Welcome to Microbehunter’s Microscopy Manual! I hope that this resource proves to be useful for both beginners and more advanced microscopists. The articles are continually updated.
Chapter 1: About Amateur Microscopy
- What is amateur microscopy?
- Some Thoughts on Recreational / Amateur Microscopy (Part 1)
- Some Thoughts on Recreational / Amateur Microscopy (Part 2)
- Besides observing, what are some additional tasks for hobby microsopy?
- What advantages and disadvantages does amateur microscopy have?
- What are the steps of starting amateur microscopy?
- Can I still use microscopes even though I have no interest, space or time in preparing slides?
- Can I discover something new, like a new life form?
- Are there microscopy competitions?
- How expensive is amateur microscopy?
- Is amateur microscopy something for me?
- Is microscopy difficult to learn?
- What if I am a collector? Is there something in it for me as well?
Chapter 2: The Parts of the Microscope
- What are the parts of the compound microscope?
- What are the parts of a stereo microscope?
- What are the advantages of a mechanical stage?
- What objective types are there for compound microscopes?
- What are the differences between achromatic and apochromatic objectives?
- What is Köhler illumination?
- Which kinds of microscope lamps are there?
- What kinds of microscope heads are there?
- What are the different eyepieces?
- The condenser aperture diaphragm
Chapter 3: Using the Microscope
- How do I correctly turn on the microscope?
- How do I correctly observe a specimen?
- Why should I not use the coarse focus knob for high-power objectives?
- What can I do if I see a double picture?
- What are possible reasons for not seeing an image?
- Working with the condenser aperture diaphragm
Chapter 4: Choosing a Microscope
- Do I need phase contrast?
- What are the differences between stereo and compound microscopes?
- Which microscopes are suitable for children?
- How expensive are microscopes?
- Should I buy a more expensive microscope first, or should I buy a cheap one and then a better one later?
- What features does an amateur compound microscope need?
- What is the single most important criterion when choosing a microscope?
- What are the advantages of research microscopes?
- Are there any microscopes which I should avoid?
- Should I buy a microscope with infinity corrected optics?
- Do I need a 100x oil immersion objective?
- How much magnification do I need?
- What are different compound microscope types?
- What about zoom microscopes?
- What accessories are needed?
- Are “China microscopes” any good?
Chapter 5: Buying a Microscope
- How to buy a microscope
- Where can I buy light microscopes?
- Where should I not buy microscopes?
- Where can I buy electron microscopes?
- Why are some used microscope accessories so expensive?
- Which brand of microscope should I buy?
- What is the best microscope?
- Will microscope companies sell to non-researchers?
- What are some possible problems that used microscopes have?
Chapter 6: Making Microscope Slides
- Making a wet-mount microscope slide
- How do you make microscope slides?
- How can samples be stored before mounting?
- What are the different kinds of microscope slides?
- Should I make my own microscope slides?
- What characteristics should a specimen have to be suitable for microscopy?
- How can specimens be prepared for observation?
- How do you make a permanent slide?
Chapter 7: Microscope Maintenance
Chapter 8: Microscopy Techniques
- What are the differences between brightfield, darkfield and phase contrast?
- What are phase contrast and DIC? Do I need these?
- What is Rheinberg illumination?
Chapter 9: Observation Tips
- I have just unpacked my new microscope. Now what?
- I can not see any water organisms! What am I doing wrong?
- How can I make a hay infusion?
- What should I do if I want to observe bacteria?
- What should I do if I want to observe fungi?
- How can I see tardigrades?
Chapter 10: Photomicrography
- What are the differences between photomicrographs and microphotographs?
- How can I connect a camera to the microscope?
- How can camera vibrations be reduced?
- What features does my microscope need for photography?
- What makes a good micrograph?
- What is dynamic range?
Chapter 11: Processing of Micrographs
- What is stacking?
- How can micrographs be stitched together?
- How can micrographs be digitally processed?
- How can the contrast of micrographs be improved?
- What is high dynamic range (HDR) imaging?