(ISSN 1365 - 070x)

Exploring the miniature world

Issue 198: April 2012.
Next update May 13th.



Image left: A marine Cocconeis species of diatom showing the finer dots near the valve margin—but was this taken with a 1912 unbranded achromat or a modern highly corrected objective?
See Fig. 1 in Frithjof Sterrenburg's article.



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Issue 198 - April 2012 : Articles this month

Micscape Contacts
Micscape Editor:
David Walker
Comments on Micscape and
contributions welcomed.

Micscape submission guidelines .

parent site coordinator:
Maurice Smith

What price optics? - Frithjof Sterrenburg (Netherlands) compares the performance of four objectives using the same diatom subject and which have varying degrees of correction and span a century in date range.

William Joseph Norman revealed - Peter Paisley (Australia) discusses and illustrates examples of Norman and his family's slide making and provides evidence for attributing certain unnamed slides to them. (In doc format.)

My first microscope (a little nostalgia for the old folks) - Michael Much (USA) shares his experiences of using a Tasco 1200XK toy microscope in 1962 which helped spark his interest in microscopy. (In Acrobat pdf format.)

Horse fly head - Anthony Thomas (Canada) shares an illustrated article exploring this insect on the macro and micro scale. (In Acrobat pdf format.)

A close-up view of a second lupine hybrid - Brian Johnston (Canada) illustrates the macro and micro features of this plant.

Henry Edward Ebbage 1862 - 1949 - Brian Stevenson (USA) shares an illustrated essay on the life and work of this pharmaceutical chemist who also prepared and sold microscope slide subjects. (In Acrobat pdf format.)

New old slides: Part 1 - Richard Howey (USA) shares some examples of old prepared slides which he has acquired with notes on the trials of buying off eBay.

Micro "pops" versus Astro "pops". So are there more amateur Microscopists than amateur Astronomers? - Paul James (UK) shares an essay on this topic and discusses his own relative interest in the two hobbies.


In Focus:
'Carl Zeiss Microscopy Facebook Wall' - this growing resource which includes a timeline of their history can be found at
and is curated by Dr Johannes Amon whom we thank for the information. Dr Amon remarks: "The pictures in our timeline (if not indicated otherwise, e.g. the photos from musoptin.com) are actually free for non-commercial usage under the Creative Commons License and most of them are also available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/zeissmicro. We'd really appreciate if your readers or yourself want to use them in presentations, websites, blogs etc. .... we'll try and fill up the Flickr account over the course of the next few weeks with even more materials."
He also kindly shared two images from the Zeiss archives. The first is a delightful image from an advert showing a BMW motorcycle sitting on a Zeiss Axiomat in use, which strikingly illustrates the near legendary solidity of this microscope's design! The second is labelled 'production and assembly in Göttingen in 1957' of the first Zeiss Photomicroscope model (in foreground) and the larger Ultraphots (in background).

Images © Zeiss and shared with permission. Please contact Zeiss for wider use.

Smartphone adapters for microscopes and other optics. The increasingly high quality of cameras incorporated into smartphones has prompted a range of adaptors for 'digiscoping' to enable reliable alignment and focus of the phone camera over a microscope (or telescope / binoculars) eyepiece, which can be very tricky without such an adaptor. Two designs suited for photomicrography are highlighted below.
Magnifi looks a compact and elegant design specifically made for the iPhone and incorporates a quick release clamp for the eyepiece. Currently in start-up phase seeking backers via the Kickstarter concept.
is a larger design with adjustable fittings to enable alignment and focus with a range of smartphone designs. The project recently completed the Kickstarter backing phase and is now in production.
Note: Micscape does not specifically endorse these adapters but is provided for information.


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. Submission guidelines .
Look for that elusive article on our site:
Micscape Magazine past issues online
(read articles online using the original illustrated index for each month).
Article Library (browse articles by category)
Automated Search (a search engine for keyword searches in all articles)
Contributor index (a list of all Micscape contributors to date)
News - special notices - misc.

Meeting: "The Leeds Microscopical Society is having its annual meeting in Morley on Sat 2nd June 2012. The theme this year is "Rocks, crystals & polarised light".
Anyone wanting to book a table (sales or display) should contact me at
mikesmith_ls176sh@yahoo.co.uk or phone 0113 2935991. Many thanks Mike Smith, Hon Sec." With thanks to Mike for the information.

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.

www.amateurmicrography.net forums, galleries, articles on macroscopy and photomicrography.

www.quekett.net/forum/index.php forum for both Quekett Microscopical Club members and other enthusiasts.

sci.techniques.microscopy (spoilt by excessive spam nowadays)

Yahoo groups: a ' P' denotes current and archived messages are public i.e. not limited to members.
'Amateur Microscopy' P (started November2008)
'Yahoo Diatom Forum' P
' Microscope 'P (>1500 members, very active)
' Microscopes '
'Microscopehobby' P (started Apr 2005)
'RealMicroscopy' P
(started Sep 2005)
Óptica Roma foro Microscopía' for Spanish speakers
' Wild M20 microscope '
' Nikon Coolpix photomicro and macrophoto '
' microcosmo ' ( for Italian speaking enthusiasts)
' CombineZ ' P stacking software forum created by the software's author

Mikroskopie-Treff.de (Extensive German microscopy forum; some English categories.)
Mikrobiologische Vereinigung München e. V. W ide range of articles and resources in German.
Le Naturaliste French based forum and image gallery for micro / macro but open to non French speaking international contributors.

Other sites
Clubs / Socs (Pro/Am) Mic-UK links page
Light Microscopy Forum links and articles
Little Imp Publications public domain books on CD. (Hosted by Savona Books).
Mikroskop Museum German website with resources on microscopes / makers .

Molecular Expressions awesome optical microscopy resources
Dennis Kunkel's SEM images stunning images
Diatoms Ireland - resource site by Leszek Wolnik
Leitz museum an illustrated resource compiled by Robert Allen

Microbe hunter a free monthly microscopy enthusiast magazine edited by Oliver Kim
Microscopies online magazine and Forum 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
A Cabinet of Curiosities a resource on Victorian microscope slides by Howard Lynk
www.viewsfromscience.com projects e.g. chilled stage for crystal growth studies and LED fluorescence
'Diatoms Ireland' resource by Leszek Wolnik
Historical makers of microscopes and microscope slides Brian Stevenson's extensive resource on Victorian slide makers

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

Microscopy-UK and Micscape - established 1995
Micscape is a free magazine for enthusiasts funded by Microscopy-UK and dedicated to non-commercial microscopy.
© Onview.net Ltd, Microscopy-UK, and all contributors 1995 onwards. All rights reserved. Main site is at www.microscopy-uk.org.uk