What hidden world did I discover with my microscope and camera?

  • Thread starter Janus
  • Start date
In summary, the user discovered the potential of using a microscope to capture images of different objects, including volcanic ash, ginger, and even a meteorite. They also experimented with different magnifications and lighting techniques, using a cell phone camera and different adapters. The user expressed interest in seeing more photos taken with microscopes and shared their experience of rescuing an old microscope from the trash.
  • #1
Janus
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
3,722
1,830
In the photo contest this week I posted a picture of some Mt. St. Helens volcanic ash taken with the macro feature of my camera. This got me thinking. Several years ago I rescued an microscope that was headed for the trash heap. It is this Bristol model 8821.
microscope.png

I put it in the attic and forgot about it.

Now I began to wonder what the ash would look like under the microscope, so I got it down. The light still worked, so I put some ash on a slide and took a look.

I also noticed, after digging around in the box it came in, that there was an adapter for attaching an camera. Unfortunately, our digital camera isn't designed with a removable lens, but I thought I try something else, hold my cell phone camera up to the eye piece.
These are two of the photos I was able to capture:
microash1.png

microash2.png

Not too bad considering the method used.
 

Attachments

  • microash1.png
    microash1.png
    74.1 KB · Views: 492
  • microash2.png
    microash2.png
    72.6 KB · Views: 478
  • microscope.png
    microscope.png
    65.9 KB · Views: 778
  • Like
Likes davenn, LLD1231, russ_watters and 5 others
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
Speaking of microscope rescue, many years ago these old, optical microscopes were on their way to the dumpster when a chemistry department no longer wanted them. I, on the other hand, see them as antiques, and they have been used as part of my decor alongside an old chemical balance and a very old Weston multimeter housed inside a wooden box. They all fit rather well within a mid-century modern furniture.

DSCN3760.JPG

Zz.
 

Attachments

  • DSCN3760.JPG
    DSCN3760.JPG
    71.6 KB · Views: 775
  • Like
Likes berkeman, davenn, LLD1231 and 7 others
  • #3
ZapperZ said:
Speaking of microscope rescue, many years ago these old, optical microscopes were on their way to the dumpster when a chemistry department no longer wanted them. I, on the other hand, see them as antiques, and they have been used as part of my decor alongside an old chemical balance and a very old Weston multimeter housed inside a wooden box. They all fit rather well within a mid-century modern furniture.

View attachment 228783
Zz.
My kind of decor.
 
  • #4
So, with a little experimenting, I found out that I got better results if I switched out the eyepiece( it came with some extra ones) for a different focal length, I got better results with my cell phone. ( though its still a hassle getting the lens positioned just right and hold it in place. I'm going have to see if I can come up with some kind of mount for it.)
I also tried using direct lighting rather than back light to see what kind of result that would give.
Here are three more attempts at three different magnifications:
microash3.png


microash4.png
microash5.png
 

Attachments

  • microash3.png
    microash3.png
    41.9 KB · Views: 773
  • microash4.png
    microash4.png
    199.9 KB · Views: 758
  • microash5.png
    microash5.png
    131.8 KB · Views: 788
  • Like
Likes Asymptotic, Psinter and DennisN
  • #5
Janus said:
I also noticed, after digging around in the box it came in, that there was an adapter for attaching an camera. Unfortunately, our digital camera isn't designed with a removable lens, but I thought I try something else, hold my cell phone camera up to the eye piece.
We just recently talked about phone mounts for telescopes in this thread. There are different phone mounts, and I have two models which can be seen in photos below. With my telescope setup, they are however not so good choices, but I am thinking about trying out this mount, https://www.meade.com/smart-phone-adapter.html (by Meade), which @MP9721NRC uses. I would not be surprised if it works for microscopes too.

Edit: My phone (LG G4) has got a really good camera, and it can be manually controlled, and it is far better than my Olympus compact camera, so that is why I am testing out phone mounts.

