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barratt_sab 

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Ha!

I've been fiddling with the same thing from Maplin for about 30 minutes.

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=286566

It was plug & play with vista (lord only know what'll happen when I plug it into a linux box at home). You need webcam image capture software (either supplied or something like AvaCam (free for windows) or Cheese for linux).

I've just taken a picture of the Queen's eye (her right, if you are interested) on a £5 note, which I will try to post so you can see the results.
 

barratt_sab 

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Here's the picture of the eye of the Queen on a £5 note, together with one of a ruler.

So, probably OK for looking at things in the 4-10mm range, but probably less useful for things in the 1-4mm range (like the varroa I got it to look at).

It has LED lights that illuminate the object and a manual focus wheel. It will focus quite happily on the opposite wall, as well as close up things. Maplin had one with a stand and one without - the one without the stand would have been completely useless, I suspect.

I'll try to take some more pictures with it of bee related things tonight, and post the results.
 

barratt_sab 

House Bee
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Update:

My version has two focus settings at which it is in focus. The first gave the photos above. The second is much closer up.

The photo below is of the top half of the "I" of "I promise to pay..." written on the Queen's head side of the £5 note.

The field of view is about 1mm side to side.
 

barratt_sab 

House Bee
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Location
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It worked fine with linux (ubuntu 10.4) and cheese image capture. So, here are a bee's leg, a varroa mite close up and a close up of a bee's "toes".

Quality isn't great, but it's great for showing the children revolting things close up, and it was only £40.
 

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