Intro

What is your microscopy history? What are your interests? What equipment do you use?
Post Reply
Message
Author
Griff
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 22, 2021 5:00 am
Location: Western U.S.

Intro

#1 Post by Griff » Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:22 pm

I suppose that it's time to introduce myself.

I've had a long interest in science, but I've never been particularly proficient in it. As C.S. Lewis once said, "I could never have gone far in any science because on the path of every science the lion Mathematics lies in wait for you.”

Like many others here, I had a "toy" microscope as a child, along with a lot of other child-level lab equipment from the "Perfect" company. My mother had attended nursing school and she was actually able to help me with learning the basics; it was kind of surprising how much I was able to observe with that little microscope. In college biology classes, I had a little more experience with microscopes, which was by far the best part of those classes.

Many years later, we were homeschooling our children and decided to buy a microscope as a part of that. This was in the very early days of the internet and I didn't really know how to research and find an appropriate model. I ended up buying one with the Edmund Scientific brand on it. The owners manual, written in poorly translated English, called it a"XSP-18B" (see the attached photo). Our children used that microscope, but I actually used it much more. I started keeping a notebook of my observations and made child-like sketches of what I saw. I bought a few biology textbooks and reviewed some of what I had learned in school, as well as teaching some of this to our children.

As our children grew and went off to college, life got in the way and that microscope got put away in our attic. That was nearly 20 years ago. It has always been in the back of my mind that someday I'd like to get it out and spend some time in the microscopic world again. Last year I retired from work and this seemed like a good time for that. I got the microscope down and dusted it off (actually, it had been under a cover all of this time so it wasn't really dusty, but I did carefully brush off the lenses). It has only been a month or so that I've been trying out that microscope, but the old fascination is coming back. I pulled out my old notebook and started keeping notes and making sketches again.

Now that the internet has much more information, I'm learning a lot about microscopy and microscopes. I know that the microscope that I have is not the best, but it does work. I plan to keep using it for a while while I continue to learn and decide how much money and effort I want to put into this hobby. I have a lot of interests and I tend to bounce around in my focus a lot. If this one lasts, I will likely want to buy a better microscope, but in the meantime, I am excited to be using this one again. I am blessed to live in the country on a piece of wooded property with a pond. I've been using a hand microtome (left over from our homeschooling days) and sectioning all kinds of plants. There's a definite art to that and I'm starting to get the hang of it. I've also been examining samples from various parts of our pond, which has been great fun.

I appreciate this forum, although so much of what is discussed here is far more advanced than I am. I'm able to glean a lot of good information, though. Some of the YouTube videos linked here have been very helpful as well.

If anyone has any comments about my microscope, I'd appreciate hearing them--I really don't know what I have.

Griff
Attachments
XSP-18B Microscope.jpg
XSP-18B Microscope.jpg (106.67 KiB) Viewed 237 times

perrywespa
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:13 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Intro

#2 Post by perrywespa » Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:07 pm

Hi Griff,
It looks like a nice scope to begin with and you certainly seem to enjoy what you are doing. Continue to explore the microscopic world and learn about technique. As you grow, you will begin to develop better understanding and learn more about features that may be desirable to have. Then you can make intelligent choices about accessories and upgrades. This forum is full of friendly, helpful people who are always willing to help.
Enjoy and congratulations on rediscovering a fascinating hobby!
Perry
Insatiably curious.

lorez2
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:06 am

Re: Intro

#3 Post by lorez2 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:17 pm

Looks like you are off to a good start. If the scope has been in storage for a while the lubes may be a little dry.
Many schools, high school and college use similar scopes in their intro classes and sometimes they are found in veterinary and small medical clinics.
The main "objective"... HAHAHA is to have fun and enjoy what you are doing.

All the best,

lorez
Nikon 80i

Griff
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 22, 2021 5:00 am
Location: Western U.S.

Re: Intro

#4 Post by Griff » Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:09 am

Thanks for the welcoming comments!

Griff

dtsh
Posts: 378
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 6:06 pm

Re: Intro

#5 Post by dtsh » Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:24 am

Hello,

Some years back I had a Wesco branded scope that was much the same, it was a decent scope. Imagine what the people of the past could have done with such an instrument!

MicroBob
Posts: 2739
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:11 am
Location: Northern Germany

Re: Intro

#6 Post by MicroBob » Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:31 am

Hi Griff,
welcome to the forum! I'm sure that you will find here a lot of inspiration to keep your microscopy hobby going. For someone who has other interests or duties too microscopy is a quite practical hobby as it can be suspended for a time and the stuff placed in a cupboard, not possible with a horse or aquarium! :D
Your microscope looks perfectly usable to me. Of cause there are very attractive microscopes and add ons on the market, but most are just "nice to have" and far from essential.
I like to make sections with the hand microtome too - would you like to show your method and reuslts? You can directly upload photos up to 1024 pixel on th elong side and up to 500kB size.

Bob

Griff
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 22, 2021 5:00 am
Location: Western U.S.

Re: Intro

#7 Post by Griff » Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:09 pm

Thank you again for the encouraging responses!

Griff

Post Reply