My Microscopy Setup

Update: Would you believe my camera USB port broke, so I am in the process of changing the camera for my microscopy setup. If you are looking into setting up your own set-up, you may do better with a Canon camera which has EFSC. This reduces vibration significantly, once I have my new system up and running I will do another updated post.

 

People have asked about my microscopy setup, so I felt for completeness it would be useful to do a post about my setup and how it all works. The microscope I use is a relatively simple optical microscope made by a company in India called Radical Microscopes (Affiliate Link) called the RXL-4T. An image from the Radical website is shown below:

RXL-4T

 

This microscope has four Semi-Plan objectives which have a magnification of 4, 10, 40 and 100 times. In addition, it is also what is known as a dark field microscope which basically inverts the light so that if there is no object to scatter the light on the microscope stage then that part of the image will appear dark however if something does exist that may scatter the light then it appears light. A typical brightfield microscope operates the other way.

A table of the Numerical Apertures for each of the lenses is listed below:

Objective4x10x40x100x
Numerical Aperture0.100.250.651.25

 

When looking at items through the microscope, the light is supplied from the base so if an object blocks the light then it becomes much harder to see the object, that is there needs to be some translucency to the objects we are looking at.

The microscope provides the magnification and the lighting to view the item but then an image needs to be exposed, for that I use a Microscope to DSLR Camera Adapter (Affiliate Link) which connects my Nikon D5300 digital camera into my Radical RXL-4T (affiliate link), then I just have a remote shutter trigger (so I don’t bump the camera pressing the button).

This setup so far has worked fairly well for me (although I am still in my infancy in terms of doing microscopy). The DSLR camera adapter (affiliate link) does have a magnification of 2 times, which means the effective magnification for my images is as per the below:

Objective Magnification4x10x40x100x
Final Magnification8x20x80x200x

Because the Digital camera does not recognise custom lenses (thanks Nikon!) it means that the camera has to be used on full manual mode, this means when taking an image depending on the amount of light the shutter time needs to be varied but for the most part that has not been a major issue (just a lot of trial and error).

 

I do hope you enjoy my microscopy posts, which can be found here.  Please feel free to have a look around and share this site with your friends!