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Advanced Condenser Systems: Achromatic Condensers

Green Algae

A whole mount of assorted blue-green algae were photographed using the QX3 microscope body with and without the aid of an auxiliary achromatic condenser. The upper image, lacking contrast and color saturation, was made using the microscope in a stock configuration with the mixing chamber. When the condenser is used to provide an even cone of illumination, contrast and color saturation are increased and the image quality is greatly improved, as illustrated in the lower digital image.

Green algae are the most diverse and widespread group of algae. These aquatic plants are found all over the world in just about every aquatic environment imaginable. Algae produce an estimated 30 to 50 percent of the total global oxygen. As processed and unprocessed food, they have a commercial value of several billion dollars annually.

Stained Green Algae
QX3 with mixing chamber (stock - magnification 200x)

QX3 with achromatic condenser (200x magnification)

The upper photomicrograph is a digital image from a stock QX3 microscope using auxiliary illumination provided by a fiber optic light pipe through a hole drilled into the mixing chamber. The image on the bottom was recorded using the QX3 microscope body and a Nikon achromatic substage condenser with low numerical aperture.


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