Delamination of Zeiss Standard Optovar

The following pictures show this problem on an example of a Zeiss Standard Optovar. The lens elements are separating and this leads to the rainbow effect. I have slightly rotated the Optovar on the spot in same lighting between pictures and you can see that the inner edge of the rainbow rotates with the rotation of the whole instrument. This would not occur if it was due to defraction of light from the glass only.


Delamination in top lens

Delamination in bottom lens:

Various out of print Zeiss manuals, brochures and price lists

Below is a list of manuals, brochures and price lists for Zeiss microscopes and associated equipment which are no longer in print.







Zeiss Use Care1927


Zeiss Optical Systems




Zeiss Model-W-Brochure


Zeiss Katalog188918931902














Zeiss Universal microscope manual for use with transmitted light(II)

Zeiss Universal microscope manual for use with transmitted light(I)

Zeiss Standard POL microscope manual

Zeiss Standard microscope with Lucigen illuminator manual

Zeiss Standard Lab 6 microscope manual

Zeiss Standard Junior 2 microscope manual Z

Zeiss Photomicroscope 3 manual for use with transmitted light

Zeiss Photomicroscope 3 manual for use with incident light

Zeiss Photomicroscope 1 manual

Zeiss ICM405 microscope part of manual

Zeiss dark field condensers brochure





Microscope Illuminator 100

Microscope Illuminator 60

MC 100

MC63A Camera

Invertoskop D

Invertoscope ID03 g


Epi-fluorescence Condensor IIIRS




Continuous Filter Monochromator-B-Bulletin

Carl Zeiss Katalog 1889 Microscope Catalogue

Carl Zeiss Jena 1937 Microscope Catalogue

Carl Zeiss 1893 Optical Measurment Instruments

Second attempt at oblique dark field illumination of algae from neighbour’s pond using halogen swan-neck illuminator on Zeiss Standard microscope

This time I used my centrifuge to concentrate the sample – snow outside/cold means number algae per ml in the water low.

Bright field images of algae x40 objective – unfortunately they show that I have some work to do aligning the optics as lot of colour fringes…there is also quite a lot of dust on the optics of this microscope – I need to give it a good clean! However, not all out of focus rings are dust – much of it is algae in different planes on this live sample.

I particularly like the second and third pictures as they show long cilia from the spherical organism.

Video from this session showing motile organisms:

Dark field using oblique illumination – set up with Zeiss Standard microscope:

I have found that the best dark field is when the fibre-optic tips are placed on the stage pointing virtually horizontally at the end of the objective.

Dark field with x10 objective, using above equipment – looks like a star field in the telescope! Can you recognise the constellations?

The above two images came directly from the camera.

The following are the same two pictures but this time I have used curves in GIMP to remove part of curve below the data and hence blacken the background:

Dark field using x40 objective – this is where I am breaking new ground with success at dark field using x40 objective. So far, using my Zeiss IM microscope, I have been able to obtain excellent dark field images using the 10x non-phase objective and a phase annulus, but the higher power objectives don’t seem to work so well using that system. I think maybe the NA on the objectives is too high compared to the NA on the condenser, but am not sure of the reason.

I found that if I varied the position of the swan neck heads to direct the light more downwards (angled the lights to point down rather than horizontally) then this varied the lighting effect. The lighting is no longer true dark field but is still interesting! Example picture below:




Comparing oblique illumination via halogen illuminator with LED bright field illumination on Zeiss Standard microscope – plant leaf

The following pictures are from my attempts today to try oblique illumination on the specimen using a swan-neck halogen illuminator – light shone upwards at bottom of slide obliquely. Photos below are compared to others using bright field with 10W illuminator – all with Zeiss Standard microscope.

The sample is a piece of plant leaf cut from house plant in our kitchen.

The oblique illumination gives dark field effects – I picked this technique up from Micscape microscope forum (, although my oblique illuminator has currently a very red light so white balance needs to be corrected.

