Carl Zeiss Ultrafluar 10x microscope objective

Now that I own a Stackshot and can shoot extreme macro in a more controlled manner, I thought I would try my hand at extreme macro using other types of objectives. Hence my friend lent me a few of his microscope objectives to see how they would perform. One of these is the Carl Zeiss Ultrafluar 10x microscope objective, which being a quartz objective, transmits UVĀ from 240nm all the way up to the infrared range.

I mounted this objective to my RMS-42mm adapter, 52-42mm step down ring, 48-52mm step up ring, my TS 2″ filter drawer system, 42-48mm step up ring and Micro 4/3rds to M42 adapter. I used my Baader U 2013 filter in the filter drawer to do extreme UV-imaging.

Carl Zeiss Ultrafluar 10x mounted on Olympus E-PL5
Carl Zeiss Ultrafluar 10x mounted on Olympus E-PL5

With the distance of the objective away from the sensor in this setup, I am able to get full coverage of my Micro 4/3rds sensor. Also, with 2x crop factor of this camera, it does allow for a more workable distance between objective and subject i.e. not too close. Do note that the closer the microscope objective is to the sensor, the more likely there will be vignetting of the corners. But alas this objective does not provide sufficient coverage for APS-C or Full frame sensors.

Ultrafluar 10x objective
Ultrafluar 10x objective
Extreme macro of gerbera petal in UV
Extreme macro of gerbera petal in UV – lit by 365nm UV torch to adjust start and end point of focus stacking with Stackshot
Side view of setup for extreme macro
Side view of setup for extreme macro

As you can see below, this Ultrafluar objective in my setup was able to allow full coverage of my Olympus E-PL5 sensor – the image on the live view seen is UV from the 365nm UV torch.

Ultrafluar 10x is able to cover nearly the full micro 4/3rds sensor
Ultrafluar 10x is able to cover the full micro 4/3rds sensor
Gerbera petal extreme macro - UV
Gerbera petal extreme macro – UV (from 27 shots at 80 micron steps)

As you can see, it does allow for very extreme macro views of the UV pattern of the gerbera petal. But due to the fact it is not a corrected objective, the image appears fairly soft. But if imaging with a narrow bandwidth UV light source such as the 365nm UV torch, I expect that it will produce significantly sharper images, although it will look more monochromic.

What I’ve shown is that the Ultrafluar 10x quartz objective can be used for extreme macro UV-imaging, to show the fine details of the UV pattern.

Summary:

The Carl Zeiss Ultrafluar 10x objective can project an image large enough to fill the Micro 4/3rds sensor. It will transmit UV well, but is not corrected in that range and hence will produce a slightly softer image. But it allows for a very compact setup for shooting extreme macro, and these objectives may be easier to come by and more affordable than True UV lenses.

Boon