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What is Rheinberg illumination?

Found in: Techniques

Rheinberg illumination is a variation of darkfield. Rheinberg filters are placed into the filter holder of the microscope, which produce a colored image of the specimen on a background of a different color.

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Rheinberg filters can be easily made by printing the filter on heat resistant overhead transparency foil and then cutting these out. The center of the filter should have a different color than the periphery and should be significantly darker. You can obtain the desired color density by stacking together several filters. Be aware that the filters can trap quite a bit of heat (use heat-resistant foils). The heat can also make it more likely for the microscope lamp to burn out (LEDs are less sensitive).

Cat fur in Rheinberg illumination.

Cat fur in Rheinberg illumination.

Textile fibers in Rheinberg illumination.

Textile fibers in Rheinberg illumination.

A radiolarian in Rheinberg illumination.

A radiolarian in Rheinberg illumination.

Rheinberg filters and filter holder. The top filter is a dark field patch stop.

Rheinberg filters and filter holder. The top filter is a dark field patch stop.

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