Digital Microscopes

The TEFAF website has some interesting content, including a short article on a high resolution 3D digital microscope and the use of special non intrusive stands.
All those microscopic structures are fragile: they are aging, changing with time and they need repair and care. If you look closely, you can extract a huge amount of information for restoration but also for identifying and vetting a work of art.

The mysteries that the naked eye can't see are now possible to discover, understand and measure, thanks to the latest microscope technologies: Hirox' high resolution 3D digital microscopy systems are specially designed to enable non destructive direct microscopy of works of art - both horizontally and vertically - with the help of special made stand systems (MOPAS).

This technology is in use by conservators from the most renowned museums, such as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Musèe du Louvre in Paris, TATE London, the Hermitage in Brussels and KHM in Vienna.

TEFAF is a pioneer in applying the latest technology for vetting: the Hirox Digital Microscopes are already in use since 2011, it was the first system in use in the Technical Research Team for the TEFAF vetting.

It has been proven very successful to select only the finest work of art to avoid falsifications, thanks to detailed inspection. 3D measurement, comparison between known and doubtful works of art at the micrometrical level. As the result can be seen in real time on a large high resolution screen, it's much easier for the vetting committee to review the results.

"Most people see a work of art as one object: in a painting for example you can see a portrait, a landscape or abstract shapes, but only a few people see it as a combination of millions of paint particles, pigments, canvas, wood, varnish and much more."

Creating high resolution images and videos or making quick and easy measurements have never been easier: from simple point-to-point distance up to high accuracy 3D tiling. The portable system allows inspection on the macro level (several centimeters), up to the finest resolution of microscopic details (a few hundred nanometers), all this in one system.

The Hirox digital microscope is attached to a motorized linear bar that allows movement with micrometrical steps in X and & axes. The lens system of the microscope itself is mounted on a motorized block with sub-micron movement in the Z direction (50 nm steps).

This motorization allows ultra fast Auto Multi-focus to obtain 3D in-focus images and data sets that can be processed for 3D-profile measurements and depth profiling.

Long-distance zoom lenses for magnifications up to around 50x allow the attachment of several lighting adapters (Diffused LED, UV, Polarisation, Side Lighting) and give enough room for repair or restoration under the microscope.

The unique Hirox rotary mirror attachment makes it possible to view the surface under different angles over 360 degrees to better understand fine details, simulating a 3D "helicopter view" over the area of interest. Videos of the surface are particularly useful for examination of paintings in poor condition by conservators.

Furthermore, a revolving lens system with zoom magnifications from 35x up to 2500x makes it possible to easily change objectives without losing the point of interest, while avoiding any risk of damage to the work of art.

High resolution inspection at high magnification with the Hirox on MOPAS allows recording of calibrated images, tiled images or videos for documentation.
Source: TEFAF 

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