Inspecting your spirulina culture regularly under a microscope is a great way to keep track of its health, but choosing the right microscope for your spirulina harvest can be overwhelming.
The two basic types of optical microscopes are compound microscopes and stereo microscopes. Compound microscopes have two or more lenses and are available in monocular and binocular formats. They are great for high magnification of internal cell structures. Stereo microscopes provide a 3-dimensional image and are ideal for working with small objects.
In addirion, digital microscopes and digital microscope cameras are becoming more popular for microscope imaging and will allow you to not just inspect your spirulina culture but also share the footage with your advisors, partners or customers. Not only is this more convenient but it can also be crucial for your B2B marketing.
Trinocular microscopes are ideal for photo, digital, or video applications, as they have a phototube for mounting a camera without interfering with normal operation. Additional components may be required depending on your specific use.
Within each of these applications, however, there can be far more demanding requirements; a researcher studying the functions of neurons will require a far more sophisticated instrument than a high school biology teacher introducing students to cellular structures for the first time. If you have a very specific application, you may need a highly specialized microscope or special accessories.
Photomicrography (35mm cameras) has been a common option for decades, but the recent development of Digital Microscopes & Digital Microscope Cameras has greatly increased both the popularity and flexibility of microscope imaging. The economical CMOS for everyday video capturing or the higher priced CCD (closed capture device) for low light and higher resolution applications and Digital Eyepiece Cameras connect to most eyepieces or ocular tubes.
Instead of clicking through slides during a lecture, university professors can now display real-time video images on projection televisions; petroleum geologists can now e-mail images of core samples to their laboratories from remote locations around the world; and oncologists can refer to CD or on-line catalogs of cell images to help them make faster and more accurate diagnoses. If your application calls for live viewing and projection to a TV type monitor refer to Video Technology and for digital imaging refer to Digital Microscope Cameras and Digital Microscopes.
There are many different methods for capturing, displaying, and recording microscope images, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. It would be impossible to cover all of these options here, but one basic piece of information will be important in selecting your microscope: while it is possible to mount a camera on a monocular or binocular microscope (note: a binocular microscope has two eyepieces, but is not necessarily a stereo microscope), it is far better to use a Trinocular Microscope designed for camera work. Trinocular models have two eyepieces for normal viewing, plus a third phototube on which you can mount a camera without interfering with the normal operation of the microscope. Trinocular Microscopes are ideal for photo, digital or video applications. Remember, depending upon your application additional components are required on your microscope depending upon your use.
« Back to Glossary Index