I’ve Never Seen Macroscopic Images As Incredibly Sharp As These Ones

This is a blister beetle photographed with a Macropod — “a low cost, portable, three-dimensional imaging solution” that allows scientists to break the depth of field limitations typical of macro photography by taking multiple exposures and merging them into a single ultra-sharp image using software.

[Macropod] overcomes the extreme Depth of Field (DOF) limitations inherent in optics designed to image smaller specimens. Normally, lenses designed for macro will only render a very small fraction of the depth of targeted specimen in sharp focus at any one exposure. The Macropod allows the user to select and make multiple exposures in precise increments along the Z-axis (depth) such that each exposure’s area of sharp focus overlaps with the previous and next exposure.

These source images are then transferred to a computer and merged by an image-stacking program. The stacking program finds and stitches together only the focused pixels from each exposure into one image.

Ingenious! The results are amazing.

Black wasp

Mouldy orange

Bumble bee

The tongue of bumble bee.

The tip of the tongue.

Human eye

Orange jumping spider

Here’s an explanation of how it works: