How to capture the best possible digital Images when using LCF3 Firearms & Tool Marks Comparison Microscope

Firearms examiners have more important work to do then to continuously adjust the imaging system on their microscope to get a good digital image of their sample. Here is a quick reference guide to help you get back to ground zero with your digital imaging system so you can always have a good foundation to capture excellent images.

These instructions assume you are working with a Diagnostic brand camera and a Leeds  LCF3 comparison microscope.  If you are working with other equipment the suggestions may still be useful but the controls will be displayed with a different GUI.

Step 1:

Make sure your microscope is set up properly by checking:

  • Lighting
  • Aperture settings
  • Focus
  • Position of sample
  • Dividing Line

The camera can only capture as good of an image as you can provide.  With the Leeds LCF3 comparison microscope, the camera will be specified to obtain the best possible image.

Note:  Extra light = noise.  Make sure to turn off any overhead lights, cover the dual view port, and close the aperture to reduce stray light, make sure the beam splitter is set to send the light to the camera.

Step 2:

Launch the software and click on the camera icon to display a live image of the sample.

View a real-time preview of your image capture

 If the sample color is displayed incorrectly then you will need to perform a white balance.  Move the dividing line on the comparison bridge to only display one side of the compared samples; either side is OK and only one side should be displayed.  Place a piece of plain white paper on the side being displayed on the camera.  Press the white balance button and press OK, the white piece of paper should now appear white on the camera.

Step 3:

Make sure your image settings are set as “default”:

 Note:  Do not change the color temperature setting if you have just performed a white balance.

Note:  If the installation was performed by a Leeds technician, you may have pre-loaded or pre-set profiles for your various lighting options.  You may wish to choose one of these pre-loaded profiles.   They will be accessible under the profile drop down and will be labeled by type of lighting: Fluorescence, Fiber Optic, LED, etc.  If you choose a profile and have the proper light on but the color of the sample is not correct, perform a white balance as outlined above and hit “save” when completed.

Step 4:

Acquire the image.

As always, you may contact Leeds with any questions on your Leeds Products at

1-800-444-5333.

This entry was posted in Forensic Education, Forensic Lab Tips, LCF, Leeds Forensic Systems and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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