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alan mcfall

Light reading MIKAS

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 Several posts have addressed the issue of photomicrography, using a Lieca camera and a microscope, preferrebly Leitz, by using an adapter device first called Micro Ibso and later Mikas.  Incorporated in this adapater is a mechanism to preview the photo, a leaf shutter for the required slow exposure, and a conical tube to properly thread to the camera and produce a 24 x 36 image. What was not normally incorporated, was any means to determine the exposure by recording the actual ligjht intensity.

There were many manufactures of selenium light meters starting in the 1930's. Typically, a disc or cell was used to produce electric current which could be releated to light intensity and exposure.  How this was first used for photomicrography, I do not know. Perhaps a member has expertise on this.  I have collected several Mikas attachments that have a built in selenium cell, about 1 inch in diameter and is pivoted into position much like a Ploot mirror. Here is a photo of a normal Mikas with 1/3 conical tube, and 3 views of different Mikas tubes with the photocell modification. In the next photo, I dissasembeled the unit to show the selenium cell and precisly machined cut-out in the conical tube. The attached part seems to be a casting containing the pivot and cell and wires exiting.

When I got the first one of these, I assumed it was a one-off creation of a craftsman as I cannot find any mention of it in the literature.  Now that I have more of them and have seen a few more on the web for sale, I wonder if it was made by Leitz or endorsed by them. Or, likely, some shop that fabricated them and sold them apart from Letiz.

Does anyone know about the history of these attachments, was a common microvoltmeter used for intrepreting exposure?  Did Zeiss or others, experience a similar technology adoption? By the 60's and 70's, Leitz offered modern systems, such as Micro-Six, that performed this function.

 

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I know little about these Mikas units but have often seen them being sold with faulty or unreliable shutters. Who made the shutter and can anyone still repair them (many old shutters of this type have no parts availability)?

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