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.
About the Magazine
Microbehunter Microscopy Magazine is published monthly and is available free for download (as PDF) as well as in print. It contains articles from a wide range of different enthusiasts who want to share their experience and knowledge with other readers. I encourage experienced as well as inexperienced enthusiasts to contribute articles and images for the magazine.
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.