The MJKZZ Vertical Stand

Today, after a long wait, I’ve received the MJKZZ vertical stand.

The update of the acquisition system was necessary because using the OGGLAB circular illuminator I needed to have more space around the LED cylinder. I had to rethink for the umpteenth time how to manage everything. Since I embarked on this macro-extreme adventure, I think I have “changed positions” at least 4-5 times. But maybe this is the last time….

The vertical stand is available in two colors, silver or black, and allows you to install the photographic system vertically, particularly useful for acquiring microfossils, small subjects that require to be placed on a horizontal plane, on a microscope slide, and, in my case, ambers. The latter requires to be immersed in liquid, it could not be possible otherwise. The main difference between the two colors, apart from the slightly higher price of the black color, is that with the dark system potential light reflections on the metal surfaces are reduced. Reflections could affect the quality of the final photograph in the case of specular surfaces, such as those found in minerals, on beetle elytra, or reflective surfaces of all kinds.

The vertical position implies to be more subject to environmental vibrations of different nature (from the wife practicing pole dance, to the son who plays drums or the grandfather who chops wood with an axe in the adjacent room…), therefore, to provide greater stability to the system, it is possible to add two stabilization bars, but these bars are supplied separately.

Assembly is easy, as the system is practically pre-installed; in just less than 15 minutes (despite the absence of an “Ikea-style” mini-manual) the vertical stand is ready to use.

To provide additional stability, it was necessary to add an additional bar to the rear of the block that supports the rail. The bar is firmly attached to the external structure that supports the LED panels and the cylinder shelf. In fact, in my setup, I placed the rail + camera system in an advanced position, in a way that I could more easily work with the lighting system.

Finally, everything is solidly fixed on a composite wood board that rests, via anti-vibration rubber feet, on a heavy marble slab.

The power cables of the peripheral that manage the track and the camera find their place inside the aluminum structure, facilitating the organization and avoiding flying cables on the work surface.

The tests carried out so far, using the MJKZZ track model QOOL250, allow us to successfully carry out acquisitions with objectives from 2x to 50x:

Mosaic of two Diptera (Cecidomidae). Image composed by 5 different stacks of 81, 68, 72, 92, and 92 images), and acquired with a inverted Schneider-Componon 50mm/f2.8 lens.

Photo of Varroa destructor, bee parasite responsible for the death of thousands (millions?) of honey bees in the world. Image acquired with a Mitutoyo 10x objective.

Grain of pollen on the body of the Varroa destructor (the pollen is visible in the upper left side of the body in the previous image). Image acquired with the microscope objective Olympus MSPlan 50x

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