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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:17 pm 
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I just posted an article on my web site including tips for buying a new and used microscope, also why some one might want to own a microscope and some subjects they can look at.

https://www.canadiannaturephotographer. ... scope.html

Comments welcome

Photos include, rotifer, onion root tip and chromosomes, human cheek cell, Barr body in neutrophil (white blood cell) and Vitamin C crystal


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:58 pm 
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Wow!!.. Thanks for providing the link to your very interesting lab and web site...

BillT


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:49 am 
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Superb article, Rob. Thanks for creating and posting it. It's comprehensive, well written, and superbly illustrated. Likely the best of many efforts out there.

One question I've been grappling with -- and you and others may have thoughts -- is what quality photos are best to get (and keep) kids interested?

On the one hand, the cooler the picture (and yours all surpass that) the greater the interest.

On the other, I've had kids a bit disappointed that they couldn't see something as compelling with their own starter scopes.

Any ideas of how to both create initial interest and curiosity -- and keep it going when things like specimen prep and advanced imaging are either difficult or out of reach??


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:29 am 
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I am not sure I have answer for your question about kids. I think they need to see something compelling. I am just starting to do some presentations - I will try to include some movies with music so they can see microorganisms moving like water bears and paramecium. I will also bring a microscope so they can look through it at something.

Colours of crystals will have some impact, I think though that younger people will want to actually look down a microscope, so I might ask for some volunteers and look at their cheek cells with phase contrast. I think trying to make the material relevant to them is the trick. If I could take kids out to a pond where they could collect their own samples that also might get them more interested.

I will find out what works, many kids today have a cell phone maybe taking their own pictures will engage them.
Some kids will like the high tech equipment - I did. Water bears are amazing so I am hoping I can engage them showing them some live ones.

When I know more I will let you know.
RB


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:35 am 
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Pond critters have been a big hit with kids here. We'll sometimes hook a video camera to a trinocular head and project the image as large as possible. Kids are then eager to get their time at a microscope.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:57 am 
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PeteM wrote:
Superb article, Rob. Thanks for creating and posting it. It's comprehensive, well written, and superbly illustrated. Likely the best of many efforts out there.

One question I've been grappling with -- and you and others may have thoughts -- is what quality photos are best to get (and keep) kids interested?

On the one hand, the cooler the picture (and yours all surpass that) the greater the interest.

On the other, I've had kids a bit disappointed that they couldn't see something as compelling with their own starter scopes.

Any ideas of how to both create initial interest and curiosity -- and keep it going when things like specimen prep and advanced imaging are either difficult or out of reach??

+1 I agree completely, Pete

... and your closing question is both interesting and important.

What we need to give them is a reasonable "stretch target"
i.e. something that is just outside their current ability, but achievable with some effort.

MichaelG.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:10 am 
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I am guessing I'm not the only person who saw the Moody Science video 'Hidden Treasures' at a young age. It was old when I was a kid but it has some superb imagery. I was a bit discouraged that it wasn't so easy to find exciting pond life with little to no prep and a cheap digital microscope though, and it wssn't until much later that I actually got into this properly.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:35 am 
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Thanks for the link to your article. It is very comprehensive, systematic, and decorated with superb photos - very enjoyable.

Two minor notes:
1. In my opinion, the virtue of toy level microscopes is that they differentiate between children who are really ambitious and enthusiastic about science/nature/knowhow and those that are only temporarily amused by the gadget. The former kids will keep their interest in microscopy despite the inherent inconvenience and poor performance of toy microscopes.
2. I am impressed by the sharpness of the images you get although the cameras in your lab are stiffly installed on the photo-tubes, without mechanical isolation as far as I can see.

A citation from the article:
RobBerdan wrote:
LED's should last thousands of hours whereas the normal 12 V bulbs last only a few hundred hours and are getting harder to find. Also the LED lamps are close to daylight in colour temperature and need less colour correction

A Question if I may:
Which LED light, according to your experience, requires only a small (or none) correcting filtration for photography ?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:27 pm 
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Very fine and engaging site, Rob. Thank you for posting this.

In the past, I have brought up the question of why this forum does not have what I think are normally called stickies. This would be an excellent one to start with, to which so those frequent replicated questions from new posters , could be directed.
Valuable posts such as this eventually get relegated to the back pages and aren't easily found sometimes in the future, especially if one has never seen it before and might miss it in a mis-worded search.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:47 pm 
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Very comprehensive and very nicely done! Not to be too picky, but just below your image of two older microscopes, you indicate the Unitron microscope is on the left, while it is actually shown on the right. ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:59 pm 
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"A Question if I may:
Which LED light, according to your experience, requires only a small (or none) correcting filtration for photography ?"

I have found that the "warm white" radiance from an LED mimics natural sunlight...

BillT


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:20 pm 
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The Unitron polarizing microscope pictured is a very fine little instrument.. I have one that is made in Japan..

BillT


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:25 pm 
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billbillt wrote:
"A Question if I may:
Which LED light, according to your experience, requires only a small (or none) correcting filtration for photography ?"

I have found that the "warm white" radiance from an LED mimics natural sunlight...

BillT
My home warm white LEDs are specified as color temperature of 2700K, but there are warm whites of higher color temps, hence the question.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:26 am 
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The LEDs I got were 20W Cree from Stanton on Ebay, not exactly sure what the colour temperature is - looks like about 6500K, but unlike tungsten which are warm 3200-3400 K, these LEDs seem almost blue in colour. I still colour correct the background so its a neutral white using RGB numbers in Photoshop Camera RAW, but I like the cool blue colour they provide.

Stanton Fernald info@retrodiode.com provided me with the LED lamps I am sure he would know what their colour temperature is.

RB


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:47 pm 
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I have never been overly concerned about color temperatures affecting my pics, I always can fix it later.. I see the advantages of LED lighting more than make up for the drawbacks...


The Best,
BillT


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:31 am 
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Simply amazing, Rob. Thank you for posting, very informative, very inspiring. As someone who hasn't touched a microscope since biology class in the early 80's, I've recently became curious again and picked up microscopy as an amateur hobbyist. Sort of goes hand in hand with a different passion of mine - photography. I look forward to more of your postings and incredible images. Cheers. -Norm

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:48 am 
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In my opinion no one should ever buy toy microscopes, telescopes etc. and not even cheap entry level ones.
These kind of instruments with plastic optics or wobbly mounts and poorly put together will only bring frustration instead the pleasure of knowledge and will soon be abandoned, thrown away and forgotten by any child.
Best is to buy a good second hand from a well known manufacturer or a branded school level one at a reasonable price and sit with the child explaining how to use it and what to look for.


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