(ISSN 1365 - 070x)

Exploring the miniature world

Issue 100: February 2004.
Next update March 13th.


Animated image by Wim van Egmond celebrates our 100th issue and shows a rotifer with two ciliated protozoa.


Microscopy-UK welcomes you to 

Micscape Magazine

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About Micscape


A sincere thank you to the administrators, site supporters and visitors who have helped Micscape reach its 100th issue. In particular, we are deeply indebted to the contributors to date, who without their freely given time in sharing their enthusiasm, skills and interests, this venture could not have succeeded. David Walker (Micscape Editor) & Maurice Smith (Microscopy-UK parent site owner/administrator and co-founder of Micscape). 

A big thank you to my friend and colleague Maurice Smith who first conceived the Micscape venture and whose vision, hard work behind the scenes and inspiration to get others involved, has played a major role in its success to date. David Walker.

Note to contributors past and present: As a thank you for sharing their interests, contributors can freely download a zipped version of the latest Micscape issue for offline reading, shortly after the latest issue goes online each month. If interested, please contact Maurice Smith, the Microscopy-UK site owner, who is administering this feature. For other Micscape readers interested in accessing this feature, please follow this link.

Issue 100 - February 2004 : Articles this month

Main Menu

Main Index
Article library
Clubs / Socs (Pro/Am)
Micropolitan Museum
Microscopy Primer
Pond life ID kit


Smallest page on the web

3D Images



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

parent site coordinator:
Maurice Smith













The smallest page on the web UPDATED: This beautifully illustrated introduction to some freshwater organisms was first published in 1998 by Wim van Egmond (The Netherlands) and has become Microscopy-UK's most popular resource. Wim has extensively updated the suite to coincide with our 100th issue and includes new animations, additional text, images and organisms.

An anniversary: 100 months of Micscape magazine - Maurice Smith (UK), the co-founder of Micscape and parent Microscopy-UK site owner/coordinator, shares his views on the venture's progress to date and discusses some interesting ideas for the future.

The microscopic virtues of mud - Brian Darnton (UK) describes and shares his enthusiasm for a profitable foraminifera collecting site; the Westerschelde River mud, The Netherlands.

Image gallery: Foraminifera from the Westerschelde, The Netherlands - A complementary article to Brian Darnton's. Christina Brodie (UK) presents some of her beautiful drawings using the 'scraperboard' technique which she has made of typical species in this habitat.

Series on marine phytoplankton: The silicoflagellate Dictyocha - Rene van Wezel (UK) describes and illustrates a fascinating marine organism. Includes animated sequential focus studies.

Historical snippet: Medal awarded to the microscope maker C. Baker at the 'United Provinces Exhibition Allahabad 1910' - Howard Westlake (UK) shares illustrations of this interesting medal which he possesses and who would be interested in learning more about the exhibition and the microscope maker C. Baker.

Hensoldt (Wetzlar) microscope - Ed Murray (South Africa) describes and illustrates the features of this well specified monocular microscope which he recently purchased and would be interested to hear from readers who can provide more info' on either the maker or this model.

Lens cleaning: best practice review - Colin Duke (UK) presents a valuable overview of recommended practices for cleaning microscope optics front lens surfaces and the precautions that need to be taken.

Botanical Microtechnique Part 1. Fixing, dehydrating & embedding plant material - Jim Battersby (UK) starts a new series on botanical microtechniques that are of particular value to the microscopy enthusiast finding it difficult to source reagents.

Dicotyledon stem: for the beginner botanist from a beginner botanist - Walter Dioni (Mexico), a zoologist, describes his trials at using a simple homemade microtome to study and photograph the features of a typical dicotyledon plant, Portulaca.

A close-up view of the strange wildflower 'Viper's bugloss' (Echium vulgare) - Brian Johnston (Canada) continues his series of macro and micro explorations of common plants with this striking selection of images.

Studying the OU S260 thin rock sections under the microscope - thin rock section slides can be expensive, but the Open University sets are relatively good value. Ian Walker (UK) describes and illustrates his studies with the S260 set using the Leica CME microscope modified for polarizing studies.

Open University S260 thin rock sections. Selected image gallery - an image gallery to complement the article above by Ian Walker (UK).

Collimating low power stereo optics - Paul James (UK) describes how a single objective design stereo 'scope with badly aligned eyepiece tubes was brought back into alignment.


History is made on Mars: Phew, that was close! The NASA Mars rover Spirit seems to be performing well again after a scary moment (apparently with its 'flash memory', but don't we all have trouble with our memory occasionally). The rover has made history by using its 'microscopic imager' to take the first close-ups of another planet. It's great to see NASA/JPL remark on this historical moment when they released these images and highlights what an important role macroscopy and microscopy play alongside the sophisticated instruments on the rovers. Visit NASA's web site to view early images taken by the 'microscopic imager' which include 3D and 'variable focus' shots. The second rover Opportunity should shortly be exploring in close-up the second landing site.


In focus:
UK microscopical society news. See the News section below for two society meetings to be held in March by the Reading Microscopical Society. Also details are given for the Frank Rowntree Meeting hosted by the Leeds Microscopical Society. Society news kindly supplied by Kit Brownlee and Mike Smith respectively.
(American) Microscope Historical Society (MHS): Visit the MHS web site for valuable membership details, benefits and publications. The web site states that the Historical Microscope Society of Canada merged with the MHS in January 2004. A document in rtf format summarising the society membership benefits and providing a selection of recent MHS articles published in the MHS Journal has been kindly sent to us by Dr Manuel del Cerro.

Microscopy enthusiast's web sites:
Steve Durr is well known for his excellent photomicrography. His own web site 'An introduction to photomicrography' at
http://www.btinternet.com/~stephen.durr/ presents a range of valuable resources and illustrations of his work.

Wim van Egmond, one of Micscape's contributors and a very fine photomicrographer and artist, is the 'Featured Microscopist' for the Fall 2003 on the superb Molecular Expressions web site
Congratulations to Ian Walker, an amateur microscopist and Micscape contributor. He was one of the two runners-up in the recent photographic competition organised by The Biochemist magazine of the Biochemical Society (UK).

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. Click the  following links (Word docs) to learn about the the Vigden Lecture by Tony Dutton on March 3rd and the 2004 Reading Convention on March 13th. Details kindly supplied by Kit Brownlee.
    The well known Frank Rowntree Meeting hosted by the Leeds Microscopical Society will take place on Sat. June 5th 2004. The meeting includes a lecture by Dr. Peter Evennett on Abbe's diffraction experiments. E-mail
    Mike Smith for details and who kindly supplied this 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.

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

(Extensive German microscopy forum; some English categories.)


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

Other sites
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 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

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 with full mirror at www.microscopy-uk.net.