Introduction to Microscopy:


Good microscopy relies on thorough knowledge of a microscope. Condenser settings must be appropriate to the thickness and staining of the sample to produce the clearest image. Either a wet mount must be properly assembled to produce a subject worthy of examining, or an appropriate dry mount must be obtained for observation. Areas of interest must be found on low power and then viewed on higher powers. Focus and condenser settings must be correct. Even then, good images of cellular structures are difficult to obtain. Below are some basic photographs of important aspects of an introductory microscopy lab.



Carrying a scope the correct way.

The ever-favorite and infamous air bubbles (not cells).


Crossed hairs from two different scalps, low power.

Crossed hairs from two different scalps, high power.


The letter "e" as it appears through the scope.
Note that is right-side up when viewed with the naked eye on the stage.

Millimeter markings as they appear on a scope.
What is the scope's field diameter if the photo is as wide as its field of view?


Condenser too low
Condenser still on the low side Condenser too high Condenser at acceptable light level
Three views of a follicle using different condenser settings.
The first is at lowest aperture, and the last is at highest.