.jpg

And cropped from the full frame (resolution about half of the actual crop, reduced for easier sharing here). Contrast and curves tweaked in photoshop;
Attached Image: DSC_0610 cropped small copy.jpg

Remember this was 2m from the front of the lens to the subject. I think it has potential, but it is not an easy lens to use.

Edited by JMC, 03 November 2018 - 12:45.

Jonathan M. Crowther

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#13 Andrea B.

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Posted 03 November 2018 - 14:21

May not be easy to use, but it looks like the detail is all there. And the typical Ranunculus UV-signature is well-captured.

This is probably one of those gear items which takes practice, but eventually it will become easier to use?

(I think you need a Blak-Ray for more light though.)

This might be a stupid question, but can this Katoptaron be aimed at the moon? An 800mm focal length make an interesting lunarscape.
Andrea G. Blum
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#14 JMC

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Posted 03 November 2018 - 14:57

Oh, it needs plenty of practice, Andrea. I hope it'll get easier. And yes, I need a better UV light source. As with many things, I'm working on it.

Yes, this has infinity capability, although for that it'll need a lot more sturdy tripod than my Benbo mini trekker.

Edited by JMC, 03 November 2018 - 14:57.

Jonathan M. Crowther

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