I have used curves function in GIMP2 to remove parts of curve without data from top and bottom of curve and in the image with lot of blue to enhance some parts curve in-between (but not done that on other images).

The pictures show swirls of cells in circular patterns and veins along the leaf.


Zeiss Standard microscope with external halogen swan-neck illuminator:

x10 objective, bright field:

x10 objective, oblique illumination, with white balance correction:

x40 objective, bright field:

x40 oblique illumination, without white balance correction:

x40 objective, with white balance correction:

Cooked salmon meat under microscope

We had fish for tea! So here is a small piece of salmon meat (cooked) seen under Zeiss IM microscope bright-field with x4 and x32 objectives. Bresser MikrOkular camera.


x4 objective – the lines show divisions between bundles of muscle fibres. They go in the same direction as the muscle fibres are orientated in the same direction:

x4 objective – I think the muscle fibre bundles are facing more towards us in this image hence the change in shape of the dividing fibrous tissue lines:

x4 objective – torn end of muscle:

x32 objective – the end of the muscle sample – torn off from the fish this shows the broken end of the piece of cooked muscle:

Single frames:

Helicon Focus stack:

Helicon Focus 3D model from above stack:

x32 objective – the following photo shows striations across the fish muscle. I am not sure what this is, but it might be end of view of the muscle fibres or separation of fibres as a result of denaturisation from cooking process:

Commercial Vorticella slide

Vorticella on a commercial stained slide, viewed using Zeiss IM microscope at different magnifications. Damian and I have previously seen Vorticella live in local pond water samples – see previous posts.

I used the Bresser MikOkular camera in “new” trinocular head (second hand from ebay) – this differs from previous trinocular head in that this is the one that is recommended in the Zeiss IM microscope handbook. I noted that the previous head, although it works, has small black ring around outside of field of view that I assume means field stop is too small for scope. This new one does not have this. This new one also provides 23mm ocular attachment on trinocular port, into which the Diagnostic Instruments adapter fits directly without needing a clamp.

I also tried out a dark field condenser on microscope today – did not work well – not sure why – so photos below are back to the phase condenser that came with the microscope, used without phase annulus (i.e. in bright field mode).


x10 objective:

x32 objective:

x63 objective (slide upside down so light only has to go through coverslip in this inverted microscope – 63x objective has only limited working distance). This is a panorama of 17 panes, joined using Microsoft’s Image Composite Editor:

February Meteors.

February is not noted for its meteor showers, only a handful of minor showers and some daytime showers.

Minor Activity

Radiant Duration Maximum
Aurigids January 31-February 23 Feb. 5-10
Alpha Centaurids (ACE) February 2-25 Feb. 8/9
Beta Centaurids February 2-25 Feb. 8/9
Delta Leonids (DLE) February 5-March 19 Feb. 22/23
Sigma Leonids February 9-March 13 Feb. 25/26

Daylight Activity

Radiant Duration Maximum
Capricornids-Sagittariids January 13-February 28 Jan. 30-Feb. 3
Chi Capricornids January 29-February 28 Feb. 13/14

The radar reflections using Graves, gave a total count of 1140 meteors, with an average daily count of 41 and average hourly count of 2 (1.7), the max hourly count observed was 7 and max daily count 62. The contributions to activity from the Centaurids , Leonids and Capricornids are discernible on the charts below. March is another month of no notable shower, but lots of minor showers.

Clear Skies

Pete H


M48 at full moon – – – 28/02/2018

Having posted an image of M46 and M47 recently, the other Messier object nearby that I hadn’t yet imaged was M48. I hadn’t managed to locate this object from the window-sill, probably due to its extended size. So, tonight, I installed the focal reducer on the ST80 and went on an M48 hunt. It is full moon (another “Blue Moon”), so it was hardly ideal for DSO hunting!

Still, this time I found it. So here it is after a bit of processing with GIMP.