Focus Stacking Setup


Click this image to visit the YouTube videos, which will explain how the system
 works, and how any other group or lab can make their own working system. 

What is it?


This page is about our focus stacking setup. I use it to take photographs of tiny plant specimens that are between about 0.2mm and 1cm wide.

Please feel free to copy it.


I am very happy for anyone to build a duplicate system, and have written detail instructions to help people and research labs to do this. If you would like to have a go, please watch the videos, or read the pages linked below. If you do try, I would love to hear from you about how you get on.


How can I do this for £100 if I am in a University or similar? 

My hope in writing this is that an honours student in a University might be able to copy this system for only about £100, with a certain amount of borrowing and scavenging of equipment and parts. If you would like to know how to do this please see the parts and sourcing list.

Where are the building instructions?


OpenPlant Project 2018


GitHub write-up

Hackter write-up

YouTube Channel


Biomaker Challenge 2017 


Hackster write-up

GitHub write-up


To see some of the photos taken with this setup please visit my image library at http://www.chlorophyllosophy.co.uk/

The small versions of my images are available free for teaching purposes. For full sized versions of the images for teaching or commercial purposes, please contact me through the form at http://www.chlorophyllosophy.co.uk/.


Who did this work?


Who built it?


The system was put together in a collaborative effort between a large number of people. The people who worked together to build the system are shown on the GitHub and Hackster pages listed below.

A great deal of technical expertise was contributed by the members of the photomacrography.net discussion forum.

The bulk of the work was carried out on a volunteer basis, by me (Jennifer Deegan), and Tim Deegan, working at home, for fun. If you do try to duplicate our system, we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Which groups funded it?


Some of the work was funded by two OpenPlant grants, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge and the John Innes Centre. The OpenPlant grant was in turn funded by the BBSRC and EPSRC.

How do I give attribution if I copy it?


In any publications that may arise from duplicate systems, please include in your acknowledgements, our publication of the system method: Deegan, J., and Deegan, T., 2018, The Pteridologist Magazine.


Who inspired this work?



The Photography of Professor M.B. Wilkins


To read more about the photography of Professor M. B. Wilkins, please follow the link at the top right of this page.

The Bratcam by Chris Slaybaugh


To read more about Chris Slaybaugh's Bratcam, on which my system is based, please visit his write-ups on the photomacrography.net website. The first volume is here and the second is here.

The Photomacrography.net Forum


In designing and building my system, I received a great deal of advice and help from the members of the photomacrography.net forum. To see the discussions that led to the building of my system please see the thread here.


This work was carried out by Jennifer Deegan in Cambridge. She was working especially with Tim Deegan, but also with the help of many collaborators, who are all listed on the GitHub and Hackster write-ups listed above.

Coleoptiles

Images of coleoptiles
and the growth patterns shown under light and hormone treatment,
from the collection of Prof M.B. Wilkins. 

Please see the Collection Page for a fuller explanation.

To see all of the images easily, click on the first, and page through using the left/right arrows. 

Both original slides and full-size scanned images are available. The initial scan was done very quickly, but slides can easily be rescanned to straighten images where needed. The images displayed are cut down to a small size to avoid copyright infringement.

My scanner struggled with this particular set of images because the black backgrounds made it very difficult for it to figure out which area of the slide to scan. Where these slides in particular are needed I will go back and rescan where required.