Inverted microscopes

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Tartigrade
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Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:29 pm

Inverted microscopes

#1 Post by Tartigrade » Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:58 pm

Are inverted scopes better for observing pond microorganisms?

I’ve read they are better for live cells, but wanted the advice of an experienced person.

Thanks, and looking forward to reading replies!

deBult
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Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:20 pm

Re: Inverted microscopes

#2 Post by deBult » Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:22 pm

Would not mind some input on this question as well.

Observation: most inverted scopes seem to have low na condensors: so my assumption is this limits the level of detail when using 20 or 40* objectives?

Best, deBuly

PeteM
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Re: Inverted microscopes

#3 Post by PeteM » Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:30 pm

Especially with phase contrast, they're very good with pond critters. Posters here (Kurt etc.) also like them for sorting diatoms.

Others will chime in, but one of the main advantages is that a whole lot of suspected critter material can go into something like a flat bottom Petri dish. It's easier to scan and then pluck out specimens. At some point, though, you want to get the critters confined to a relatively thin layer of water to keep them in better focus. Inverted scope can still do that, but not many of the sort available to hobbyists go much beyond 400x, and generally require a suitable condenser up above for that.

Some wonderful inverted scopes show up from time to time -- and a dedicated pond critter, diatom, live cell, etc. naturalist might well prefer one - or at least have one to augment compound and stereo scopes. Also favored in many kinds of research.

einman
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Re: Inverted microscopes

#4 Post by einman » Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:28 am

As PeteM mentioned I own several inverted scopes and use them for pond observations. You have to keep the water level rather shallow in order to achieve the best resolution and minimize movements of the organisms. I have taken more recently to using higher power stereoscopes although they do not have the resolution of inverted scopes. I have also used concave slides and special cells used to house living organisms for observation on a typical compound scope. The choice of petri dish also has a significant effect as the thickness and clarity of the bottom effects resolution.

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KurtM
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Re: Inverted microscopes

#5 Post by KurtM » Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:29 am

Are inverted scopes better for observing pond microorganisms?
No such thing as a 'better' scope for observing anything ... it depends on what kind of observing you have in mind. For example, I'd argue that the best scope for observing pond critters when first looking into a sample container is the stereo scope, because it gives a good overview of what you have at 10x to maybe 60x. Then, the inverted is perfect for taking a goodly amount of targeted sample water out via pipette for a closer look at 100x to 400x, although usually more like 100x to 200x. Smaller specimens may then be pipetted to wet slide mounts for the upright compound to get hi-rez views and/or images at 400x to 630x or higher depending on your capacity for using immersion lenses.

As a diatom enthusiast, I find the inverted most useful for doing what the stereo scope does, only at higher magnifications. Quick and convenient scanning, in other words, whereas diatoms are a bit small for stereo scopes.

In my opinion, a person's first scope should be a stereo, or upright compound, depending on what they want to see most. The second one should be the other, so they end up with a stereo and a compound. Then an inverted if interest and wherewithal justify it. But again, that's just my opinion.
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Kurt Maurer
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