My foray into macro photography started on a drive home from the office one evening. I felt a numbing twinge near the bottom of my right rib cage. At first, I thought my pants and belt were too tight. Age and daily helpings of ice cream had seen to a button popping waistline so it was easy to dismiss the sensation. When a larger pant and belt size failed to alleviate the issue it was off to the doctor to see what was wrong. I was finally diagnosed with hereditary hemochromatosis and had a high accumulation of iron in my body. Basically, I am a mutant, who absorbs to much iron from my diet.
By nature, I am an inquisitive person who needs to see the fine details of a problem to better understand it. I was determined to see my nemesis iron (Fe) up close. That's what any normal mutant would do, right? Armed with Google search, Macro Project 101 was launched - DIY microscope. Loosely based on instructions found on the Fun Science Gallery Website: http://www.funsci.com/fun3_en/uster2/uster2.htm I headed off to the local Camera Co-Op to find an old zoom lens, success, a Tokina 70-210mm. Coupled with an old binocular objective, a makeshift plywood stage, old LCD TV base, and webcam - behold Macroscope-101 in all it's duct-taped glory:
I managed to get a decent picture of rust on some baling wire, take that iron!
The images were good considering the rig build but wouldn't come close to achieving my goals so it was back to the drawing board. The rig went through several modifications - improvements to the lighting, different lens, and binocular objectives before I finally gave up on it as a viable option for macro/micro photography. The project wasn't in vain though, I learned many magnification and photographic concepts but more importantly the macro seed was sown.