MICSCAPE - Exploring the miniature world

Issue 243 : June 2016 (ISSN 1365 - 070x) Monthly, next issue July 13th 2016.

An attractive papered slide by C M Topping. Image by Howard Lynk / Brian Davidson.

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Micscape Contacts
Micscape Editor:
David Walker

parent site coordinator:
Maurice Smith

Please do not contact the above for image permissions. Each article contributor retains the copyright to their material so should be contacted directly via the link in the relevant article. Thank you.

Comments on Micscape and contributions welcomed.
Contributions: Any modern format welcomed i.e. pdf. doc/docx with embedded images, or html + jpegs.

The papered slides of C M Topping - Brian Davidson (UK) and Howard Lynk (US) present a copiously illustrated paper on this famous mounter's slides. First published in the Quekett Journal of Microscopy, 2010, vol. 41 and republished on Micscape with kind permission. PDF

Measuring with a laser beam  - Alejandro Ariel Garcia Arriaga (Mexico) shares an ingenious method using a laser beam pointer. PDF

Microscopy for younger people (and beginners?) with access to Pippa's Progress - an extensive new section being compiled by Mol Smith (UK) which will be regularly added to.

A conventional digital camera for taking microscopy pictures and/or videos - Alejandro Ariel Garcia Arriaga (Mexico) provides an illustrated introduction. PDF

Review of: Universal cell phone adapter mount for binocular, monocular, spotting scope, telescope, and microscope - Mol Smith (UK) reviews a good value example of one of these adapters.

Book review: Antoni van Leeuwenhoek. Master of the Miniscule by L Robertson, J Backer, C Biemans, J van Doorn, K Krab, W Reijnders, H Smit, and P. Willemsen - David Walker (UK) reviews the English edition of this attractive and copiously illustrated biography published in May 2016.

Topical Tip: Using a stereo LED ringlight as a darkfield 'condenser' on a stereo microscope - David Walker (UK) tries a suggested alternative role for a typical ringlight model and finds that it works extremely well.

From the archives: A selection of articles from issues published 10 years ago in 2006.

A close-up view of the wildflower 'red clover' - the red clover must be one of the most overlooked and taken for granted of all wild flowers; yet as Brian Johnston (Canada) shows with these gorgeous images, it is a beautiful complex flower with many features revealed by careful macro and microscopy studies. (June 2006)

Don't forget high ISO on your digital SLR - Ian Walker (UK) shares a selection of macro images taken on a Nikon D50 and Minolta 7D at ISO 1600 to show that the extra speed is useful on dull winter days and the 'digital grain' can form part of the picture. (January 2006). Ed's note the ISOs have increased considerably in recent models.

Improving the performance of the single lens microscope - Alvaro Amaro de Azevedo (Brazil) shares recent progress with his single lens microscope project by trying home made ground and polished doublets to improve performance - with impressive results. (July 2006)

How to milk a weed: looking at crystals in plant juices: part 1 - Richard Howey (USA) presents an illustrated essay showing the attractive crystals that can be found in plant juices. (July 2006)

The best 'affordable' petrographic microscopes of the 1970s to 1980s - Gregory McHone (USA) discusses and illustrates six of his favourite polarising microscopes based on his extensive background in working with such scopes. (October 2006)

Making your own squash slides @ home - Yvan Lindekens (Belgium) presents practical methods of preparing slides of cell division in plant roots using techniques and materials available to the enthusiast. (December 2006)

Leitz Orthoplan Universal largefield research microscope - Mike Andre (USA) shares an extensively illustrated 'brief illustrated history' of this classic microscope. Also offered as a downloadable pdf for printing. (May 2006)

In focus:
Ted Clarke R.I.P.
My colleague Maurice and I were very sad to hear of the passing away of Ted on November 4th 2015 aged 72. Ted emailed us last October about his terminal illness and we compiled a summary page of all the splendid material he had shared. Ted shared his skills and passion for microscopy and microscopic life over 15 years on Micscape and his articles will remain a legacy online reflecting just one of his pursuits. We shared many emails over the years exploring our interest in the versatile but affordable LOMO Biolam microscope which we both owned. Thank you to his daughter Susie for letting us know. Micscape Ed. David Walker.

