New Imaging Options for Conservators, Restorers, Curators, Forensics, Document and Material Examiner

Until now, conservators, restorers, curators and examiners have had to follow the needs of medical or materials scientists when selecting the best way of viewing their artworks, exhibits and artefacts.

In order to obtain the clearest magnified image, stereoscopic microscopes, often with zoom optics or expensive and highly specialised surgical microscopes have been adapted for use in studios, workrooms and labs.

UK company, Info-in-Images, has introduced this truly remarkable system that sweeps away the need for eyepieces, lifting the traditional single viewer restriction normally associated with such configurations.

Combining modern optical, digital, wireless and LED technologies with an integral PC and associated connectivity, this is not just an amazing microscope, but an outstanding imaging system for the 21st Century.

High definition image recording, measurement, annotation and display is now affordable and available for all levels of education, cultural heritage operations, investigative and industrial applications.

Images are displayed on a Full High Definition Video Display (1080P Resolution)so that they can be clearly viewed and shared with multiple viewers. Both HDMI and DVI outputs allow computer and video screens to be used without the need for external signal adapters.

The screen size used to display the images depends on the environment. Common video screens for individual or small group viewing are 32", while 65" screens or video projectors are in use for larger displays. 4K screens, using upscaling technology, and curved screens are also in use for even greater impact.

An integrated design approach provides convenient manual control of the system functions or extensive additional functions are accessed via the wireless keyboard and mouse.

Images are captured using Windows software onto an internal HDD, to USB memory via an external port or to a linked server via built-in ethernet connection.

Stable and robust support for the imaging system is important for precise imaging. Track stands with optional integral LED uplighting for transparent samples along with coaxial focussing and positioning controls provide a convenient choice for most samples. Additional high precision sample positioning is delivered by a series of X,Y & Z axis adjustable stages. Further rotation and tilting adjustments of the sample are also available to achieve the perfect sample presentation, to accommodate even the most irregular shaped samples.

With numerous size boom-arm and pivot-arm stands as well as motorised support frames, the video microscopes can be used to view large and small 2D samples such as paintings and documents on a tabletop or when hanging on a wall. There is even a turntable to provide panoramic viewing of 3D objects when the imaging module is positioned horizontally.

3-Dimensionality of the sample surface is accommodated as the remote focussing capability is built into the imaging module and operated from the keyboard/mouse- a truly innovative approach to the problem of detailed imaging at the centre of a large painting or document.

Imaging textured paintings or folded surfaces at higher magnifications can be difficult as the depth of focus at such magnifications is small. This is overcome by the use of Z-Stacking technology within the PC, where in-focus images from different levels are electronically combined into a single 'all-in-focus' image.

Evenly distributed illumination is useful for imaging many flat samples such as documents, while angled or raking light emphasises relief and texture in such surfaces. The built-in circular array of LED lights provides such even illumination. Quadrants from the circular array can be switched on and off to create angled lighting effects. Separate LED lighting using twin semi-rigid fibre-optic guides delivers light at oblique or almost horizontal angles can also be used, without delivering heat to the sample.

While the 'white-light' LED array is used for general viewing, a UV array can also be used, providing the ability to see material differences or the presence of uncharacteristic pigments.

More advanced capabilities such as electronic correction for lens distortion, white balance, built-in split-screen 'stored vs sample' image comparison, 'overlay comparison' and scaling calibration automatically linked with the microscope and screen size, standard and custom graticules are all built-in.

Amazingly compact and lightweight, this professional imaging system is ideal for museums, art galleries, restoration and conservation laboratories, as well as forensics, document & materials examination and quality control facilities,

Despite its amazing capabilities and professional build quality, the system remains affordable, robust, reliable and easy-to-use.

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