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Sample application for the LM macroscope: fascinating macro shots of a thistle reveal nature’s perfection

Particularly in autumn, it is exciting to get out in nature and look for subjects that are good candidates for examination with the LM macroscope. We did not have to venture far, as we found a plant right outside our front door that appealed to us with its beauty and diversity: a thistle in bloom. The thistle is an herbaceous, biennial plant that grows to between 30 and 120 cm in height and is found in Central and Eastern Europe, the Near East and China. In addition, it is a neophyte in North America, New Zealand, Argentina and Uruguay.

In autumn, the thistle reveals its beauty in many different ways: as a purple blooming member of the composite family, it attracts insects of all kinds:

LM macroscope 9x, fullframe-sensor camera, nature, thistle

The photo above shows an image section (FoV) of 60 mm x 40 mm and was taken with our LM macroscope and a full-frame camera. We used the focus stacking technique to obtain the ideal depth of field. Focus stacking is an image processing technique that combines multiple images (up to 100 individual frames) into a “stack” of images. Focus stacks can be created by turning the micrometer screw and repeatedly triggering the shutter, but a much more elegant and less complicated solution is to use a motorised focusing rail. The LM macroscope is factory-ready for installation of a motorised focusing rail. Once the stack is completed, it is processed with a special software tool. The result is one composite image that is sharply focused from front to back.

LM macroscope with Cognisys StackShot Macro Rail Set

With a higher magnification and a smaller image section (FoV) of 10 mm x 6.6 mm, the pollen that coats the tips of the flower is clearly visible:

nature photo fullframe DSLR microscope camera flowerimage

If the background is changed, the overall impression of the plant changes completely:

nature photography thistle fullframe sensor microscope camera

thistle photo with fullframe sensor DSLR macroscope

Field of view: 35 mm x 23 mm

After a couple of days, the thistle begins to seed. This is when the feathery pappus hairs and fruit body appear.

macro extreme fruit body thistle

The image below shows a beautiful close-up of the pappus with seed attached:

macro extreme thistle pappus

The LM macroscope has been specially developed for use with modern interchangeable lens mount digital cameras. The imaging sensors in these cameras deliver high-resolution performance and an extensive dynamic range. A quality optical system that is specifically designed to meet the requirements of this type of application is needed to utilise the full potential of these cameras. Usually, normal stereo microscopes are used for this magnification range. However, they do not produce the desired results when it comes to image capturing. LM macroscopes, by contrast, – especially when used with a full-frame sensor DSLR – deliver superb image quality and depth of field, and are easy to use.


New LM Digital Adapter for: Sony Alpha 9 II (ILCE-9M2) / Sony Alpha 9 / Canon EOS R with Canon Adapter EF-EOS R / Sony Alpha 7R IV / Canon EOS RP with Canon Adapter EF-EOS R / Sony Alpha 7S II / Sony Alpha 7R III / Nikon Z6 with F-Mount Adapter FTZ / Sony Alpha 7R II / Nikon Z7 with F-Mount Adapter FTZ / Sony Alpha 7S / Nikon Z50 with F-Mount Adapter FTZ / Nikon D850 / Canon EOS 1D X Mark II / Sony Alpha 7III / Nikon D5 / Sony Alpha 6400 / Canon EOS 1D X / Nikon D4s / Olympus OM-D E-M5 III / Canon EOS 90D / Canon EOS 5D Mark IV / Nikon D4 / Nikon D750 / Canon EOS 6D Mark II / Sony Alpha 6300 / Sony Alpha 6500 / Nikon D500 / Nikon D810 / Nikon D800 / Nikon D800E / Nikon Df / Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 / Nikon D610 / Nikon D600 / Canon EOS 250D / Canon EOS M50 / Canon EOS 6D / Sony Alpha 99 II (SLT-A99 II) / Canon EOS 5DS R ( without low-pass filter) / Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II / Canon EOS 80D / Canon EOS 5DS / Sony Alpha 77 II / Canon EOS 70D / Nikon D7200 / Pentax K-1 Mark II / Canon EOS 200D / Canon EOS 800D / Rebel T7i / Canon EOS 77D / Canon EOS 5D Mark III / Canon EOS 60D / Sony Alpha 7R / Sony Alpha 7 / Nikon DS-Qi2 (Microscope Camera) / Olympus OM-D E-M5 II / Nikon D3x / Olympus OM-D E-M1 / Pentax KP / Nikon D3S / Canon EOS 750D / Rebel T6i / Canon EOS 760D / Rebel T6s / Canon EOS 5D Mark II / Nikon D7100 / Pentax K-5 / Canon EOS 1D Mark IV / Nikon D7000 / Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EOS 600D / Rebel T3i / Canon EOS 650D / Rebel T4i / Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i /