About


Oliver Kim

General Info

MicrobeHunter.com is a microscopy magazine and blog for current (and to be) amateur microscopists, teachers, students and anyone else who is fascinated by the miniature world. Microscopy is an interesting and fun educational experience, and a great hobby and pastime as well. With this website and magazine I would like to pass on this enthusiasm and encourage the use of microscopes in biology class and at home. This website contains articles on a range of different microscopy-related topics. Some of them are more theoretical in nature, others more practical. I hope that there is something in it for everybody.

The site covers, among other things, the following topics:

  • Theoretical information on optics and microscope operation.
  • Simple laboratory preparations that can be done in a classroom and at home.
  • Some advice on buying microscopes.

Interesting Links

👜 Shop – Amazon shop for microscopes and accessories

💬 Forum – Connect to other microscopists

🎬 Microbehunter Youtube Channel – Specimen preparation, observations and more.

🎬 Microscopy advice channel – Again much info and advice

📷 Instagram – Cool pictures I made

😎 Facebook – Here I post videos

🎈 Support Microbehunter on Patreon

About myself

I have obtained an MSc degree in Microbiology and during my university study light microscopes were, naturally, an important tool. During this time I have worked mostly with phase contrast techniques in order to visualize bacteria. I do not remember the brand of the microscope anymore, but it was expensive and quite large. The device was placed on a special table with a suspended surface made of heavy stone. This was to reduce the vibrations. The whole set-up, I was told, cost around EUR 55000 (approx. USD 78000), and, to be honest, one could not see a great deal more than with a microscope costing one tenth of this price. You do pay for also for modularity and service, I realized. This was in 1995. During this time I used the microscopes mostly for a fast quality control. The microscope allowed me to check if my bacterial samples were indeed pure cultures or if they were contaminated (a much less expensive scope would have been sufficient for that). After my university graduation I decided to change my career and go into teaching. Now I am a biology teacher in a secondary school, and use both stereo microscopes as well as compound microscopes in my course. At the same time, however, I like to explore the miniature world, for the love of it, and I found a way to combine the hobby of photography with microscopy and Web design. I’ve created this Web site and the magazine to motivate others to pick up this fascinating hobby.

About my microscopes

Back in 1998 I bought an Olympus CH40 microscope with achromatic bright-field objectives (4x, 10x, 20x, 40x, 100x oil) and a trinocular head to do some photography. I use a digital single lens reflex camera (Canon 600D SLR) for my photography work. This camera has a swing-out display, which greatly adds comfort when doing photomicrographic work. I’m very happy with the whole system. Recently I also had the opportunity to obtain a second-hand stereo microscope (Euromex Arnhem), with 20x and 40x magnifications.

10 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi Oliver. I’ve been a subscriber for almost a couple of months now as a hobbyist entomologist. I love your channel, instruction, insights. I have an Amscope 7x-45x stereo microscope and Carson MicroMax LED mini microscope to view bugs and now am inspired by your channel to buy a higher magnification 1000x-2000x stereo microscope to view microbes, so I’m looking to buy a Swift SW308B next year and dive into the world of microbiology; I just bought a dummies book on Microbiology. Keep on posting your videos and blog information!

    – Sam

  2. Hello Oliver, Thank you for your videos, they’re wonderful. Would you consider doing on on the preparation of slides, of timber samples? I’m interested in sampling existing wooden structures, as opposed to trees. Thanks Darren

  3. Hi Oliver. Yesterday I stopped at an estate sale near here, and an old gentleman gave me a book called “Microbe Hunters” by Paul De Kruif. The copyright date is 1926. I wonder if you’ve run across it? There are more modern copies of this book, I think, on Amazon, etc. All the best.

  4. Hi Oliver, Great idea for a website and I hope it inspires more to look into microscopy as a hobby. I did a few years ago with a purchase of an old Zeiss standard and built a camera adapter onto the trinocular for my Canon 800D to shoot mostly crystals under polarized light and, occasionally, darkfield — mostly for producing “art”. Great tip to put some alcohol into the salt solution to reduce vertical dimension. I’m playing with that idea now since I’ve only used water as a solvent so far. I’m trying isopropyl, but am wondering if you’ve tried other alcohols and if you’ve found any good salts that are soluble in alcohol and produce nice crystals. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks, Carl . (my e-mail address is correct except for the dash which should be the digit nine — don’t know if it’s my keyboard or what)

  5. I would love to see some Microbehunter merch on the site, such as stickers, mugs, etc! Thanks for all your work, I’ve found it extremely useful as a novice.

  6. Hi Oliver – I started collecting microscopes a couple of years ago. I had absolutely no intention of starting a collection, but after I got my first vintage American Optical Spencer … well one thing led to another. I’m embarrassed to admit how many I’ve since purchased. I love the machining, quality, feel and let’s not forget the heft, of the vintage scopes. I love that their makers proudly stamped/etched their name in the steel. No silly stickers identifying the brand. I really enjoy learning about them, repairing and bringing them back into service.

    I love your two channels. Great job! Keep the videos coming.

    Peter

  7. Hi Oliver, Today I found your website and I really enjoyed. Thanks for your immense efforts to put everything here. I have a question about my recently developed interest in capturing microscope images to PC. I have an access to Olympus cx21fs1 and I wanna digitize images from it. I have a small budget (ie 70-80 USD) to buy any gadget(s) to transfer view from microscope (have a couple of webcams and raspi camera). Any help on it? I can build myself even if I have good instruction. Looking forward to hear from you.

    Best Regards,

    RY

  8. Hello Oliver I have seen many of your video’s and I look at them with lots of interest. Now I want to buy my own microscope but I need your advice in this one. So what I want with the microscope are the following things: many times people claim that for example turmeric is good for the immune system or that cayenne pepper is good for making the blood thin, that vitamine C helps with the increase of the white blood cell count. So what I want I want to see those claims under a microscope and my question to you is, which microscope can observe these things?

  9. Hi,
    Your website and videos are amazing and I am learning a lot. I have a very old simple microscope that I have used to observed mainly stained slides. I am interested in observing more living organisms such as protozoa and am trying to decide which microscope to buy. I was wondering if a trinocular phase contrast microscope would allow me to see more details for these fresh mounts and if a high-end model from the brands Omax and Amscope would be good enough because even their expensive models are cheaper than a Nikon or Olympus. When you wrote about phase contrast you only mentioned bacteria. Is it worth for other specimens as well?
    Thank you

  10. Hi, Oliver, I admire your great efforts in promoting microscopy as a hobby! I, myself, have been a hobbyist now in its 50th year ( I am 62). I am a regular visitor to your youtube channel. I stumble upon your channel via micscape which I have contributed twice since 1997. I do have my own youtube channel – Natural World Chew. This is an older video I made of a waterflea giving birth – https://youtu.be/zrCgs-TxLpw

    Thanks for your good work!

    Cheers, Chew

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.