Can someone explain the microscope settings at a kindergarten level? :-)

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dianna912

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My husband and I both have Olympus toughs. I’ve got the TG-5 and he’s got the Tg-6. I started with dual mounted strobes and hated how I overexposed everything. I switched to the ring light and loved it (I used it like a video light vs strobe) but now that we’ve gotten into super macro (the Blue Heron Bridge!) where we are often shooting subjects less than 5MM, I couldn’t get close enough with the kraken. So, my husband made me a custom shoe mounted arm for an INON D-2000, and I got some great shots this weekend. I’m trying to get better, though, and I’m having a hard time understanding a couple of things.

First question: I’m very confused about aperture value. Everything I’ve read says that the TG-5 has aperture values of f2.0-4.9, so why do some of my microscope mode photos show up as f14 and some show up as f4.9?

Okay, now about microscope control mode. Two things are confusing me with this one. I have tested microscope control and it seems to me, that when I’m set to microscope control mode, my camera always has an aperture value or F14 on the info screen for a photo, if I’m zoomed in all the way using the spinner. (But not changing the cx1, x2, or x4 setting, and strictly using Cx1 and zooming with the wheel.) I’ve read that microscope control loses quality, but I’m not seeing that with any of my test shots. When they say it loses quality, is that just when someone is using the digital zoom at cx2 or cx4? If I use microscope control mode and without touching the digital zoom, is that a “hack” of sorts to achieve almost the same aperture that my husband’s TG-6 can achieve (f14 vs f18)?

Thanks in advance!
 

bvanant

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There are only 2 apertures on the TG system. The effect of other apertures is created using a 3-stop ND filter. This is a surprise to many folks but it works (sort of).
At the wide end the aperture is f/2 or f2/8 and f/8 with the ND filter.
At the tele end the aperture are f/4.9 or f/6.3 and with the ND filter you get f/18

The advantages of the ND filter approach is that you never get diffraction effects.
Microscope mode lets you focus closer but the camera sets the aperture for you.
Bill
 

bvanant

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F857-Reef-Finspot-4.jpg


I am sure you have seen this guy
 

Chris Ross

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I'm not really sure what you are doing with the zoom, but digital zoom should be turned off in the menus all it is doing is cropping for you. You might as well do that later on.
As Bill says anything beyond f6.3 is using the ND filter which just sucks up light. Only reason to use it is reduce ambient exposure so you get a black background which might be necessary is very shallow clear water. It looks like in microscope mode it switches to auto everything which could be annoying if switches between f6.3 and f14 if you are shooting manual flash. The manual is not clear but the available apertured could change in microscope mode.
You could try workarounds to to prevent it but there is no real advatage apart from not needing to change your flash output if you were shooting manual.
 
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