(ISSN 1365 - 070x)

Exploring the miniature world

Issue 170: December 2009.
Next update Jan. 13th. 

Image left: A parasitic nematode found in the stomach of a Mexican garden lizard. A mosaic of ten images taken using a modest resolution digital camera. Image by Walter Dioni.




Microscopy-UK welcomes you to Micscape Magazine

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About Micscape


Issue 170- December 2009 : Articles this month

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

Micscape submission guidelines . 

parent site coordinator:
Maurice Smith














    Physaloptera squamatae - Walter Dioni (Mexico) shares an extensive and beautifully illustrated microscopical study of this parasite which he dissected from the stomach of a common garden lizard in Cancun.

    Watson Microsystem 70, a review - Ian Walker (UK) shares an illustrated review of a binocular phase variant of a model by a famous UK maker just before the company's demise. It is probably one of the best value quality microscopes on the UK used market.

    A fibre optic vertical illuminator for stereo microscopes - Ian MacGregor (Canada) shares an ingenious and effective homemade design.

    A close-up view of a hybrid foamflower - Brian Johnston (Canada) illustrates the attractive features of this flowering plant on the macro and microscopic scale.

    George Harris (“W. White”), microscope slide preparer, ca. 1835 - 1904 - Brian Stevenson (USA) shares an illustrated account of this preparer, whose slides often are offered for sale.

    How I upgraded my travel microscope - Bill Resch (USA) describes and illustrates simple but effective ways of improving a low cost portable microscope based on an older Tasco student compound microscope.

    Apparent sharpness from objectives and eyepieces - Steven Neeley (USA) discusses practical aspects of this important topic.

    Skipping stones, an island beach chip mystery - Hugo Mitchell-Tapping (USA) shares an account of a fascinating project to study unusual stones found on an island off Louisiana. (Links to article in Acrobat® pdf format.)

    Holiday humbug: A cynic’s view and another do-it-yourself exercise for making Christmas ornaments - Richard Howey (USA) shares a selection of ornaments with a microscopical theme.

    RAW image microscope digital photography - Robert Pavlis (USA) presents a valuable overview of techniques and free software available.

    A close-up view of a hybrid passion flower - Brian Johnston (Canada) illustrates the macro and microscopic features of this attractive flowering plant.

    In focus:

    A Sad Loss! We have recently learned of the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Bill Ells, who passed away (Dec 7th) aged 92. Bill was a main contributor and supporter of Micscape Magazine since its inception in 1995. His many articles on desmids, both here, and in many other microscopy journals, are a great legacy from a self-taught and enthusiastic man. His Micscape Showcase page linking to his many Micscape articles is here with a short biography.

    If you would like to leave a comment in memory of Bill Ells, please visit the memorial page at
    Bill's desmid web site. Thank you to his grandson Richard for letting us know.

    Mol Smith and David Walker

    'Better microscopy, volume III.  Digital photo-microscopy' by David Jackson (200 pages, 11"x 8.5") - the most recent in the author's invaluable series; the author has had an extensive career in microscopy and imaging. It is chock full of information on both practical aspects and essential theory of all digital photomicro' techniques, includes material for the beginner but perhaps more suited for the user with some experience seeking the best from their setup or troubleshooting common problems. Good value at £11-25 (soft cover) or £15-64 (ring bound) from the self-publishing website www.lulu.com
    Note to UK buyers:
    The ring bound edition overall is better value as it's printed in UK and postage is about £3, the soft cover edition is printed in US with much more expensive shipping at ca. £12-50. Thanks to a reader for spotting this.

    Wellcome Trust microscopy videos:  Thank you to Josephine Finn, Marketing Communications Project Manager of the Trust, who writes:

    'The Wellcome Trust recently announced the winners of its 10th Wellcome Image Awards.
    Certain of the winning images used microscopy techniques. See gallery: http://www.wellcomeimageawards.org/gallery.aspx.

    To raise awareness of the Awards and the techniques used we have produced some film footage about microscopy.
    The films can be seen here: http://www.wellcomeimageawards.org/techniques/light.aspx. At the end of the week the films will also appear on the Trust's YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/wellcometrust

    Ed's note: The videos are excellent quality and fascinating. The 'light microscopy' video is a seven and a half minute interview with Spike Walker in his home based microscope lab. Spike is a noted microscopist and multi-award winning photomicrographer.


    We are delighted to receive contributions small or large from microscopyenthusiasts 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.

Micscape Archive
Look for that elusive article on our site:
Micscape Magazine past issues online
(read articles online using the original illustrated index for each month).
Micscape magazine downloadable issues - download a zip file of past issues for an offline resource. Valid Jan. 2004 to Oct. 2008, discontinued after, see link for details.
Article Library  (browse articles by category)
Automated Search 
Contributor index  (a list of all Micscape contributors to date)
News - special notices - misc.   
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.


Yahoo groups: a ' P' denotes current and archived messages are public i.e. not limited to members.
'Amateur Microscopy ' P (started November 2008)
' 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, subscribe to 'The Amateur Diatomist' paper magazine. (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
Leitz museum an illustrated resource compiled by Robert Allen

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 attractive and valuable resource on Victorian microscope slides
www.viewsfromscience.com projects e.g. chilled stage for crystal growth studies and LED fluorescence

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