Thursday, October 29, 2015

Top 10 Microscopy Tips

At Microscope World we spend all day long using microscopes and helping customers solve microscope related problems. These are some of our top 10 microscopy tips to keep your microscope experience fun and enjoyable!

  1. Always start focusing at the lowest possible magnification. On a biological microscope this will be with the 4x objective. On a stereo microscope the setting is around 1x. Once you get the lower magnification in focus it will be easier to move up in magnification and obtain a focused image.
  2. When using prepared slides, make sure you put them on the microscope right-side up. If they are upside down you won't be able to focus the image.
  3. Place your sample in the center of the microscope stage and make sure you have plenty of light shining on it.
  4. Always focus the coarse focus first, then fine-tune with the fine focus knob.
  5. Don't buy a plastic microscope or a microscope with plastic optics. The frustration won't be worth the money saved.
  6. When increasing magnification on a compound microscope adjust the condenser and light intensity accordingly.
  7. Keep microscope lenses clean and when the microscope is not in use, cover it with a dust cover.
  8. Use your imagination and look at a number of different samples! Here are some ideas for what to view with your stereo microscope. If you are using a biological compound microscope get some pond water to look at, try looking at your cheek cells and peel an onion skin and put it under the microscope. Be creative!
  9. When purchasing a microscope figure out beforehand if you want a stereo microscope or a biological microscope. They are different and will allow you to view different types of specimens. There's a great article here that explains the differences between stereo microscopes and biological microscopes.
  10. Keep learning! If you have questions microscopy message boards & groups are a great place to ask, or post your question on the Microscope World Facebook page. If you enjoy seeing images under the microscope check out this Tumblr page of microscopy images.
Pond water captured under the microscope at 400x magnification.
Microscopy image of pond water captured at 400x.