How to obtain the best resolution with your microscope

The resolution that a microscope is capable of achieving is probably the single most important factor that determines the quality of a microscopic image. Without a sufficiently high resolution, magnification is not possible without loss of quality. There are a variety of different factors that determine the achievable resolution. Some of these factors can not be actively influenced by the microscopist, others can. Some of the factors play a larger role, others a smaller one. In the following post, I want to summarize some of these factors.