I love microscopy.
I recently acquired an old broken microscope that I've been repairing, so now I can take micrographs from home. It's a very primitive setup compared to what I get to play with at work, but I'll have a lot more freedom to image whatever I want.

The microscope itself is a bit of a mashup of parts I've put together to get it working, but:

  • Microscope: Leica DM-IL
    • Lamp: 3W white LED
    • Objectives: 5x, 10x, 20x air, 100x oil immersion
    • Eyepieces: 10x
    • Imaging modes: brightfield, phase contrast
  • Camera: Olympus PEN E-P5
    • Lens: 17mm F/1.8
Basically to take photos, the camera is focused to infinity and mounted to one of the eyepieces so the end result is a magnification of 50, 100, 200 or 1000x.

Here's a paramecium I found today filmed at 200x magnification:

I flip between brightfield and phase a couple times in the video.
You can see the contractile vacuole pumping as it swims around. You can also see a bunch of algae trapped inside its food vacuole.


Found some green blob growing out of a hole in a pot. The mass was stiff enough to pick up with tweezers and transfer onto a glass slide without deforming.

The slime consists of filamentous cyanobacteria suspended in a clear jelly. Probably a matrix of secreted polysaccharides.

Not too much more to see, some smaller bacteria and algae are visible in the slime along with what look like hyphae.

Some sort of slow moving amoeba is visible crawling about at 1000x, seen here at 2.5x speed:

A couple moss mites fell out of the blob when I gave it a squeeze, 200x:

The mite's stomachs are full of green particles. They're probably eating the algae and fungi that make up the blob. I certainly don't mind having these mites around if they're on clean up duty.