Index

We encourage all of our visitors and members to contribute their knowledge and experience to the betterment of our community. If you have any special knowledge of a subject or have any special microscopy techniques that you would like to share with our visitors and members, consider submitting a short article. Perhaps you’ve acquired a new peice of equipment and would like to write a review for our membership. Read any good books about microscopy lately? We’d be happy to publish your reviews. There are no deadlines. Articles may be submitted for publication at any time. Review the Submission Guidelines.
New!! Simple Discoveries..

The article regarding finding the amoeba in Tom’s wife’s flowerpot prompted me to get busy and write about my microscopy experience.A little less than two years ago my wife and I acquired our first microscope, a B&L Stereo 4. The motive was innocent enough..

Videomicrography…by Tom Webster. For a couple of years now I have been shooting video clips of the organisms I have observed through the microscope. I have modified a Logitech Zoom web camera to capture video clips in either 640 x 480 pixel resolution or 320 x 240 pixel resolution. As much as I enjoy making still images through the microscope, video clips allow me to watch the behavior of the organisms time and time again Adapting a Canon 300D (Digital Rebel) Camera for Photomicrography Through a LOMO Multiscope Microscope…by Ken Vernon. When I received the Lomo Multiscope it came complete with a trinocular photo-tube and a spacer attached. I attached the 300D to the photo-tube using a Canon EOS T Mount made by Celestron. For my first attempts at photomicrography with this setup I used a medical specimen slide.
Electronic Flash System for a Microscope…by Ron Neumeyer. Several years ago I put together an electronic flash system for microscope imaging using a Canon T90 film camera and its companion flash, the TTL300. Keeping with current trends I switched over to digital about 2 years ago.. Acanthamoeba, A Short Study in its Pathogenicity…By Ken Ramos. For those of you who have read my previous article, “Beware the Ides of Summer”, you have no doubt come to the conclusion that I am keenly interested in the hazards associated with amoeba that pose the potential for serious infections in human beings.Most often we associate amoeba with aquatic environments such as lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers. Seldom do we give thought to the soil, the dust
Simple Pleasures from a Flower Vase…by Tom Webster. The other day I had a rare day off with no pressing demands and decided to do a little hunting for amoebae. I made the rounds of my three favorite ponds, sampling the waters and the bottom sediments. Returning home I settled in with the sample jars full of prospects and my microscope at the ready, looking forward to an afternoon’s leisurely hunt. Three hours and several sample changes later my leisurely afternoon turned into an afternoon full of frustration. Not an amoeba to be found!  Create Simple Image Frames with Photoshop 6.0…by Tom Webster. Some of the members of our forums and galleries have expressed an interest as to how I produce my “fancy” frames around the images I post. To perform all of my post-capture image editing, I use Photoshop 6.0. I have simplified some steps to easily make simple but attractive frames around my images
Beware the Ides of Summer, Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis and Naegleria fowleri…by Ken Ramos. There are numerous pathogenic organisms in our environment no doubt and some are more prolific and are noteworthy enough to be placed on the evening news and be famed as the scourge of mankind, and rightly so. However there is one small, seemingly insignificant organism that crops up from time to time. Getting Back to the Basics, Thoughts of Long Ago…by Ken Ramos. The world was my laboratory and within it lay many mysteries to be solved and the dreams of exploring these new frontiers burned in a young boys mind. I wonder today what ever happened to those dreams. Maybe a return to the basics would be in order.
Color Print Film for Photomicrography…by Tom Webster. One of the sheer joys, to me, of owning a microscope is that I am capable of sharing what I see with others through the use of photomicrography. It is quite satisfying to acquire personal knowledge of a subject or organism but it is much more satisfying when that knowledge can be shared. The World’s Best Microscope…by Tom Webster. I recently purchased a different trinocular head for my venerable old Nikon microscope. In the process of setting up the head I found a number of issues that I could not seem to get resolved. In frustration, I caught myself thinking, “Boy, if only I had a Zeiss (or Leitz, or Wild, or Olympus…) I wouldn’t be having these problems!
Crossed-Polarized Crystal Photography…by Tom Websterxx A four-part series of articles describing how Tom makes photomicrographs of crossed-polarized crystals. Modify a Webcam for Videomicrography…By Tom Webster This is a three-part series on how to shoot video clips of “micro-critters” utilizing an inexpensive webcam.
Part IIntroduction and a Layman’s Explanation of the Physics I have viewed many wonderful sights through my microscope but few sights have thrilled me more than viewing microscopic crystals under crossed-polarized lighting. This is, in fact, one of the easiest types of lighting to accomplish for an amateur microscopist. 
Part I: Introduction and Webcam Modifications If ever a subject and a method of recording that subject fit together like a hand in a glove, pond “micro-critters” and videomicrography are an ideal fit. I receive an immense amount of satisfaction from photomicrography and the still images I create but I learn more about the pond “micro-critters” and their behavior from videomicrography
Part IIEquipment Setup If you have a spare few hundred dollars to a spare few thousand dollars laying around you can purchase some very fine polarizing microscopes. If, on the other hand, you are as economically challenged as I am you can make your current microscope into a limited polarizing microscope...
Part II: Webcam Modifications The first order of business is to remove the lens. Why? The CCD array is tiny, 1/3″. This, in itself, guarantees a high power at the plane of the CCD array. Introducing an eyepiece as a relay lens serves only to increase the magnification of the image.
Part IIIMaking the Crystal Slides Nothing could be easier to create than crystals on a microscope slide. Two methods may be used: 1) Allowing crystals to form from a solution and 2) melting substances between a coverslip and a microscope slide (a “melt”).
Part III: Image Capture and Post-Capture Processing I prefer to set the camera settings manually. Video clips recorded at 640 x 480 pixels create large, bloated video files at only 15 fps video rate. The video clips look much better and the file sizes are much more manageable at 320 x 240 pixel resolution.
Part IVPutting It All Together Once I have the microscope set up and my crystals formed on microscope slides I’m ready to make my images. 
Bdelloid Rotifers: Female Filter Feeders…by Tom Webster I was struggling with a bad case of “writer’s block” in my attempt to write this article. I finally decided, “Oh to heck with it!” and went out to my birdbath to make sure the drip system was still working. Just for the heck of it I gathered a water sample from the birdbath. ..

 

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