(ISSN 1365 - 070x)

Exploring the miniature world

Issue 99: January 2004.
Next update February 13th.


Image above shows the trachea of a silkworm; a stack of six images taken at sequential focus levels.
Created by Ian Walker using Alan Hadley's CombineZ4.2 software.



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Issue 99 - January 2004 : Articles this month

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Nikon Small World competition, New York City, Sept. 2003 - Ted Kinsman (USA) describes and illustrates how he enjoyed his attendance at the awards ceremony for this well known competition.

Dodo, extinct species - see also 'amateur microscopist' - Jim Battersby (UK) remarks on the increasing difficulties of obtaining reagents and materials and the possible effect this may have on some areas of the hobby.

Artefacts in photomicrographs - An illustrated report by Klaus Henkel (Germany) on his studies of the 'ring artefacts' observed with some Nikon Coolpix digicam models when used for photomicrography. In Adobe Acrobat® pdf format.

Leitz Diavert focussing assembly - Steven West (USA) presents illustrated guidelines on how to correct stiff focusing in this microscope model.

Microscope image stacking with the Leica CME, Canon Ixus 400 digicam / 'RemoteCapture' and CombineZ4.2 software by Alan Hadley - Ian Walker (UK) shows how the timelapse / remote control software bundled with most Canon consumer digicams is ideally suited for quickly creating image sequences for stacking with the popular and powerful CombineZ software.

Book review: 'A field guide to bacteria' by Betsey Dexter Dyer - Walter Dioni (Mexico) reviews this book, which he describes as an 'exciting book for the amateur microscopist'. Illustrated with a selection of Walter's own bacteria images.

A gallery of benzoin oxime photomicrographs - Brian Johnston (Canada) shares an attractive series of images taken using darkfield illumination and polarized light.

Mounting digicams with zoom lenses over the microscope - Paul James (UK) presents a neat adaptor design to allow two different digicam models to be quickly interchanged for photomicroscopy.

Image sharpening using the unsharp mask - Brian Johnston (Canada) gives an illustrated introduction to the correct choice of parameters when using this common image editing tool.

Life in the Mississippi - Howard Webb (USA) reports on his boat trip to take plankton samples in this river and finds the exotic water flea Daphnia lumholtzi.

In focus:
On Closer Inspection is a beautifully presented web site for microscopy enthusiasts being developed by Tom Webster. It has an excellent and growing range of resources by himself and colleagues.

Little Imp Publications is a superb venture by microscopy enthusiasts which offers many valuable resources. In addition to the wide selection of CD's of hard to find and/or expensive older paper publications now in the public domain e.g. Schmidt's Diatom Atlas (first 268 plates), they also publish a very fine paper publication 'The Amateur Diatomist'. Visit the web site for subscription details, ARCHIVE ISSUE contents and CD list/suppliers. Other web site resources include valuable info' on Watson microscopes.

Topical News:
Congratulations to NASA for the successful landing of their 'robot geologist' 'Spirit' on Mars and which is soon to explore the Mars surface. The rover includes a 'microscopic imager'. Good luck for the success of the second rover 'Opportunity' later this month. The rover missions can be followed at the NASA Mars Exploration Rover Mission web site.

Unfortunately contact with the Beagle 2 Mars lander (which included an exciting scientific instrument package including a microscope) has been unsuccessful since it landed on Dec. 25th and its fate is uncertain. The ESA Mars Express on which Beagle 2 'piggybacked' to Mars is successfully orbiting the planet and shortly to start its mission.

We are delighted to receive contributions small or large from microscopy enthusiasts whether a novice or expert. If you have an image, tip or article, why not share it, this magazine is what you make it! Have a chat with us, to see how we can help share your interests.

Micscape Article Library
Look for that elusive article on our site:
Manual Search  (category search in our new extensively revised listing).
Automated Search  (keyword search: by subject, author, or list articles in a past issue)
Contributor index  (a list of all Micscape contributors to date)
News - special notices - misc.   
    Send us your news and meeting notices of interest to optical microscopy enthusiasts and we will be pleased to share them.
    Information on the Reading Microscopical Society (UK) and the 2003/2004 programme can be
    read here. Latest programme kindly supplied by Kit Brownlee.
External links. Below are some of our favourites, which includes sites with extensive links and/or resources for the optical microscopy enthusiast.

External Microscopy forums:
Places to discuss the hobby or to raise queries.

Yahoo groups:
'Wild M20 microscope'
'Nikon Coolpix photomicro and macrophoto'
'microcosmo' for Italian speaking enthusiasts
'microscopies' for French speaking enthusiasts

(Extensive German microscopy forum; some English categories.)


Royal Microscopical Society's online forum
(follow Forum link)

Other sites
Beyond Magazine science, microscopy for youngsters
Clubs / Socs (Pro/Am) Mic-UK links page
Light Microscopy Forum links and articles
Little Imp Publications public domain books on CD, 'The Amateur Diatomist' paper magazine

Molecular Expressions awesome optical microscopy resources
Dennis Kunkel's SEM images stunning images
Microscopies online magazine for French speakers
Micrographia articles, projects for the enthusiast
Microscopy Today
paper journal with online archive
Modern Microscopy
online journal by McCrone Group
Fun Science Gallery projects, articles on optics
G. Couger's microscopy links extensive links
Society for Amateur Scientists resources and support

Web rings
Lightscapes polarised light macroscopy/microscopy, both artistic and scientific.

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