Learn How to Use a Microscope Step by Step

Using a microscope is not rocket science, and mostly it is easy to use. Although there are complexities with techniques and applications in microscopy that beginners might struggle with, the basic procedure for using a microscope remains the same.

Steps to Using a Laboratory Microscope

1) It is important to make sure that the microscope stage is at the lowest position while starting. To place the slide properly on the stage, you need to swing the stage clip out, position the slide into the groove of the mechanical stage and release the clip so that it clasps the slide into place.

Experts find it easier to examine samples when they are shaped in a flat layer of even thickness. We can do it by pressing the sample with a coverslip. This becomes necessary because microscopes with high resolution can only focus on a narrow region.

2) Always set your microscope at 4x magnification, which is the lowest. Microscope suppliers always mention this. Do not rush into the process and move up only one objective at a time. You will be frequently needing to use the x-y transitional knobs to set the required area of the sample right in the center of the field of view. This allows you to refocus and get higher magnification. Once you have finished using the microscope, reset it to the 4x objective lens.

3) When you first look through the microscope, you will not get a clear image. You will have to adjust the rheostat light control in order to get a crisp and sharp image. The rheostat makes it possible to adjust the intensity of the light within the microscope, switching it between dim and bright.

4) Another thing to look for is the condenser, which is placed beneath the microscope stage. The condenser helps you focus better by gathering light rays from the microscope’s light source and making them concentrate in one place by forming a cone of light. This instantly illuminates the specimen giving you a clearer view.

5) Digital microscopes work in a different manner, so if you find any difficulty in focusing, you will need to adjust the beam splitter. It will direct the light to the camera helping it to click a clear and bright picture.

There Are a Few Things You Can Do If You Are Still Struggling to Focus.

Make Sure That Your Objective Is Clean

You might be following all the above rules, adjusting the stage with coarse or fine focus, but your image still appears blurred. Your last resort is to clean the objective. At times there are chances that you forget to clean the objective after the process of oil immersion, or you might have touched the lens with your fingers. For cleaning, you will require lens paper and a cleaning solution. Buy your equipment from trusted microscope suppliers in India.

Adjusting Your Slide

When you are dealing with a small specimen, every time you change to a higher power objective, the specimen seems to move away from the center of the field. You lose the focus. So, you will need to adjust the slide to keep it located just right in the center.

Engage the Objective completely

Sometimes you lose the field of view completely or see a very dim light. It is because you have failed to engage the objective in the right way. Your field of view is the circular part that you see when you look through the eyepiece.

Filter Rack Displaced

In case the filter rack is not completely in place, it can block the light source, making it difficult to view the sample. It also impairs the visibility and meddles with the image production capacity of the microscope.

Oil Objective

Microscope manufacturers in India make sure that the highest power of objective is an oil objective. If you already have this objective in place and still cannot focus, there might not be enough oil on both the sides of the coverslip and the condenser lens.

We use this technique in light microscopy because oil increases the resolving power of the microscope. A transparent oil works as a filler between the immersion objective lens and the cover glass. If the empty space is not filled with oil, the air gap will make the light refract, not allowing it to reach the sample in its full potential. Oil has a high refractive index that helps in reducing light refraction.

There are a few precautions to be taken while using a microscope. Laboratory Microscope manufacturers will always warn you to not let the objective lens touch the slide as that will break the slide. If you are using a monocular microscope, do not close the other eye while you have one eye on the eyepiece. Lastly, do not get confused if your images appear upside down and back-to-front. As microscopes let you view the specimen through multiple lenses, when you move the slide to the right, you will find the image shifting to the left and vice versa.

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