Swift SW380T Compound Microscope

Latest Rabbit Hole Update – Micrography (Podcast 738)

I've dived head-first down the rabbit hole of micrography and today share where I'm at, my first attempts, and plans for my near future exploration.

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
  • Duane N Chisholm
    Posted at 02:27h, 02 May Reply

    Just a suggestion of course, but wait a good while before deciding on whether or not to ditch the compound scope. I think you may, with a bit of time, develop a deeper appreciation for what your photographer’s eye can see at high magnification levels. Prepared slides may be your best bet for the highest mag range but, since they’ll likely come stained appropriate for subject (as with your example image), you’ll have a chance to see what color combinations have evolved over time to help elucidate things at the microstructural and cellular level in the biological realm while exploring purely for visual interest. In the non-biological, including the formerly living non-biologicals (micro-scale fossils), your early explorations with light source manipulation will yield additional rewards.
    I’m envious!

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 07:58h, 02 May Reply

      Hi Duane,

      Thanks for the advice, and you’ll be pleased to hear that I have already decided to keep both scopes. The Stereo Microscope arrived on Friday and is incredible, but it’s obvious that I’ll need both to do what I want to do.

      I have also improved my technique for slicing specimens and I’ve bought some staining fluids, and have studied more what I need to do. My first specimen, a slice of grass stem, shrivel up as the gum media dried, so I need to study and understand more how to create permanent slides. From memory, I think I read that I have to dehydrate the specimen gradually with diluted ethanol before dropping on the media and glass cover. If you have any tips please let me know.

      I think my initial reaction was based on a steeper than expected learning curve and not really wanting to fork out for both scopes in such a short space of time. I’m feeling much better with all of my decisions now, and it’s obvious I need both scopes.

      I also now have a camera adapter which is not great, but with some processing and lots of image stacking the results are getting better and easier to achieve. I have some IPA and citric acid arriving today so I’m going to make some slides and see if I can create some crystals then polarize them.

      I appreciate your advice Duane. It helps me know know that I’m on the right track. Please let me know if you notice any stupid mistakes as I continue to learn this stuff.


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