If you are the proud new owner of a microscope, or you are just making use of an excellent high school microscope, but you still don’t know all the tricks one needs to be familiar with to operate it properly, we can help you out. In an attempt to make this process easier for you, we have gathered a handful of useful information that you might want to study so that you can use your acquisition in a proper manner.
In an attempt to make this guide effortless to read and understand, we have divided it into two separate sections. The first refers to how one has to prepare the head of the device, while the second details just what adjustments are needed when focusing the device.
How to prepare the head of your microscope
Before plunging into exploring the details of your first sample, it is crucial that you follow these suggestions. First things first, prior to placing your sample on the device’s stage, make sure that you turn on the lights that the unit comes provided with. This way, you will be sure that enough illumination is provided for you to examine the selected sample.
However, when doing so, it is not advisable that you select the highest illumination ratio, as this might make it difficult for you to see under the microscope clearly. Instead, the specialists recommend that you take the time to adjust it so that it provides you with the clarity that you need to correctly examine the sample.
Next, it is necessary that you rotate the 4x objective so that it reaches the required position. Then, make sure that you twist the left eyepiece diopter ring in the correct direction and that you line it up with the position of the eyepiece tube.
Furthermore, this is the moment when you have to arrange the distance between the eyepieces so that the two images can properly combine and offer you a single free of error image. Once this process is completed, you are minutes away from being ready to explore your sample!
How to focus the device
Before anything, it is crucial that we draw your attention to the fact that, when using a microscope, all glasses wearers should pay attention to a few aspects. Therefore, if you have myopia and you have difficulties seeing objects that are far away, you should remove your glasses when using the microscope.
Because those who have myopia have no trouble seeing/observing in detail objects that are close to them, they won’t have problems when it comes to distinguishing the sample that is placed under the microscope.
Still, if you wear glasses because you have astigmatism, you won’t be able to do so. Due to this situation, you will have to be very careful in order to avoid scratching your lenses when getting close to the unit’s oculars. The risk of having this happen to your lenses is increased if you wear glasses that have lenses made out of a plastic material. So, make sure that you are always careful when using the microscope.
To focus the unit, first, make sure that your side has no trace of dirt or debris. Then, check to see that the device’s oculars are clean. If this is not the case, use lens paper to remove the unwanted spots. Do not use any other type of material/substance when it comes to cleaning the optics! Additionally, take the time to verify that the glass of the lamp is also clean.
Further, go ahead and place the sample on the microscope’s stage with the coverslip facing up. Then, gently raise the condenser up until it reaches its maximum position. The diaphragm of the condenser should now be set at 30.
In order to focus the 10x objective, you have to use the coarse knob to adapt the focus knob so that you are capable of seeing the small details that are present in the given field. Next, do the same to position and also focus the 40x objective. During this process, you should not, in any case, make use of the coarse knob.
At this point, it is the moment when you have to adjust the two eyepieces of the microscope. To do so, make sure that you close the right eye so that you can focus the image in the left eyepiece. In order to focus it properly, use the focus knob. Then, by utilizing the diopter ring, close the left eye and go ahead and focus the right eye.
If you are the sole user of the microscope, you have to carry out this process just once, when you first start using the unit. Then, you can only use the focus knob to adjust the image when analyzing different samples. Nonetheless, if you have to share the device with other students/colleagues, it is recommended that you repeat the process whenever you have to use the microscope.
By doing so, it is guaranteed that you’ll get the best results. If you have trouble understanding how each component of the device is called/works, we suggest that you read the instruction manual that you’ve certainly received with the microscope. What is more, chances are that the manual contains additional recommendations as well as tips and tricks.
So, don’t waste any time, start reading and make sure that you set up your device like a pro! As a plus, you should know that you can now use a digital microscope camera to record your results!