Phone mount 1:
43842437761_bd6c60f992_z.jpg


Phone mount 1 applied:
42033849310_9d9570c1ec_z.jpg


Phone mount 2:
43842436871_6253e86bda_z.jpg


Phone mount 2 applied:
42033848570_4510a7ef82_z.jpg
 

Attachments

  • 42033849310_9d9570c1ec_z.jpg
    42033849310_9d9570c1ec_z.jpg
    32.3 KB · Views: 467
  • 43842437761_bd6c60f992_z.jpg
    43842437761_bd6c60f992_z.jpg
    43.7 KB · Views: 418
  • 43842436871_6253e86bda_z.jpg
    43842436871_6253e86bda_z.jpg
    43.5 KB · Views: 460
  • 42033848570_4510a7ef82_z.jpg
    42033848570_4510a7ef82_z.jpg
    31.7 KB · Views: 446
  • Like
Likes Janus
  • #6
DennisN said:
We just recently talked about phone mounts for telescopes in this thread. There are different phone mounts, and I have two models which can be seen in photos below. With my telescope setup, they are however not so good choices, but I am thinking about trying out this mount, https://www.meade.com/smart-phone-adapter.html (by Meade), which @MP9721NRC uses. I would not be surprised if it works for microscopes too.
Thanks. This looks like something that might work, or At something I can modify enough to make work.
Meanwhile, I took a few more pictures last night using the "hold the phone by hand" method.
gunk.png

"Dust" collected from an outside window sill. There may still be some ash left over from last year's Eagle Creek fire mixed in here.

ginger.png

Some ginger from the spice rack.

meteor.png

The surface of a meteorite I picked up in a fossil store last summer. The line going for lower left to upper right to the naked eye just looks like a fine crack.

penny.png

Surface of a old tarnished penny

slvrspn.png

Tarnished surface of a silver spoon

spdrwb.png

Some spider webbing
 

Attachments

  • gunk.png
    gunk.png
    112.1 KB · Views: 459
  • ginger.png
    ginger.png
    90.6 KB · Views: 416
  • meteor.png
    meteor.png
    102.6 KB · Views: 412
  • penny.png
    penny.png
    164.9 KB · Views: 413
  • slvrspn.png
    slvrspn.png
    140.4 KB · Views: 431
  • spdrwb.png
    spdrwb.png
    54.4 KB · Views: 462
  • Like
Likes davenn, Asymptotic, Psinter and 1 other person
  • #7
I like this thread. I don't have a microscope. I want to see more pictures taken with microscopes :approve:.
 
  • #8
Janus said:
So, with a little experimenting, I found out that I got better results if I switched out the eyepiece( it came with some extra ones) for a different focal length, I got better results with my cell phone. ( though its still a hassle getting the lens positioned just right and hold it in place. I'm going have to see if I can come up with some kind of mount for it.)
I also tried using direct lighting rather than back light to see what kind of result that would give.
Here are three more attempts at three different magnifications:
View attachment 228793

View attachment 228794 View attachment 228795

Wow! Those images are amazing.
 

Related to What hidden world did I discover with my microscope and camera?

What is "More up close and personal"?

"More up close and personal" is a phrase often used to describe a closer and more intimate look at something or someone. It can refer to getting to know someone on a deeper level or examining something with more detail and precision.

How can "More up close and personal" be applied in science?

In science, "More up close and personal" can refer to using advanced technology and techniques to study a subject in greater detail. This can include using microscopes, telescopes, or specialized instruments to observe and analyze objects at a smaller or larger scale.

What are the benefits of using a "More up close and personal" approach in science?

By using a "More up close and personal" approach in science, researchers can gain a deeper understanding of a subject and potentially uncover new information and insights. This can lead to advancements in various fields, from medicine to astronomy.

What are some examples of "More up close and personal" techniques used in science?

Some examples of "More up close and personal" techniques in science include electron microscopy, which allows for extremely detailed imaging of tiny structures, and radio telescopes, which can detect and analyze objects in the distant universe.

Are there any limitations to using a "More up close and personal" approach in science?

While "More up close and personal" techniques can provide valuable information, they also have limitations. For example, some objects may be too small or too distant to be observed using current technology, and there may be challenges in interpreting the data collected. Additionally, some techniques may be invasive and can alter the subject being studied.

Similar threads

  • General Engineering
Replies
4
Views
4K
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • MATLAB, Maple, Mathematica, LaTeX
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • MATLAB, Maple, Mathematica, LaTeX
Replies
2
Views
3K
Back
Top