MICSCAPE - Exploring the miniature world

Issue 303 : June 2021 (ISSN 1365 - 070x)      Monthly, next issue July 13th 2021.


Dandelion stigma.
Image by Christian Autotte.


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Micscape Editor:
David Walker
Email: micscape AT ntlworld DOT com

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 ubiquitous and fascinating dandelion - Christian Autotte (Canada) shares a macro and microscopic tour of this oft overlooked plant. PDF

Mrs Malaprop. Academic failure, part 73 - Richard L. Howey (USA) shares a further essay from this regular correspondent.

Micscape Lite - contributors sharing their other interests

Micscape Lite - Product Review. DNA molecular model kits compared and contrasted - helices and two base pairs - David Walker (UK)

From the Archives. A quiet issue so a full July 2011 edition from ten years ago is offered below.

Is it an animal? Is it a plant? Is it a myxomycete? - Manuel del Cerro and Dietmar R. Krause (USA) investigate a chance find in a country park.

Through the looking glass. (With apologies to Lewis Carroll) - Michael Race (Australia) reviews the appeal of using a mirror for microscopy with daylight or artificial lighting.

The great age of the Taschenmikroskop, part 1 - R Jordan Kreindler (USA) and Yuval Goren (Israel) presents an illustrated essay on selected designs of pocket microscopes with a modern assessment of their use. (In Acrobat® pdf format.)

Sony NEX and Panasonic GF2 [G Series] digital cameras. 'Giving life to old and new manual lenses'. With notes on lens adapters and macro close up lenses - the short sensor to lens mount flange distance of these modern cameras allows a wide variety of makers' lenses / mounts to be used; Ian Walker (UK) explores the potential.

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

Philosophical instruments in the early Victorian years: The 1840 Edward Palmer Catalogue of Microscopes and other Equipment and Supplies - Brian Stevenson (USA) discusses and illustrates aspects of Edward Palmer's catalogue which is one of the earliest published that is accessible. (In Acrobat® pdf format.)

The poor man's photomacroscope. Part 8 - wrestling with nature's tremblings - Paul James (UK) discusses potential problems with the camera vibration of mirrorless cameras and offers solutions, with particular reference to a Sony NEX camera.

The inner epidermis of the onion bulb’s cataphylls (the onion skin). Fixing with acetic acid - Walter Dioni (Mexico) continues his series on this popular subject and how it can be used to explore different preparation and staining techniques.

Some ramblings on micro-technique. Part 1: Spring ponds and ditches - Richard Howey (USA) presents an illustrated essay providing practical advice on this popular aspect of the microscopy hobby.

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

Forays into fluorescence - 6. Trials of studying autofluorescence with a stereo microscope using blue or near UV LED excitation - David Walker (UK) assesses a simple DIY set-up to explore various potential subjects.

    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:
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(read articles online using the original illustrated index for each month).
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External links. Updated April 2020. 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.

groups.io (formerly Yahoo groups):
Amateur Microscopy
Diatom Forum
Microscopy as a hobby or profession
Wild Microscopes

Facebook groups:
Amateur Microscopy (>21000 members, very active). Also specialist groups e.g. for users of given maker's microscopes (e.g. Zeiss, Olympus, Wild, Vickers). Also try a Facebook Group search with keywords like microscope or microscopy to find these.

Microbe hunter the website ably run by Oliver Kim has built up a popular and valuable forum with help for both the beginner and more advanced user.

'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 microscopy enthusiast website, forum and 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 in English and Italian.
Independent Generation of Research (IGoR) - Wiki style resource for citizen scientists to share their work.
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.
'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
David Jackson's Better Microscopy blog. Regularly updated free resources extending from his 'Better Microscopy' series of books.
Stefano Barone's Diatom Shop
sale of his own prepared and arranged slides of diatoms, radiolaria, forams and scales.
www.testslides.com website devoted to Stefano Barone's Diatom Lab test slides.
Darwin Biological a UK company for 'biological education' supplies. Including live cultures of protozoa and algae.
Microscopie van de Natuur Dutch microscopy resource site by Rolf Vossen.

parent site coordinator:
Maurice Smith

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