French curve drawing instrument between crossed polarizing filters.
Image by Ian Walker using a Canon Ixus 400 digicam in macro mode.

(ISSN 1365 - 070x)

Exploring the miniature world

Issue 107: September 2004.
Next update Oct. 13th.


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Issue 107 - September 2004 : Articles this month

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An unexpected peek into nineteenth century microscopy - Barry Miller (USA) relates how an earlier Micscape article prompted feedback and insight into the life of the American lecturer and microscopist F M Kendall.

An insect garden in New Mexico - part I - David Richman (USA) begins a fascinating series describing his creation of a natural habitat in his back yard for insects and studies of the insect fauna that he finds there.

Help identify these microfossils - Jamie Wood (New Zealand) would value some help on identifying a microfossil and microfossil fragment found in glacial peat samples.

A tantrum regarding microscopy books - Richard Howey (USA) comments on the high prices of many introductory and specialist books on microscopy and gives advice on searching out affordable examples.

A gallery of potassium chlorate photomicrographs - Brian Johnston (Canada) shares an attractive series of images using polarized light and other lighting techniques.

Macrothricidae: Ilyocryptus sordidus - Howard Webb (USA) describes and illustrates an interesting species of water flea which he collected from the Mississippi River.

Simple macro experiments using crossed polarizers - Ian Walker (UK) describes a simple and safe lighting set-up that could be used e.g. for children to have fun with the colourful effects created when suitable household objects are viewed through crossed polarizing filters.

Cheap 'n cheerful phase contrast with a LOMO Biolam or similar student microscope - David Walker (UK) illustrates how competent phase contrast microscopy can be enjoyed on a typical student microscope at modest expense.


Other articles - contributors sharing their wider interests in nature, the landscape and photography:

Adding filters to small digital cameras - Ian Walker (UK) shows how a simple adaptor made from e.g. a 35mm film canister can be used to safely mount filters on digicams with unthreaded lenses. He uses his Canon Ixus 400 as an example.


In focus: Courses for the microscopy enthusiast. Brunel Microscopes are now offering a range of half-day and one-day courses covering many aspects of microscopy, photomicroscopy and slide preparation. Click here for details, or follow link in menu bar above.

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).
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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. Details kindly supplied by Kit Brownlee.
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  forums, articles and other resources

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. Ltd, Microscopy-UK, and all contributors 1995 onwards. All rights reserved. Main site is at with full mirror at