Frithjof Sterrenburg R.I.P.  My colleague Maurice and I were also very sad to hear of the passing away of Frithjof on March 11th 2016. Frithjof generously offered his splendid 'Microscopy Primer' to Micscape in 2002 and which is now a key resource on our site. He also shared a number of articles and was always happy to offer his help and expertise to hobbyists like ourselves, especially in one of his noted specialties, diatoms. A great character and intellect sadly lost but his legacy will live on through his published work and the memories through his friends, family and professional colleagues. Micscape Ed. David Walker. Thank you to José Sterrenburg for posting the information on the diatom-l listerver.

NERC Open Research Archive The UK's Natural Environment Research Council offers free access to a vast array of their publications as pdf downloads. A number of these are of great value to the microscopist. These include A Beginner's Guide to Freshwater Algae, An Illustrated Guide to River Phytoplankton and Handbook of European Sphagna (263pp with distribution maps).
With thanks to Neil Tucker's splendid webpages on microscopy, where a link to the first guide above alerted me to the large archive. Neil's resources include an interactive virtual garden and an eloquent essay 'What happened to Microscopy as a hobby?'.

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!

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.

External links. Updated June 2016. 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.
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)
Yahoo Diatom Forum P
Microscope P (>1500 members, very active)
Wild M20 microscope
microcosmo (for Italian speaking enthusiasts)
CombineZ P stacking software forum created by the software's author

Facebook groups:
Amateur Microscopy (>1000 members, very active)

'Forum for marine, freshwater and terrestrial algae'. Access to Archives possible for non-subscribers.
Diatom-L 'Research on the diatom algae.' Access to Archives for subscribers only. Link was current March 2016. Many online diatom resources point to an outdated Indiana Univ. listserver. (With thanks to Rob Kimmich for the current link.)

Mikroskopie-Treff.de (Extensive German microscopy forum; some English categories.)
Mikrobiologische Vereinigung München e. V. Wide 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 (also see Societies and Clubs page.)
Royal Microscopy Society Journal, 'infocus' and other resources for members and the community.
Quekett Microscopical Club Journal, Bulletin and meetings for members.
Light Microscopy Forum links and articles
Little Imp Publications public domain books collated by Steve Gill formerly on CD and now free on Micscape.
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
journal with online archive
Modern Microscopy
online journal by McCrone Group
Fun Science Gallery projects, articles on optics
Independent Generation of Research (IGoR) - Wiki style resource for citizen scientists to share their work.
G. Couger's microscopy links extensive links
Lens On Leeuwenhoek - extensive resource online by Douglas Anderson
Collected Letters of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek ('Alle de Brieven ..') transcribed and free online at DBNL.
A Cabinet of Curiosities a resource on Victorian microscope slides by Howard Lynk
Klaus Kemp's 'Diatoms' website - offers regional strews and arranged prepared slides of diatoms, an 8 form test slide, radiolaria, insect scales etc and prepares arranged slides on commission.
www.viewsfromscience.com projects by Ely Silk 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 .
Victorian slide makers
Cambridge rocking microtome resources including manual
www.willemsmicroscope.com Dutch enthusiast Willem Cramer's website
Stefano Barone's Diatom Shop sale of his own prepared and arranged slides of diatoms, radiolaria and forams.
Stefano Barone's 'Microworlds' blog regularly updated blog and diary where Stefano showcases and discusses the typical examples of the slides he has prepared.

Microscopy-UK and Micscape - established 1995
Micscape is a free magazine for enthusiasts funded by Microscopy-UK and dedicated to non-commercial microscopy.
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