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Advanced Condenser Systems

QX3 Advanced Digital Image Galleries

Our investigations with the Intel Play QX3 computer microscope have resulted in the collection of a large number of digital images of a variety of specimens. This gallery was constructed to highlight the best images that we have recorded using advanced condenser systems with this incredible toy microscope. Use the links below to navigate to points of interest in the QX3 advanced digital image gallery.

Abbe Condenser Systems - Addition of an achromatic or Abbe condenser (Figure 1) to the optical pathway dramatically improves the quality of images obtained on the QX3 microscope. High performance condensers can be purchased from microscope manufacturers or through optical supply houses. They can be added, at relatively low cost, to the optical train of the QX3 when both the body and the high performance condenser are mounted together using ring stands and clamps, which are available at science supply houses. Use the links below to navigate to individual photomicrographs of specimens photographed with the QX3 computer microscope equipped with an Abbe substage condenser.

  • Brightfield Illumination - Using transmitted brightfield illumination, the images in this section compare the performance of the QX3 Microscope with and without an Abbe substage condenser.

  • Polarized Light - A comparison of images, with and without an Abbe substage condenser, recorded in transmitted brightfield mode equipped with crossed polarizers and a full-wave retardation plate.

  • Darkfield Illumination - We have developed a modified form of darkfield illumination that relies on reflected illumination of miniature specimens placed against a dark background. These images were recorded with and without a Nikon substage condenser.

  • Oblique Transmitted (Hoffman) Illumination - The technique known as oblique transmitted illumination uses direct light from a single azimuth of the condenser light cone to allow illumination of the specimen from one side only.

  • Rheinberg Illumination - By employing colored gels in a reflected light microscopy configuration similar to that for darkfield microscopy, we have been able to simulate Rheinberg illumination. These images were recorded with and without an Abbe-style substage condenser.

Achromatic Condenser Systems - This configuration employs a Nikon Microphot SA stand with an internal tungsten-halide light source and achromatic substage condenser in place of the QX3 stand with its tungsten bulb and mixing chamber. Removal of the Nikon microscope nosepiece housing was necessary in order to obtain room for mounting the QX3 body directly above the substage condenser in the center of the optical pathway. A ring stand with a three-fingered clamp is used to secure the QX3 body in place. Alignment of the microscope body with the condenser is accomplished by placing a stage micrometer on the mechanical stage and adjusting the clamp position until the micrometer is in sharp focus throughout the viewfield. Use the links below to navigate to individual photomicrographs of specimens photographed with the QX3 computer microscope equipped with an achromatic substage condenser.

  • Brightfield Illumination - Applying techniques of transmitted brightfield illumination to stained specimens, we have built a gallery of stained thin sections of anatomical and pathological tissue samples. The sets of images were recorded with and without a Nikon achromatic substage condenser.

  • Transmitted Polarized Illumination - A simple modification to the Intel QX3 microscope allows imaging under crossed polarized illumination. Specimens are prepared in thin sections with a microscope slide and coverslip for polarized light microscopy, and recorded with and without a Nikon substage condenser.


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