Through the microscope

Posts tagged ‘Nikon S L-Ke’

A rotifer who can’t eat her food

This little rotifer was very amusing to watch. She seems to be struggling to cope with the Trachelomonas (green whizzy blobs). I left the original audio on, for some reason it amuses me to hear myself talking to a rotifer. Usually I put music on my videos; if you can’t stand to hear my mutterings you can always turn the sound down.

It was taken on the Nikon S L Ke at 400X with phase contrast.

Another day, another microscope cosy…


This time the microscope cosy is for me. It’s a little simpler than the last one but not much. It’s cotton lined with lint free microfibre cloth. It takes ages to do because I have to overlock every seam. If I didn’t overlock each seam the microfibre cloth might fray and produce fluff and the last thing I need is a fuzzy microscope.

I chose orange bias binding to contrast with the teal cloth and stitched on a Nikon patch which cost me three quid on eBay.

Very simple and rather smart. I’m rather chuffed with it.

Microscope cosy


My friend in America once joked that as my hobbies include microscopy and quilting I should make some microscope cosies, also known as dust covers. This my first attempt, I have attached my appliqué shapes using Bondaweb and tomorrow I shall sew them on.
This will be the front. I shall probably appliqué “Amscope” on the other side for that is the make of my friend’s microscope.
After I have attached the sides to the top I shall line the microscope cosy with lint free microfibre cloth because cotton isn’t soft enought for optical equipment.
Looking good so far don’t you think?


Improved onion

Improved onion

A little bit of faffing around with phase telescopes and lamps and I have much improved pictures. Not a rainbow in sight!

This time I have used oblique lighting instead of phase.
Do you like my stomata? I’m pretty chuffed with it 😀


Onion skin

Onion skin

Here’s my onion skin, as promised. I’m not completely satisfied with the pictures. I can definitely see a rainbow across the images and I think my light must be set up wrong. I was sure I had it correct but aligning the lamp is quite tricky. The instruction book suggests using a mirror to help you position the light and to focus on the filament when setting up kohler illumination..

I don’t have the mirror that was supplied with the microscope and I haven’t managed to get any other mirror to work as suggested. I have centred my light bulb by eye as best I can but there’s a definite rainbow.

My phase rings are definitely where they should be.
I suppose they’re not too bad. I have only taken photographs a few times and I can’t expect to achieve perfection quickly. People dedicate their lives to microscopy. I have dedicated about two years in total. I have only been taking photographs for a few weeks.

I should give up working. There just isn’t enough time to do everything I want to do. I have things to sew too.

I never had this trouble with electron microscopes. I had completely different problems with them, like the sample burning up in front of you. That was always fun!

I shall have another bash at it and hopefully I shall be taking rainbow free pictures soon.

Onion skin adventures

Plan: Take pictures of onion skin.

What actually happened: I set up my Nikon S L-Ke microscope and then made up some buffer so that my onion skin would be happy and not shrivelled. Then I went to clean a slide and cover-slip. When the slide was gleaming I placed some shallot skin (I discovered that I had no onions so I used some shallot skin instead) on the slide, I gave it a nice drop of buffer, popped on the cover-slip and viewed it.

Next, I accidentally moved the condenser instead of the focusing mechanism and because of the set up of the Nikon S L-Ke I then had to set up kohler illumination all over again and check my phase rings were where they should be. That took ages.

Finally I got to look at my slide.

Lovely onion skin, how pretty you are!

But what is this? That’s a strange looking organelle. Oh wait – it’s not an organelle it runs across several cells in a perfect diagonal line. It’s dirt! Bugger.

I removed my glasses, which didn’t help, then I cleaned the condenser and the bottom of the slide. I wiped the objectives with my fancy pants lens cleaning cloth but the dirt remained. The dirt was on the coverslip. Grrrr.

I fetched another slide, which appeared to be gleaming to my naked eye, and I sprayed it with my rather brilliant (if expensive) glass cleaning stuff. I waited and waited for it to dry.  I am still waiting. When its dry I shall peel it off and I will have a perfectly clean slide (which I shall probably drop in a load of cat hair).

First Contact is marvellous, I recommend it. You can get in the UK and USA. It’s a bit on the expensive side but it goes a very long way and I only use it when I’m taking photos. I have used it on old Vickers and Cooke objectives and eyepieces and it works brilliantly. I’m not brave enough to try it on my nikon objectives although the company saysit is perfectly safe to use on all lenses as long as there is no delamination.

I shall post onion cell pictures tomorrow when I have clean slides. No point posting pictures of onion “through a glass, darkly.”—opticlean-1-p.asp





Here’s a video I made earlier.
A thin section of sandstone viewed on a Nikon S L-Ke microscope with a PACO attachment. The PACO attachment is basically a circular polariser combined with some optical interference.

I must film this again, this was done with a cheap 1/3MP camera. I now have a canon EOS which is far superior.

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