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  • Eyepieces, Objectives and Optical Aberrations

    For most microscope applications, there are generally only two sets of optics which are adjusted by the user, namely, the objectives and the eyepieces. Of course, this is assuming that the microscope is already corrected for Koehler Illumination during which the condenser and diaphragms are adjusted.
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  • Optimization of the Interplay of Optical Components for Aberration free Microscopy

    Optical microscopes are used to magnify objects which are otherwise invisible for the human eye. For this purpose high quality optics is necessary to achieve appropriate resolution. However, besides intentional effects, all optical components have also unwanted intrinsic influence on light, resulting in aberrations. This article highlights optical elements and their physical parameters involved in this process. Based on this, it gives a historical overview of philosophies about how to cope with aberration reduction. Seeing the microscope as a whole system turned out to be beneficial, leading to the harmonization of its constituents for optimal microscopic results.
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  • Microscope Resolution: Concepts, Factors and Calculation

    In microscopy, the term ‘resolution’ is used to describe the ability of a microscope to distinguish detail. In other words, this is the minimum distance at which two distinct points of a specimen can still be seen - either by the observer or the microscope camera - as separate entities. The resolution of a microscope is intrinsically linked to the numerical aperture (NA) of the optical components as well as the wavelength of light which is used to examine a specimen. In addition, we have to consider the limit of diffraction which was first described in 1873 by Ernst Abbe. This article covers some of the history behind these concepts as well as explaining each using relatively simple terminology.
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  • Infinity Optical Systems

    “Infinity Optics” refers to the concept of a beam path with parallel rays between the objective and the tube lens of a microscope. Flat optical components can be brought into this “Infinity Space” without influencing image formation, which is critical for the utilization of contrast methods such as DIC or fluorescence. Modern microscopy techniques require the addition of multiple optical instruments, such as light sources or laser devices, into the infinite light path. Different approaches to fulfill this need have emerged and are described here.
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  • What do you Call a Drosophila who Likes to Drink? A Bar Fly!

    The thought of a Drosophoila headed to the local bar for a drink creates a funny joke, but after long hours of sorting flies under a microscope that causes eyestrain or neck pain, you may be the one that wants to head to the local bar for a drink! Unfortunately most users do not know why they experience discomfort when using a stereo microscope.
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  • What You Always Wanted to Know About Digital Microscopy, but Never Got Around to Asking

    Digital microscopy is one of the buzz words in microscopy – and there are a couple of facts that are useful to know. Georg Schlaffer, Product Manager with Leica Microsystems, has often been asked about digital microscopy by customers and colleagues alike. He has worked together with Scientific Writer Jim DeRose for comprehensive answers to the most important ones.
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  • What Does 30,000:1 Magnification Really Mean?

    One important criterion concerning the performance of an optical microscope is magnification. This report will offer digital microscopy users helpful guidelines to determine the useful range of magnification values.
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  • How to Clean Microscope Optics

    Clean microscope optics are essential for obtaining good microscope images. If they are dirty, the microscope should be cleaned to avoid a loss of quality. If you decide to do this yourself, you should be extremely careful not to damage the sensitive microscope optics.
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  • Optical Microscopes – Some Basics

    The optical microscope has been a standard tool in life science as well as material science for more than one and a half centuries now. To use this tool economically and effectively, it helps a lot to understand the basics of optics, especially of those essential components which are part of every microscope.
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